The social landscape is undergoing near-constant change, and with that, so must a funeral home’s social media strategy. As 2014 closes, DISRUPT Media is prepping for the upcoming year by strategizing ways to leverage opportunities and overcome challenges.
The way in which your client families are consuming content is rapidly evolving and it’s up to funeral homes (you) to make sure that your Facebook strategy is also changing with those habits, ensuring success and growth for 2015.
Here are our predictions for the perfect Facebook strategy in 2015.
#1 Video trumps photo
If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a video is worth. Consumers are gravitating more toward video content. This year the paradigm has changed as, for the first time, data shows that Pages are posting more native Facebook videos rather than YouTube videos on Facebook. Facebook is carving out their own share of the YouTube audience – a trend that will continue and grow in 2015.
Videos uploaded direct to Facebook now include views and CTA link. Facebook is also giving higher priority to video in the News Feed. Videos are a great way to show transparency. They don;t need to be professionally produced but they do need to be real and transparent. Humor is also well received by the consumer.
#2 Shareable is the new viral
Content creators have been consistently tasked with making things go viral. However, in 2015 shareable content will be priority one. Increasingly, attention has moved to producing content that is not only shareable, but content that holds meaning – the two working best in tandem. It’s not enough anymore to put a spotlight solely on number of clicks, funeral home’s are seeing more engagement when thought is put into the storytelling element of the content. Stop thinking B2C or B2B, social is P2P (People to People). Funeral homes need to be people on social media and stop acting like brands. Be transparent and provide value.
Additionally, with new Facebook policies announced for 2015, companies will have to pay close attention and evaluate the type of content being posted. Starting in January 2015, Facebook users will begin to see fewer overtly promotional posts in their News Feed. As a result, funeral homes will need to depend more on ad spend in order to promote posts that are service related and engagement specific.
#3 Funeral Homes will adopt media company traits
Businesses with a really strong content strategy have always thrived in an increasingly competitive and crowded social landscape, and this will become even more apparent in 2015. Funeral homes need to take on the characteristics of media companies in order to do social well. Think a constant engaging content stream. Just posting obituaries isn’t going to cut it.
#4 Business Pages post more links
Facebook made an algorithm change in late 2014 that gives native Facebook links more priority in the newsfeed. This means that link posts with get better organic reach then other types of posts (image or text). This should make funeral directors happy – you have native links to post almost daily (they are called obituaries) and they will drive great traffic back to you funeral home website.
Most funeral companies share links on Facebook, they do so by embedding the link in the status update, like the one below:
The best way to share a link after this update will be to use a link-share, so it looks like the one below. We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.
#5 Facebook Ads are a must
In 2014 we saw organic reach of Facebook posts drop from 12% per post to now 1-2% per post on average. Why? Here is what Facebook says:
The goal of News Feed is to show people the right content at the right time. To make this happen, we look at who and what people are connected to and how they interact with content — such as how often they click, share, read or comment — to determine what to show.
As a result, competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and we’re seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach.
As the dynamic nature of News Feed continues to follow people’s patterns of sharing, Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly. The fans you have matter. In addition to being some of the most loyal customers, fans also make the advertising on Facebook even more effective.
Facebook ads are a must for funeral companies to be able to grow a engaged community following. Funeral homes that are apart of our Funeral Social program are seeing a 300% average increase in post reach and engagement when our content strategy is partnered with a small Facebook ad budget. Take a look at the 60 Day Facebook Ad Case Study we did with ConnectingDirectors.com.
In 2015, a Facebook ad strategy will be just as important as a solid content strategy. With out one the other won’t affective.
Here is what Dan Levy, Facebook’s Director of Small Business says about Facebook Ads for small businesses:
If you want a more predictable way to reach the customers that matter to you, advertising is a good way to do that. You can spend hours trying to come up with the perfect post, or you might be able to spend $10 or $100, then get on to something else in your business like working with your customers. If they’re looking for predictable reach, then advertising is the way to do it. (source)
To learn more about Facebook ads visit: http://funeralsocial.com/ads/
Social media is constantly evolving but the one constant in humans – we want to engage and we want real value from the brands and people we follow. Funeral companies aren’t excluded. Valuable transparent content will always trump generic generated content. Remember, social media is P2P (People to People) not B2C or B2B.
Interested in how Funeral Social can help you successfully embrace social media and Facebook advertising? Click here to see how our social media design process works.
Click here is schedule a demo and learn about how we could partner with you.
About Funeral Social
FUNERAL Social is a strategic, goal oriented approach to social media created by DISRUPT Media and designed specifically for the funeral profession. Learn more about our Social Media Design Process.