I speak with a number of funeral professionals every week about their social media strategy and goals, particularly their efforts on Facebook. Typically, if these folks have created a business Facebook page for their funeral home (many haven’t), their approach to posting content is totally random. Really, it’s a crap shoot. I generally hear ‘we just post obits or whatever we feel like when we have time’. When asked about the goal(s) they expect to achieve through social media, the response is usually “Oh, I don’t know. We just post stuff and hope the public notices.”
That’s like saying, when asked about your retirement investment strategy, that you play the lottery from time to time, and you hope to hit it big someday.
In any endeavor, if you want specific results you must implement a strategy designed to achieve those results. A random approach to Facebook posting has proven to yield little benefit for anyone who has used it. The frustrated testimony of numerous funeral vendors and funeral home professionals is verification enough. This is why they talk to me.
So what are the key elements of a strategic approach to managing a Facebook business page? We successfully manage the Facebook pages of hundreds of funeral homes and vendors. We know how to get results. The recommended critical components in our “secret sauce” are these:
- Set goals and strive to reach them. Simply put goal setting involves aiming at the ultimate target(s) you wish to hit and clarifying the steps you need to take to get there.
- Clarify your brand. Everything from your logo, your bylines, and your mission should be reviewed and (possibly) revised for clarity and consistency.
- Create a monthly posting calendar. Planning the bulk of your posts in advance assures that you are providing a good mix of inspirational, informative, entertaining, and brand-enhancing content that aims toward the achievement of your goals.
- Listen to the online conversations taking place on your page and respond to comments, reviews, and messages. Readers are impressed and encouraged when businesses take the time to interact with their concerns and praises. Again, there are software products available that help you to stay on top of the interactions on your page.
- Get to know (manage) your fans. You can use Facebook Insights and other tools inside of Facebook to discover who has Liked your page, and you can discern what kinds of posts they seem to appreciate. Then…give them more of what they like and what is achieving results!
- Utilize advertising and boosted content. Facebook advertising is less expensive than any other kind of paid marketing when compared to people reached per dollar spent. Boosting appropriate content allows you to target your audience, putting your stuff in front of exponentially more eyeballs than would see it through standard, organic means.
- Use contests and run campaigns to gain more attention and followers. A well-executed contest can be very inexpensive and simple, but it can yield amazing results in gaining fans and increasing engagement on your page.
- Run monthly analytic reports. Setting measurable goals and checking each month to see whether you are achieving those goals makes sense with any well-executed strategy. Monthly reporting allows you to analyze what is popular on your page and what seems to be working well. Then…do more of what is working and phase back on those things that aren’t as engaging or popular.
- Stay on top of what’s happening in the social media world. Things are changing in Facebook and the other channels all the time. It’s important that someone on your team is watching the constantly morphing landscape so you can respond appropriately.
We distilled these components to create DISRUPT Media’s four part FUNERAL Social process, our proprietary social media management procedure we use with every one of our clients. Our process includes the following steps, each of which encompasses several of the recommendations above:
- Goal setting – Setting realistic, obtainable, and measurable goals is the first step in our FUNERAL Social design process. Social media done right can achieve real business goals. You can’t just wing it anymore.
- STORY Session – A STORY Session is an initial brainstorming session where, together, we review your brand as we work with you to develop your specific social media strategy. These stories will be what we post on your social channels.
- Channel management – Your stories are brought to life through the content we create. We post the content to your social channels according to a pre-determined schedule (which has been reviewed and approved by you) and manage the conversations taking place on your page. No more posting just to post. In addition we work with you to run contests, execute campaigns, and create fascinating video and photo content that highlights your staff, your facilities, and your products.
- Measurement – Our monthly analytic reports show how well the social media strategy is working related back to goals set at the start of the project. No more guessing. Through our monthly reports our clients know exactly what is getting engagement.
The recommendations we shared above are critical and, in most cases, almost intuitive, but few busy funeral professionals have the time to effectively manage their presence on Facebook and the other social media channels. This is why DISRUPT Media is the best choice when it comes to social media management options. We are the only full-service social media agency specifically catering to the funeral profession. We know how to generate attention and engagement for our funeral business clients. Go to http://www.disruptmedia.co to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are a part of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.
Schedule a live demo with DISRUPT Media: http://www.funeralsocial.com/demo
Learn more about our FUNERAL Social Design Process: http://funeralsocial.com/social/
Download our social media goals worksheet: http://funeralsocial.com/social-media-goals-worksheet/
Ryan Thogmartin is a death care entrepreneur and the CEO of DISRUPT Media and creator of ConnectingDirectors.com. | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles
DISRUPT Media is a social media first marketing company that focuses on social storytelling for funeral companies. DISRUPT uses insights gained through analytics to build creative campaigns that achieve actual business goals.