I accumulated quite a few business cards at this year’s NFDA convention from folks who visited our booth in the expo hall. My first order of business upon returning to normal life at the office was to enter the names and contact information from those cards into our customer management database. It’s rather tedious to enter the information by hand, so I tried taking the lazy man’s route by, first, locating the web page of the funeral home or funeral vendor so I could copy and paste the information from there into the respective fields in our database.
This process was very telling in regards to the technological advancement of these funeral businesses. Imagine my surprise when I struggled to find an active web address of a funeral home either on their business card or by doing a web search! Perhaps it’s a bit simplistic to claim that a person’s business card is a barometer of their place on the technological evolutionary scale, but I don’t think so. Consider these loose classifications:
- The most “ancient” business cards reflect only a physical address, a telephone number, and maybe a fax number. On these cards I almost expected to find the location of the nearest Pony Express drop off station.
- The next level in advancement is represented by the addition of an email address. At least this might indicate there’s a computer in the office somewhere.
- Moving along on the evolutionary scale toward the last decade of the 20th century, the business card includes the bearer’s cell phone number. And it may or may not also list the web address of the business they represent.
- The most technologically advanced cards reflect all of the above, but they also indicate the person’s business has moved into the 21st century by including their Facebook page address and, possibly, their Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram information.
Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh in my observations and judgments above. But my tongue-in-cheek classifications are based in reality. The good news is that more and more forward thinking funeral home owners and vendors in the funeral industry are coming to the realization that they need a presence in Facebook (and other social media outlets) in order to remain relevant and competitive in today’s techno-social world. Denying the need to have a business Facebook page is becoming akin to denying the need to have a business web page 15 years ago.
I’m an educator by trade. I recall a story about a fellow educator who, back in the late 1990s, visited a one room schoolhouse that was now a museum of sorts. As he observed the desks in rows, the inkwells, and the slate chalkboards he realized that most contemporary schools had not evolved much beyond those days. His article was a call for the education world to wake up and utilize the amazing technology that was becoming available to the masses.
Look, you may not have set up or utilized a personal Facebook profile, and that’s your own prerogative. But if this translates into the belief that your funeral related business does not need its own Facebook presence, be prepared to eat the dust of your most technologically evolved competitors. It’s not an option any more to ignore the need to market your services through the social media. If you don’t have any idea where to start, or if you simply don’t have the time to do the necessary research, call us at DISRUPT Media. We can craft a Facebook strategy tailored to your business using our exclusive four part FUNERAL Social Process. Our process is what enables DISRUPT Media to claim that we are the funeral profession’s only full-service social media management firm. Our clients who are a part of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%. Go to http://funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer.
Mark Thogmartin, VP of Business Development at DISRUPT Media
Dr. Mark Thogmartin is a life-long educator, working with students from Kindergarten through the doctoral level. He has degrees from the University of Kentucky, the Ohio State University, and Andrews University. Mark’s book, Teach a Child to Read with Children’s Books, has gained wide acceptance among reading tutors and parents who are teaching their children at home. In addition to assisting his son, Ryan, at DISRUPT Media as Vice President of Business Development, he works part-time as a mentor of doctoral students at Capella University. Mark and his wife Donna live in Millersport and are the parents of three adult sons and the grandparents of two beautiful granddaughters.