Marketing via social media seems like a no-brainer to funeral homes today. It’s one of the most-used media outlets of our time with more than 75% of Americans reporting they have at least one type of social media profile. You can’t beat that kind of reach. And because posting content costs so little compared to other types of traditional marketing, such as print advertising, the amount of content out there is astounding. So the question is: how can you stand out to the families who use social media and online communities? The short answer is: just like with traditional marketing, you must develop a strategy. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you get started.
Social Media Strategy Tips
- Choose the right outlets. Each social media platform comes with specific parameters, such as Twitter’s character count or Instagram’s photos. LinkedIn is obviously the place for more professional content, while there can be greater variation in the subject matter on Facebook. Construct a social media marketing plan that takes advantage of each platform’s niches. Keep track of what is successful to continue providing content that your followers will read and share.
- Seek information to determine the best times to post. While there isn’t a perfect way to know when your posts will receive the most views, most social media have peak usage times. Facebook, for example, is used most often on the weekends while Twitter is busiest during morning or evening commutes. LinkedIn is active mostly during the business week. These tendencies can be specific to how your families use social media and may take some time and research to identify.
In addition to figuring out when to post, it’s just as important to consider frequency and consistency of posts. Juggling the ever-growing number of social media platforms can be daunting; but just like traditional media, it will become much more manageable with a written blueprint. Devise a schedule that fits your current resources and provides you with flexibility as your social media strategy changes and grows.
- Be relevant. Developing content that is useful or meaningful to your families is imperative to keeping them engaged and coming back for more. If you don’t, they’ll lose interest quickly. Remember, it’s better to share more relevant information less frequently than to blast your followers with useless content. By keeping your social media activity full of quality posts, families will find value and view your firm as a reliable information resource.
- Cross-promote. By using social media to promote information on your website or by using your website to promote your social media content, you’re inviting your families to connect with you across multiple channels. This outreach encourages a community to grow, and keeps them up-to-date through one or more avenues. Ensure that your social media posts always route followers to your funeral home’s website. At the same time, encourage traffic to other pages by providing textual links within your content.
- Follow your followers. Social media is called “social” for a reason. Reaching out to families goes a long way to get your name out there and vice versa. When someone follows you, click through and create a connection. This kind of reciprocity is the foundation of social media. It’s how communities, meaningful discussions and networks start and grow. Foster discussions by asking questions and listening to what your families are saying.
Social media is a force we now accept as integral to any business, including funeral homes. By creating a well-crafted, proactive social media strategy and plan, your likelihood for success increases exponentially.