Facebook offers a lot of potential when trying to reach out to client families.
To make sure you’re using Facebook to its fullest, we’ve compiled a list of marketing techniques that can help your funeral home grow.
1. Watch your competition. It’s like Steve Jobs once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” It’s always good to see what your competitors are up to. You can learn what they’re doing, what works for them, and how you can adapt and improve on their ideas for your funeral home. And Facebook makes that easy for you to do. There’s a little-known feature called Pages to Watch that you can find on your Facebook Page’s Insights tab. The Pages to Watch lets you keep track of similar pages in the funeral profession and provides you with some analytics. You can see which funeral homes have a strong Facebook presence and which posts are the most (and least) engaging. Take that data to help map out your own Facebook strategy.
2. Drop the hashtags. Recent studies show that using hashtags doesn’t work as well on Facebook as they do on other social networks. A 2016 report from the analytics company BuzzSumo studied more than 1 billion posts from 30 million different brand pages. The result? Posts with hashtags receive less engagement than posts without them.
3. Post during peak engagement hours. If you post when your families are most likely using Facebook, they’ll be more likely to see it, meaning more engagement. And if you’re boosting your post, your advertising dollars go a little further. But when exactly is the best time to post? CoSchedule analyzed 16 different studies and found the following:
- The best time to post on Facebook is from 1-4 p.m.
- It’s also better to post later in the week and weekends than it is on days like Monday or Tuesday.
- Posting around 3 p.m. can get you the most clicks, but posting at around 1 p.m. can get you more shares.
- It’s better to share inspirational and upbeat content on Fridays when people are happiest and save the more technical stuff for earlier in the week.
Of course, these are general guidelines. For the best result, use your page’s Insight tool to get data on what times work best and don’t be afraid to experiment with it.
4. Respond to followers. Responding to comments and messages shows that your funeral home cares about families’ concerns and maintains an active presence online. As a result, it encourages more families to engage with your Facebook Page. Remember that timing counts, and slow response times can discourage people from engaging with you in the future. Try to respond within at least 24 hours. Facebook will even reward your funeral home with a very responsive badge, which will encourage more and more people to engage with you in the future.
5. Utilize your audience insights. The Audience Insights feature lets you collect information about your audience to help tailor your marketing. It even lets you use that data to help you build an even bigger audience. By using the feature, you can learn things like your audience’s age, gender, education, jobs, and their general lifestyle.
6. Use Facebook for video. Facebook is continuing to compete with other video sites like YouTube. They now allow you to directly load videos to Facebook, as opposed to loading them to YouTube then linking that video to Facebook. It might seem like a small feature, but studies show videos directly embedded in Facebook get more engagement (about 10 times more) than those linked to YouTube.
7. Crowdsource ideas to your audience. Not sure what to write your next blog article about? Or when to host a community potluck? Or even what new services families would like to see adopted at the funeral home? Turn to your audience. Asking your followers is one of the easiest ways to grow engagement with your Facebook Page. It also shows you care about their opinions. The easiest way to go about it is to use Facebook’s Poll feature.
8. Use Facebook Groups to your advantage. The Facebook Groups feature works to bring people together around a common theme or idea. Your funeral home can create groups to help foster a greater sense of community. Some ideas for using groups include connecting people with grief resources or organizing reoccurring events such as a monthly community volunteer group.
9. Pin your posts. Facebook gives you the option to “pin” posts. That means any post you pin will always appear first at the top of your Facebook page. It’s a great tool to announce a new feature/service or to make sure families see a great article you’ve recently written on your blog. Here’s how to pin your favorite posts.
10. Share useful content. It’s one of the main reasons we have and use social media. We like to connect, converse, and share stories and ideas with each other. And it’s why many families would follow a funeral home in the first place. They want to know more about you. You can share helpful how-tos from your own blog, relevant stories about the community, or news about funeral service in general. The more compelling the content, the more you’ll grow your audience.