“Facebook is for the younger generation.”
“There’s no evidence we’ll get any return on investment from Facebook.”
“Not having a Facebook page prevents families from positing negative reviews of my funeral home.”
“It takes too much time to figure out how to use Facebook for business.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? While many funeral homes are already connecting with their families online and providing a space for them to get information, connect with their loved ones, and learn more about funeral service, other funeral home are not. These firms are skeptical about putting any time into Facebook.
We get it. Technology and social media can be scary when you’re just starting out and a waste of time if not managed effectively.
Did you know that families are most likely already talking about your funeral home on Facebook? You don’t have control of the content, the reviews, the photos, or anything else. Unlike Yelp, Google, or other popular review sites, Facebook lets you control what gets posted and what doesn’t. You can even delete negative reviews (although we don’t recommend it).
You’re missing out on a serious opportunity to contribute to the conversation. Take back the conversation and help the families you serve contribute to meaningful memorialization.
To get started, let’s look at four common lies about Facebook and funeral service.
Lie 1: “Facebook is for the younger generation.”
Pew Research Center keeps releasing studies, year after year, on the demographics of Facebook users and who’s online. Since 2011, they’ve reported an increase in baby boomer users.
Think about it.
Your families, the decision makers, are online. They’re on Facebook, and while they may be sharing favorite recipes, photos of grand kids, or cat videos, they are also interacting with businesses they like.
In 2015, Pew reported that 64% of internet users ages 50-64 were on Facebook. And for those 65 years and older? Close to 50%.
More than half of your customers are using Facebook. And we guarantee in 2016, the number will keep growing. Why not at least get started?
Lie 2: “There’s no evidence we’ll get any return on investment from Facebook.”
This “lie” may have some merit. It is hard to measure actual ROI for dollars invested in Facebook advertising. And while there are metrics to track social ROI, it’s outside the scope of this blog post. So while tracking your return on investment is a tricky thing, claiming your Facebook page isn’t. It’s common sense. We’ll tackle ROI another day.
Lie 3: “Not having a Facebook page prevents families from positing negative reviews of my funeral home.”
This simply isn’t true! The beauty of Facebook is that users generate content.
Take a look at this screenshot of a funeral home who hasn’t yet claimed its business page. Please note, we’ve removed any personal or identifiable information.
What do you notice?
First, comments 1 and 3 are positive. This is free publicity for the funeral home and shows that the public appreciates all the firm does for the community. How much better would it be if the funeral home were able to respond and thank each person for the praise?
What about comment 2? Would you want your business described as “insensitive, unprofessional, and despicably rude”? Would it not be better to be able to respond to this comment and address what happened? While we don’t recommend funeral homes delete negative reviews, Facebook is still one of the only places left where businesses have that right. As an unclaimed page, however, the funeral home doesn’t have that option and is left out of the conversation.
Now take a look at 4 – This woman used the “check in” feature so all her friends knew where she was and that she was thinking of her Tio (or uncle in Spanish). Families who use Facebook may be at your funeral home and may create a page for your firm without your permission. They use the built-in GPS on their mobile devices and “check in” so their friends know where they are. Number 5 shows this funeral home has had 117 people “check in” and visit the page.
Here’s another one:
This funeral home has quite a few comments as well – and they’re almost all glowing. How much more of a testimony if the funeral home were able to comment and thank each person for the comments! We’d love for this funeral home to claim their page and take hold of the conversation. They’ve had 178 people visit their firm and have quite a few positive reviews already.
Lie 4: “It takes too much time to figure out how to use Facebook for business.”
This is where we come in. We have a webinar scheduled on Thursday, February 11 in partnership with Ryan Thogmartin of Disrupt Media Co., where he’ll walk you through how to get started. We’re offering CE credit for it, and it’s easy to sign up for. Click here for all the details and here to get registered. Questions? Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re an OGR member, we’ll be making this information available to you after the webinar as well as a member benefit. We hope you’ll join us and take back the conversation and help families contribute to more meaningful memorialization.
By Jessica A. Smith,
Assistant Executive Director
International Order of the Golden Rule