How to Become a Social Media Pro

BY MITCHELL MCLEAN, Director of Digital Marketing, Funeral Directors Life

More and more funerals homes today are discovering the benefits of social media marketing. The problem is, most funeral home staff are either too busy to keep up with it or not sure about how to do social media “the right way.” I jumped into the world of social media marketing two years ago after beginning my career as a web developer with an emphasis on search engine optimization. My new job was to expand our company’s social media marketing and lead generation programs because our initial efforts into offering services in these areas were exploding.

As a preneed company, Funeral Directors Life was interested not only in helping our clients establish a strong social media presence, but also gain qualified leads to grow our clients’ preneed programs. We could see that the potential for reaching a new, younger audience was there, and we certainly did not want our clients to miss out on that huge opportunity. We also didn’t want to leave room for our clients’ competition to move into and dominate the social media space in their communities.

And I have to say, the results we’ve had over the last two years have been phenomenal. Based on demand from clients, our services have expanded to include social media management at three different service levels, including custom video production and expert preneed lead generation. We have consistently seen our engagement increase and our cost per lead go down to as low as $10 per lead, a savings of over 80% compared to traditional forms of advertising.

I’d like to share four things that we learned as we dove into the world of social media marketing for funeral homes. If you implement these four keys to social media success, you will go from being unsure about what to do with your Facebook page to becoming a social media pro. So, here we go:

  1. Start out with a simple schedule and stick to it. Heather Guitar, our content manager at Funeral Directors Life, and her team have assisted us in establishing a steady stream of quality content for funeral homes. “Images and videos do extremely well on Facebook, so we always try to include a positive, motivational message along with an image, link, or video that we post,” said Heather. “For our clients, we stick to a simple schedule, posting carefully curated content at least 3 times per week. This keeps the page active and fresh and offers regular opportunities for engagement.”
  2. Throw in fun, interesting “local flavor” posts once or twice per month. Sara Esposito, our lead account success manager for the social media management team, helps funeral home clients post regular “local flavor” custom posts that really give the page a sense of community. “Some of our most successful posts are when the community comes together to support a great cause,” said Sarah. “One funeral home posted that they would buy girl scout cookies from any troop that showed up on their doorstep. They would then donate the cookies to our deployed troops as a care package with a taste from home. It was a huge success, and they posted pics of every troop that showed up.”
  3. Promote your preneed program through targeted paid ads. Personally, this has been my main area of focus. As a team, we have developed dozens of successful, targeted campaigns for funeral home clients to choose from, and we have been absolutely blown away by the incredible response from families. While some areas are easier to break into, we have found a sweet spot by offering high quality ebooks as downloads, which brings me to my final point.
  4. Give away as much value as possible! With any form of marketing, you have to give away value to receive value in the form of a contact’s name and information. The same holds true on social media, but our options for giving away value are nearly endless! We have conducted raffle drawings and given away ebooks, planning kits, and a free lunch for attending a lunch & learn, and the list goes on. With every new campaign that we develop, we are constantly asking, what can we give away?

I hope this information will help you as you dive into social media marketing for yourself and maybe spark some ideas for your own program if you already have one going. I think we all know that social media is here to stay, in one form or another, and none of us want to miss out on the opportunity to connect with new families and grow our preneed and at-need calls. And we certainly don’t want to leave the field wide open for our competition to move in with a strong presence on social media. Our goal at Funeral Directors Life in offering these types of services is to make it easy for busy professionals and those who are just unsure about what to do and how to do it. Essentially, we can make our clients look like social media pros with very little time and effort on their part.

If you’d like to start growing your at-need and preneed business and connect with new families through social media, let me know! For a limited time through July 31st, you can contact me to receive a free social media analysis with suggestions on how to leverage the power of social media for your funeral home. If interested, feel free to email me at mitchell.mclean@funeraldirectorslife.com, and I will be happy to discuss or review your social media program.

About the Author: Mitchell McLean serves as Director of Digital Marketing for Funeral Directors Life. Mitchell has helped hundreds of funeral homes gain thousands of leads through social media lead generation campaigns. He specializes in developing new and interesting ways to help funeral homes connect with families through digital media. Mitchell has a background in web development and search engine optimization (SEO). He received his Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media from Abilene Christian University and his Master of Business Administration from West Texas A&M.