4 Social Media Posts to Get Families to Act
By Rae Hudson, Account Executive
Have you ever wondered why grocery stores offer free samples to shoppers?
A few days ago, I was grocery shopping when I noticed a store employee passing out free samples at the end of an aisle. I wasn’t particularly hungry, but after seeing “FREE SAMPLES!” on the station’s large banner, I felt compelled to take one.
The sample was of a new cheese the store was offering. It was good, and I immediately wished I could have another one. The employee said, “We just started offering this, but it’s been a top seller at some of our other locations!”
Even though the cheese was not on my grocery list and was a little pricy, I ventured to add it to my cart, thinking, “It tastes great, and other people like it. What’s not to like?”
While I may not have considered it then, I had just been convinced to make a purchase with 2 common principles of influence – reciprocity and social proof.
Psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote a book in 1984 titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In it, he outlines principles that detail how businesses can build trust with consumers and motivate them to act. These pillars are reciprocity, liking, social proof, and authority, among others.
By applying a few of these principles in your funeral home’s social media strategy, you can encourage families to interact and engage with your funeral home online. Here are a few post examples you can use today!
1. Focus on the rule of reciprocity
Most people have a strong desire to balance the scales in their relationships – often referred to as reciprocity. Cialdini defines reciprocity as “trying to repay what another person has provided.”
Here are a few examples of the reciprocity principle:
– A wife takes out the trash for her husband, motivating him to wash the dishes.
– You remember a coworker’s birthday after they gave you a gift for your birthday.
– A business mails out surveys with a $5 bill, prompting recipients to complete the survey.
This principle motivates people to take action on social media as well. It works by providing something of value upfront and encourages people to repay your kindness.
For example, let’s say you want to increase the number of preplanning appointments set with your family services counselor or prearrangement specialist. You can offer a free resource, such as an eBook or checklist, to get people to act.
Here’s an example of a social post asking families to schedule a meeting after offering a free preplanning checklist:
“We understand that losing a loved one is one of the hardest things we face in life, and having to make decisions at a time of loss can feel overwhelming. That’s why we want to help by offering you a free preplanning checklist. This checklist will provide you with tools to create a plan that can bring peace of mind to you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to call us, and we’ll schedule a time to talk with you and provide you with the answers you need.”
If you mainly post obituaries on social media, try a post that uses reciprocity and see how it impacts your followers.
2. Watch followers turn into fans with the liking principle
Have you ever asked yourself why you’re closer to some people than others? For most of us, it boils down to the fact that we like the people we have strong relationships with.
The principle of liking works the same way with your funeral home and the families in your community. Cialdini states, “People prefer to say yes to individuals they like.”
Here are a few examples of the liking principle:
– A patient is likely to recommend a doctor they have a good relationship with.
– A salesman is more likely to close a deal with a friend than a stranger.
– A protestor is more likely to get petition signatures from individuals who share their beliefs.
Families want to interact with businesses and people they like. One way to increase liking with your funeral home is by showcasing your staff and values.
Here is a caption for a social post to build familiarity with families through the liking principle.
“Planning a funeral can be an emotionally challenging experience, and it’s OK if you’re not familiar with all your options. Our staff is here to support you every step of the way. We will guide you with empathy and answer any questions you have to help you make informed decisions for you and your family. Our mission is to make things as easy as possible for you. You can trust that we will treat your loved one with the utmost care and respect. To learn more about our caring staff, please visit our website here: (LINK TO YOUR STAFF PAGE).”
If you post a staff photo, even better!
3. Harness the power of social proof
Did you know 87% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses? That’s because families want to know the opinions of others when deciding if they should interact with a new business. This is known as social proof.
Defined as “a principle that determines what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct” by Cialdini, social proof gives families insight into an unfamiliar business or organization through the experiences of others.
Here are a few examples of social proof:
– A restaurant labels a dish “Most Popular” or “Chef’s Specialty” to increase the dish’s popularity.
– A city mails parking tickets and mentions that most tickets are paid within 2 weeks.
– A parent shows their frightened child videos of other children happily playing with dogs.
Social proof is the driving force behind Google reviews. Using social proof in your social media can educate families on your services and commitment to excellence. It’s also likely the first impression you give families as they decide to work with you or your competitor.
And using testimonials from happily served families is the best way to harness social proof to help you stand out in your community.
Consider using a video to encourage others to learn more about how your funeral home can help them.
“Funeral preplanning may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible. Just ask (HAPPILY SERVED FAMILY’S NAME), who said, “(FAMILY’S QUOTE).” At (YOUR FUNERAL HOME NAME), we will discuss all your options, answer your questions, and then give you time to consider what’s best for your family. Once you’re ready, we’ll help you ensure everything is taken care of just how you want.”
Just be sure to get permission from families before sharing their reviews or experiences on social media!
4. Embrace your authority with families
While there is no shortage of funeral-related information online, not all information is equal. Some websites may unintentionally lead a family to the wrong decision.
That’s why it’s so important to position yourself as an authority. Cialdini classifies this principle as “influence that flows from being viewed as either in authority or an authority.”
Here are a few examples of the authority principle:
– Donations to a charity increase when the organization’s president asks rather than volunteers.
– A business might encourage its employees to wear suits to appear qualified and competent.
– A new supplement company uses an actor in a lab coat to market its latest offering.
When families want to learn about a new topic – like funeral personalization or grief therapy – they want to turn to a trusted source of information they can count on. That’s where your knowledge, experience, and wisdom as a funeral professional proves valuable to families.
Use the pillar of authority in your social media to show families that you are a trusted, reliable source in your area and that they can trust you.
Here is a social media post example that uses the authority principle to educate families and encourage them to reach out to the funeral home for more answers.
“It’s important to get answers to your questions regarding funerals, memorials, insurance needs, and other related topics. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you. We are passionate about creating a meaningful and healing tribute for your loved one by capturing their life, character, and values. To get started, call us today or schedule an appointment and start getting the answers you need.”
Use this caption with a family testimonial video or a staff photo.
These principles of influence will encourage families to learn about you, trust you, and meet with you.
Remember that your ultimate goal is to serve families and educate them on how to best care for themselves during a time of loss. Many families don’t have that knowledge, so it’s up to you to encourage them to meet with you so you can give them the trusted information they need.
Let our experts handle all your social media needs
At Funeral Directors Life, we’ve seen these ideas work for many funeral homes. But using these ideas is only part of the solution. You also need the time to create a consistent social media calendar to encourage families to visit your website.
Our team can turn your social media accounts into a platform that drives traffic to your website and increases your preplanning meetings – and so much more.
Plus, we can even create high-quality videos for you!
Please fill out the form below to see how our digital marketing packages can help you stay top of mind and build trust with families.