When I was young and visiting my Grandparents at the family funeral home – EganFuneralHome.com in Bolton, Ontario – I would spend a lot of time with him walking into town, going to the post office and running other errands. I was always amazed about how many people knew him and that he knew them. His success – just like other past generation Funeral Directors – could be attributed to being a helpful member of community, whether professionally or in other activities. They knew, they liked him, and when they needed his services, they could trust him.
Since life is different nowadays and there are a lot less people in the “social hubs” than there was 50 years ago, it doesn’t mean that you have to go to the same places that Gramps hung out – he was where the people were. You should apply the same philosophy – Go To Where The People in Your Community Are!
Now, I’m not saying quit all of the groups that you are currently involved with – but you should take some quick inventory on your time invested vs. the exposure and reach that you get.
If you think that I am just pushing this Facebook stuff on you because I am a bit of a techie – you’re wrong. I’m trying to tell you that it is probably one of the biggest networks in your town and you need to be there!
Do you know how many people in your market are on Facebook? Would you be surprised that I could tell you exactly how many to the individual, gender, age? It’s easy to find out – and also you can advertise so directly it would blow you away!
But before we get into my Funeral – Facebook Formula, you have to make sure that you have the basic foundation of Facebook Profiles and Pages. So we are going to build off of the 7 Mistakes Funeral Directors make with Facebook article, I want to outline what the Best Practices are for Funeral Directors for using Facebook.
The purpose of this “Best Practices” is to cut through all of the noise and give you the straight goods and short-cut the learning process for you as I teach you to nurture your online relationships to build your community, increase your credibility and visibility because people want to do business with people that they Know, Like, and Trust – Facebook can help you achieve that!
I don’t want Facebook to be a new time-waster although I must warn you: if you are new to Facebook, it is easy to get sucked in, connecting with old friends, checking photos, playing games, taking quizzes, etc. Anyway, after the initial rush wears off, it will be back to business – relationship building business that is!
This Best Practices is really going to get you up and running, but when you want to kick it into hi-gear, you should check out my Funeral – Facebook Formula seminar <– Click for more information
Before we get into the Nuts & Bolts, we need to know the difference between Profiles and Pages.
Facebook Profile Pros
- You can have one-on-one interaction
- You create a feeling of a more personal connection
- You gain “perceived” credibility with more Friends
- Your Friends can message you (pro from their perspective)
- You can be Tagged in photos and videos and appear automatically (sometimes good)
Facebook Profile Cons
- You need to have mutual agreement for friending
- People must be Facebook members and logged in to view
- You can’t message all friends at once or you could get banned
- You are limited to 5,000 friends
- You could get inundated with messages in your Inbox
- You can be Tagged in photos and videos and appear automatically (sometimes bad)
Facebook Fan Page Pros
- You can have an unlimited number of fans
- You have the ability to message an entire group
- Your page can be accessed by the public (no Facebook login required + it can be indexed by Google (see naming below)
- Your Page appears in homepage stream which is a great way to remind your Friends about updates and new content
- People have opted in to hear updates about your business, unlike your profile
Facebook Fan Page Cons
- It is sometimes hard to get people to become Fans
- The term “Fan” is a little weird, especially when applied to a Funeral Home
- Doesn’t feel like a personal connection
- You don’t have the same personal relationship as you only post as the “Business” not as yourself
Ok, now that we know some of the differences, let’s build both a Profile and a Page – leveraging the Pros to our advantage.
Profile Set Up – Phase 1 (1 hour):
- Select an appropriate photo: one that best connects you to your audience
- Upload Contacts from Email Accounts / Outlook: (I skip the “Invite Others To Facebook”)
- Complete the Profile information: make it as complete as possible but keep within your comfort level.
- Complete Education and Work Profile Information: this makes it easier for your old contacts to find you
- List all of your websites under contact information
- Create Memorable Web Address
- Upload Contacts from Email Accounts / Outlook
Profile Set Up – Phase 2 (1 to 2 hours + ongoing):
- Search Friends’ Friends List
- Search Groups and Fan Pages for possible contacts: You don’t even have to join the group – just see who the members are. But join if you think that it would be valuable
- Search Your Competitor’s Friends: click on the View Friends link and add any friends that you think would be appropriate to friend
Notes: When entering a website address (URL) make sure that you use the “http://” before the www… as that will make the link clickable.
Fan Page Set Up – Phase 1
- Choose the Category > Local > Event Planning Service OR Professional Service
- Choosing the Right Name – Place Important Keywords together with your company’s name such as ‘Your Town’ Funeral Homes (unless that is a competitor’s name) | Your Funeral Chapel (see McCall’s example)
- Upload your logo or an appropriate photo – make sure that it is recognizable and if possible, have some personality
- Complete the Edit Information
- Upload Photos and Tag yourself or staff members if appropriate
- Upload Videos – How To and FAQ videos would be preferred over commercials – again you are trying to build a relationship, not to sell anything (don’t exclude commercials – just limit them)
- Add Links to helpful information from your website
- Suggest To Friends – Be selective to who you invite at the beginning until you really have your page “super-charged”
Please remember, Facebook Pages and How Funeral Homes Can Use Facebook are a Work in Progress, these are some general best practices (for now). Here are some examples of Facebook Pages that you can use as a guide to creating your Page:
There are others that I would have like to list but they haven’t used the “Memorable Page” application.
If you are interested in learning how to USE Facebook for your funeral business, I know you will get a lot out of my Funeral Home – Facebook Formula seminar that is going to be held Thursday, May 28. Replays will be available if you can’t make it. This seminar is going to be the first of my monthly training course called: FuneralFuturistU – Internet Marketing for Funeral Professionals. For more information and registration details visit: www.FuneralFacebookFormula.com.