Social media is an integral part of everyday life and a staple marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Although organic reach (the chance of your updates to reach your followers without paying for promoting them) has been drastically reduced, it’s still worthwhile to maintain your profile and benefit from the exposure to new and existing audiences. This social media guide for Funeral Directors covers the basics of choosing the right network, optimising your profile, creating a posting schedule and more. There are also plenty of tips along the way.
The information is easy to read and it is put together to meet the social media needs of any small to medium size Funeral Director business in the UK. Here’s a list of the main topics in this guide:
- Which social media platform is right for you?
- Social media profile basics for Funeral Directors
- Social media posting schedule for Funeral Directors
- Hashtags for Funeral Directors
- Online image and reputation
- Social media best practices
Which social media network is right for you
To answer this question, you need to understand your clients’ social media habits and their interaction with the different networks. There is little point in putting all of your money and efforts into growing an Instagram page if the majority of your clients are on Facebook or if you want to reach the over 50s.
The choice of social media network also depends on your target demographic and business objectives. Although Instagram is the trendy new thing, the majority of its users live in an urban area and are in the 18-24 age group. That may present you with a challenge if you are targeting people who are 50+ and live in rural areas.
Facebook offers the versatility and potential exposure to the right type of audience suited to Funeral Directors. Twitter can be utilised to serve as a helpline or become an extension to your customer support service, while Instagram is good for inspirational quotes and sharing visuals which can be motivational to your newly bereaved clients.
These extracts from the latest statistics about our social media use can help you decide on which social media networks is a better fit for your marketing goals:
Despite the social media giant’s involvement in questionable data-sharing practices with third parties over the past couple of years, Facebook is still the most used social media network in the UK.
Facebook is the most versatile social network. It offers a multitude of tools to help you connect with your audience. Use it to increase brand awareness and connect with your clients by sharing tips, advice and links to helpful resources.
- Number of users in the UK: 40 million
- Gender: women – 52%, men – 48%
The social media network which is famous for its reluctance to share data regarding user engagement and activity. That has led many analysts and experts to speculate whether or not that reluctance is an indication of its fading appeal to users. Nevertheless, Twitter is still a great platform which offers you the immediate ability to connect with your clients and followers.
People use Twitter to check on the latest headlines and developments. Some businesses even have a dedicated customer services account. Use it to offer support, drive traffic to your website, share news updates, events and promotions and to ask questions to gather feedback on particular products or services.
- Number of users in the UK: 13.6 million
- Gender: men – 60%, women – 40%
Although the figures show a steady increase of users, the visual social media platform still proves a challenge for most businesses.
Most people follow business accounts on Instagram because they are looking for some sort of inspiration. Use it to offer grief help and support in the form of daily quotes or share different types of funeral flowers, stationery and other products which can be styled to make an appealing photograph.
- Number of users in UK: 24 Million
- Gender: women – 54%, men – 46%
Social media guide: profile basics for Funeral Directors
Let’s assume that you have official accounts for your Funeral Director’s business on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The information in this part of the social media guide is designed to help you optimise your profiles and benefits from the services on offer.
Your profile picture is arguably the most important brand identifier on social media. It’s part of your profile but, more importantly, it’s also displayed next to your updates which appear on your followers’ timelines.
A good rule of thumb is to feature your logo as the main profile picture. Before you upload the image, you need to make sure that it is:
- a square or circle since they are the standard resolutions for profile pictures
- scalable so that it’s still recognisable when scaled down and not pixelated when scaled up
- the same on all of your social media profiles!
Tip: Make sure that your logo is up-to-date and the same on your website, stationery, signage and social media.
The cover photo on your profiles is likely to be the first thing your visitors notice. Therefore it needs to be “on brand” and representative of your business. Most Funeral Directors choose to feature a picture of their car fleet, the exterior of their business premisses particularly if the building itself is a landmark, a business sign etc.
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the social network’s cover photo guidelines to make sure you don’t risk a ban by breaking them. Before you upload the image remember that it:
- needs to meet the size guidelines
- is public and it can’t be deceptive or misleading
- doesn’t infringe on anyone’s copyright
Tip: If your website features a banner or an image on its homepage, use it as the cover photo on your social media profiles too.
Please note: These visual references (i.e. profile and cover photos) are particularly important parts of your branding in the instances where your business name is different to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles. If that’s the case, make sure you use the same images across all platforms, including your website so that people know it’s your Funeral Director’s business and not someone else’s.
Tip: You can check the availability of social media names and website addresses for free at Namecheckr. Just enter the desired name in the search box and hit the return key on your keyboard.
Although your social media profiles are contact points, you need to make sure that you have up-to-date contact information for those who prefer to interact with a real person.
- website and email addresses
- physical address and telephone number
- 24/7 phone number!
Tip: Use the Facebook messenger app as means of contact with your clients or create a hashtag which serves the same purpose on Twitter.
Don’t leave any blank spaces on your profile. The more information you provide, the better chances of being discovered by current and future clients you have. Pay particular attention to the following:
- location or the areas you serve
- information about your business
- milestones and events
Tip: If there is an option to verify your profile or be recognised as genuine local business, make use of it. Having that check mark next to your name adds to your credentials and reinforces trust.
Social media posting schedule
The posting schedule is an integral part of your overall social media and marketing strategy as it helps you achieve your goals. You need to define those goals before you start planning your content strategy so that your followers know what to expect and when. If you are not sure how to do that, start by answering the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your social media profile? – to build brand awareness, help your clients, promote/sell your products, drive engagement etc.
- Who do you want to reach on social media? – existing clients, new clients, competitor’s clients etc.
- What do you want them to do when they read your posts? – to visit your website, call you, share, like, comment etc.
Tip: Head to your social media profiles and identify the type of content and posts that are doing well in terms of likes, shares, comments, link clicks etc. You can boost organic reach by continuing to post content which is proven to do well on your accounts.
What should you post on social media?
The content on your social media profiles should be chosen to fulfil your objectives and help achieve your goals. Consider the following suggestions when coming up with your content strategy and ideas:
- include images and video where possible to increase organic reach
- ask your followers to take specific actions – like, share, comment, call you, visit the website etc.
- share links to other helpful websites and practical advice
Tip: Check out your competitor’s social media profiles to see what they do and how it’s received. Learn from their mistakes and get inspiration from their success without copying their content.
What should you not post on social media?
Remember that you are running a business profile which is part of your marketing strategy and as such, it exists to fulfil a set of goals. Try to avoid these types of content:
- personal updates unless they are related to the business or affect your clients in some way
- random bursts of inspirational quotes, pictures and videos which serve no purpose or help achieving your goals
- jumping on trends, politics or publicly supporting causes which can offend and upset your followers
Tip: Try to vary the types of posts you share and always offer value. Highlight the benefits of the services and products you promote rather than copying and pasting a link to your website.
When’s the best time to post on social media?
According to Sprout Social these are the best and worst times to post on social media:
- 9.00AM – 3.00 PM Monday to Friday
- Avoid posting between 5.00PM – 7.00AM
- 8.00AM – 4.00PM Monday to Friday
- Avoid posting between 10.00PM and 4.00AM
- 10.00AM – 3.00PM Tuesday to Friday
- Avoid posting between 11.00PM – 3.00AM
How often should you post on social media?
The frequency of your social media posts depends on the social media network and its ever-changing algorithms. The good news is that smaller businesses, such as the average family-run Funeral Director in the UK can get away with sharing one post a day or every other day.
- Facebook – a minimum of three posts per week
- Twitter – one to three tweets per day as they have very short life
- Instagram – one post per day
Tip: If you post too much too often, you run the risk of flooding your followers’ timelines and provoking them to unfollow and even block you.
How to use hashtags effectively
The main purpose of hashtags is to make your posts more discoverable. Use hashtags which are specific to your town or the area you cover and inline with your business goals. That increases your chances of reaching the right clients. Try to avoid these mistakes:
- too many hashtags in your posts
- irrelevant hashtags
- hashtags which can be misread, misspelt or misused
Tip: Create a list of hashtags that are relevant to you and keep it handy so that you can refer to it prior to sharing your posts.
Your online image and reputation
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!” Treat your social media profiles as a virtual representative of your business. Use the same tone you use when talking to your clients in person. Be caring, considerate and helpful. Try to avoid:
- inconsistent and confusing branding
- sporadic updates and irrelevant content
- personal opinions and showing insensitivity towards your clients’ problems
Tip: If you are not sure about something, ask yourself this: Would you say what you are about to share to a client in person? If you answer No, don’t share it.
Social media guide: best practices for Funeral Directors
Contrary to popular belief, social media is not about the number of followers you have. It’s about the engagement. Take your time to get to know your followers and share content which helps them to make a decision or solve a problem. Educate them about the difference between a coffin and a casket, showcase different funeral flowers options, list the most popular hymns etc.
- define your goals and a content strategy to help you achieve them
- take your time to develop relationships with your followers and create an online community
- reply to messages and comments
Tip: The general rule of thumb here is that your online presence needs to match the in-person experience you offer to your clients. Your social media profiles as well as your website are your virtual shop windows and you need to treat them as such.
Did I miss anything? Help make this social media guide the best resource for Funeral Directors by sharing your best practices and tips in the comments section below. Thank you!