There are almost 2 billion people actively using the social media website Facebook – that equates to nearly 30 percent of the world’s population. Plus, they are spending an average of 20 minutes per day using the site. For funeral service businesses, a Facebook business ‘Page’ can be a highly viable channel for you to communicate with your community and potential clients about your services and to build a profile with wider community reach than you may currently enjoy. In this article, we will look at what a Facebook business Page is, how it can benefit your funeral business, how to build an audience, and tips on posting content.
Facebook business pages
A Facebook business Page is an extension of your funeral business. It is an easy way to share updates and information with the people who matter most – your potential clients and wider community. It is also a cheap way to help you engage with your clients across their range of digital technology: desktop computers, tablets and on mobile devices.
Benefits to your funeral business
A Facebook Page makes your business discoverable, so that when people search for you on Facebook, they will be able to find you. It also allows you to have one-on-one conversations with your potential clients, who can ‘like’ your Page, read your posts and share them with friends and family. A business Page can help you to reach large groups of people frequently, with messages tailored to their needs and interests. Plus, Facebook Analytics will give you a greater understanding of your potential clients and the success of your posts. When you set up a business Page, a web address can be requested such as facebook.com/xyzfuneralhome, which makes it easier to find you. This Facebook address can be included on your business card, website and other promotional materials.
Get started: Create your Facebook business page here
The first steps
Once your Page is established you will want to start engaging with Facebook users. Your first step is to create an ‘audience’, which happens when people ‘like’ your Page. To build your audience, encourage your family, friends, suppliers and supporters to initially ‘like’ your Page. They are the people who are most likely to see your posts in their News Feed. Letting the people in your life know about your Page, so they can support you by liking it, creates an initial audience, which helps you to establish credibility and spread your message straight away – and make sure you ‘like’ it yourself. However, it is not the number of likes that matters. It is more important that you genuinely connect with the people who are likely to use your services or that are willing to share your Page posts and updates and to help tell your story on Facebook.
As you post updates, photos and videos, think about what your potential clients find interesting and inspiring. How will you talk to them about your funeral home? What do you want to consistently communicate about your funeral business? You can experiment by posting different kinds of content. For instance, does your audience like photos or prefer it when you share useful links? You can gauge reactions quickly by using Page Insights to see which posts are performing the best. A word of warning, Facebook users generally do not respond well to shameless selling or promotion of any products or brands; inspirational messages, for instance, with photos or video have far better traction and share-rates with the Facebook community. Funeral homes will have better success on Facebook with uplifting stories, good news events and other positive posts.
How to interact
It is suggested that you interact with users on Facebook as though you are communicating with a friend whom you greatly care about. Social media experts suggest:
- That you remain authentic and share what you are genuinely excited about and your audience will respond favourably.
- Be responsive when people comment on your posts to show that your funeral home is listening and that you care. If you need more time to answer a question, let them know that you are looking into it and get back to them promptly.
- The more regularly you post, the greater an opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust. Setting a schedule for your posts can also help create brand recognition.
- Focus on posts that get more engagement, let your audience’s reaction decide what you post in the future.
- Your recipe for success is to create Page posts that are interesting and useful to your potential clients and to target your messages so that the right people see them.
- How to get the most out of your Facebook posts:
- Posts with fewer than 80 characters receive 66% more engagement than lengthier counterparts.
- Questions within posts have 92% higher comment rates than non-question posts.
- Posts that have a question located at the end have a 15% higher overall interaction rate and a 2x higher comment rate than those asked in the middle of a post.
- 82% of people think Facebook is a good place to interact with brands.
- The number one reason 73% of social media users “unliked” a brand on Facebook was because the brand posted too frequently (balance is the key here).
Measuring your success
Facebook has different tools to help you measure how your page is performing. Page Insights help you look for trends so you can develop more of the best-performing content. Use Page Insights to understand who responds to your messages. Make sure that you look at the gender, age and location of the people who are the most engaged with your business so you can continue to engage them through targeted posts. Keep in mind that if one person likes your post, then all their Facebook friends will likely see your post, and that is significant, since half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network.
Facebook can be a useful tool in being able to communicate and interact with your potential clients and to build your profile in the wider community. A Facebook business Page is cheap and easy to establish, however you must be consistent with your posts and promptly respond to questions and comments coming from your audience. Remember, Facebook users are most likely to share your content that is inspiring and positive and always communicate with users as you would with a close friend, because social media is just that – social.