Marketing Your Business, Part IV
Using Social Media to Build Your Funeral Program Business
We do love social media sites, don’t we? That’s good news for you as you start your funeral and memorial program business. All that time folks spend on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can help you to get the word out about your products and services, if you plan a smart strategy. Here’s how.
Using Facebook to Build Your Business
A Facebook page designed to highlight your products and services, invite comments and referrals by customers and keep your business in the public eye is part of today’s smart marketing strategy.
Here are the basics:
- Create a separate Facebook page for your business! I know, I know, you want your friends and family to help get the word out about what you do, but you’ll appear more professional if you have an attractive, business-only page that highlights your products and services. Do you appreciate reading ‘ads’ disguised as personal Facebook updates? No one does, so keep your personal and professional pages separate. It is okay, however, to invite Facebook friends to ‘Like’ your business page. Use this link to Create a Facebook Business Page or a Facebook Ad Campaign (see below.)
- Decide if you’ll use Facebook Ads. Facebook offers an advertising service that allows you to target very specific audiences of Facebook users. You can set a daily limit on how much you want to spend on your advertising campaign, and if you don’t find the ad generates results, you can revise it or stop that particular campaign.
- Link to articles related to your industry on your Facebook business page. Social media marketing isn’t just about, “Buy from me!” It’s also about providing helpful information related to your business. Get in the habit of doing Google searches about funeral industry trends and link to those articles from Facebook; you’ll create interest in your Facebook page and provide a service, as well.
- Upload photo samples of your work. In some of your Facebook updates, why not link to samples on your website? They add visual interest and let people know what you’re capable of doing.
- Link to your business website. Speaking of your business website, you should always link it to your Facebook business profile. The point is to drive customers to the place where they can order your services. If you decide to write a blog, too, always have your blog posts linked to appear on your Facebook business page
- Make your Facebook business page searchable. Your business page will already be part of Facebook’s search engine as soon as it’s published, but your goal is to reach people outside of Facebook, as well. Your page can be found on search engines such as Google by making sure you provide a complete profile, including your business name and logo, and by including key phrases such as ‘funeral program design’ in the Basic Information section. Also, don’t forget to click the Local Business or Place box so that it isn’t categorized as a personal profile.
- Update often! It doesn’t help your business if the last post a potential customer sees is from six months ago. They’ll wonder if you’re still in business! If you don’t have time to do regular (at least weekly) updates, ask someone else to do it for you.
Using Twitter to Build Your Business
Twitter users get their information from others by following the tweets of favorite people and businesses. Create a Twitter account for your business that’s separate from your personal one. Set up a schedule for posting tweets, both about your business and also related topics. This is a good place to get the word out about new products and services you’re offering.
As with your Facebook business page, linking to articles related to funeral planning and trends provides a service to your potential customers. If you find you’re not tweeting regularly, try using a product such as Hootsuite to schedule your social media updates.
Two more social media marketing ideas—create a LinkedIn profile and be sure to include key phrases to let search engines know what you provide. If you enjoy working with photos, consider creating an Instagram for Business account to showcase the beautiful and creative funeral mementos you offer.
As you begin to implement these suggestions for social media marketing, make a plan and stick to it for regularly updating Facebook posts and Tweets. Second, keep the content of your social media updates professional and helpful. Third, as you learn more about your audience, refine your strategy with them in mind—what do they respond to and what do they ignore? And, finally, coordinate your social media marketing with your website and blog so that there are plenty of places for someone to find you online, all with the same message.
While building a social media presence for your funeral program business, don’t be afraid to experiment. By reaching out to social media users in ways they appreciate, you’ll always build a more loyal customer following.