Remember the YouTube ad sensations created around ‘Will it Blend’ where a variety of items were placed in a blender to see how they’d fare? A fan favourite was the smart phone episode which went viral and received millions of hits. What if we could harness the power of social media and get this many post clicks?
A common misconception about social media is that this is the desired result, creating a post or article which shared and reshared reaching large numbers with a national audience.
Let’s step back and firstly look at different businesses. Blenders are a consumer product, which are sold across continents. They are a boring household product, unless they’re being used to make cold beverages for summertime gatherings. There’s not too much risk to this product other than manufacturer defects and safety issues. Creating a social media sensation with the message used above has little downside.
Independent funeral homes on the other hand, typically serve a local market and have a highly sensitive clientele. There are risks with what message is chosen.
Messages which are to be avoided are: self-promoting type articles: “Hey we participated in the annual charity golf tourney.” If this message isn’t qualified then it can be wrongly interpreted by a community. Look they’re making so much money they can send staff on golf tourneys. How often do we hear about the lavish spending habits of our politicians?
Another message type to avoid is sensationalizing a topic within the profession. “Do you know how hot the inside of a retort can get?” Sensational maybe, interesting for some maybe, insensitive for many others, likely. We all know this already. Dignity and compassion are safer routes.
Keep the message on topic. Articles which provide helpful insights, which are professionally written, which are interesting but not offensive or which demonstrate that a funeral home is an authority or leader in their community are safer and in the long-term more beneficial to the local funeral home or cemetery.