Are there certain businesses that shouldn't use social media to market? Now, you might think a business such as a funeral home, is a bad match for social media marketing. What are they going to do, tweet death notices? That would be a downer.
This was the question on my mind this week. I had received a call to talk to a funeral home about using social media to supplement their other forms of marketing. I had to ask myself the question, is this really a good idea for their line of business?
I drove to the funeral home not knowing what I would say. The first thing I learned was that these funeral directors did, indeed, love what they did, were passionate about their business and how they helped the families they served. One of their specialties was creating life stories for their recently deceased customers. They interview family members and create a story that is then told on a website for all friends and family to visit and leave comments, complete with photo images taken over the lifetime of their client.
I was floored. What a heart-warming thing to do for their clients! They tell me this is not a new idea, but something they truly enjoy doing for the families that come to them. It was all news to me, and I am sure will be news to other members of the community they serve. I could instantly see where they could ask permission from the families to tell parts of the fascinating stories they collect, highlighting some on Facebook and a blog. The community would enjoy the stories and would be impressed by the time taken by these business owners to document the lives of their clients.
During our chat, they mentioned something called a “green burial”. Apparently there are ways of planning a burial that is much more eco-friendly than our current traditions. They showed me an urn made of salt, that would biodegrade, leaving less of a footprint behind and it was beautiful. This is something their audience would find interesting. I could see blog posts and newsletter articles informing of these new techniques and choices.
So can social media marketing help build any type of business? Yes. My biggest piece of advice to these directors was that social media would allow them to join the conversation already taking place on the internet. Even a funeral home can find interesting ways to engage people in the conversation.
What do you think? Is social media right for your business? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below.