3 Ways to Make it Easier to Connect with Families In Your Community
Posted February 9, 2016
5 min read
Funeral directors are highly involved with families when honoring the deceased, but are also responsible for staying connected with the local community throughout the year. Knowing how important visibility and communication is with the families being served, here are 3 ways you can make it easier to connect in your community.
1. Distribute a community-oriented newsletter
You don’t have to be a journalist or reporter to write stories or to craft a short newsletter to connect with your local community. Keep an eye out for untold or interesting stories that help families know more about their neighbors. In the process, you will build your firm’s brand and show how you value your community.
Many funeral homes already send out a newsletter, or they started and then stopped, because of the time commitment. Here are 3 easy tips to improving your newsletter:
- Don’t start from scratch. Use news or stories your local newspaper has featured, and reach out to those who were involved. Get a new perspective or new information about the story and share it with your readers.
- Invite guest authors. Many people on your staff or in the community love to write stories and/or interview those in the community. Invite guest authors to help create the content and also increase exposure at the same time.
- Include visuals. Don’t just focus your efforts on writing the articles. When you use a visual or photo—such as a comic or an infographic—you can add a lot of value for readers. Don’t be afraid to ask your readers for their photo submissions.
2. Get social
Social media is another way to show your leadership and expertise in the industry, combined with the passion you have for your neighborhood.
Just like with your newsletter, you don’t have to create all original content to share on your social media channels. You can share and repurpose other articles that are meaningful in your area. If you follow companies, news outlets, and people you know in the community, you can re-tweet, repost or share newsworthy articles.
Here are 3 tips to increase your social media presence:
- Don’t overlook the importance of your brand’s social media profile. If you haven’t already, be sure to setup your social media profiles so that your firm looks professional and consistent across channels. Ensure your profile description is as complete as possible. You’d be surprised how many companies don’t include their website on their Facebook page, for example. Even if you aren’t ready to join a certain social media channel, at least reserve your company’s name on that channel so no one else can take it.
- Use Buffer to schedule your posts across all your social media channels. Use Buffer or a similar tool to save time and to spread out all your social media posts effectively throughout the day. Not only can you do one-click posting to your various social media channels with Buffer, but you have access to analytics so that you can discover your most popular and engaging content and best times to post. And many of these tools are free.
- Mix up the kinds of social media posts you are sharing. While you may do a bit of experimenting to find your firm’s best frequency and/or timing for social sharing, don’t forget to mix up the types of content you share with your followers. Content can include links to your website and blog, links to other resources your audience would be interested in, newsworthy information, images, excerpts, memorable quotes or short testimonials from families, and re-posts. Whenever possible, keep your content visual: include an image or video with your post, which makes your content more likely to be noticed. Adding visuals increases your chances of keeping your audience’s attention and it increases the chances of getting them to engage and share your content.
3. Get more from the events you sponsor
You probably already sponsor events in your community, however, many times, those sponsorships are limited to placing your logo on a program or a tent card on a table. Make sure you are getting full value out of those sponsorships.
Here are 3 ways to better leverage a sponsorship:
- Gain greater access. Find out who the event attendees are, and gain greater access to build relationships with them. For example, find clever ways for you to collect email addresses or other contact information from the event.
- Leverage the event activities in social media. You can post content before, during, and after the event perhaps getting a few new followers as a result. You can also take pictures from the event and use them in your social media efforts or newsletter.
- Connect with other sponsors. Use social media around the event to find and follow other sponsors that are committed to the cause or event as well. You likely have something in common with them and therefore, their customer base might be of interest to you as well. If you connect with and tweet or re-tweet each other’s postings during the event, you both are exposed to one another’s customer bases. It’s a great way to build awareness and it costs nothing.
Ready for more ways to take your business to the next level? CRäKN is the simplest way to manage your funeral home. Learn more about our powerful business tools, and see them in action by requesting a demo.
We help funeral professionals save time, prevent duplicate work & reduce errors. Focus on the family, let us focus on helping you. Request a demo today!