A man explores new Facebook updates on his phone.

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

We recently discussed 5 big marketing trends that will impact your funeral home this year. On the list was social media marketing — specifically Facebook. One study found 71% of small business owners plan to incorporate more Facebook marketing into their overall marketing plan this year.

 

Before we get into the new updates coming in 2018, let’s recap the biggest trends and updates from last year.

These trends have been extremely effective for funeral homes’ marketing efforts. You can expect they’ll be just as important in 2018.

 

In order to extend your reach and drive engagement with families in your community, here are the big updates coming to Facebook that you need to know.

 

Facebook News Feed Update

The year’s still young, but that didn’t stop Facebook from already rolling out their first major update of 2018.

 

Facebook’s new update was an overhaul of the News Feed — the main feature of Facebook that determines the stories, pictures, links, and advertisements that a user sees when they scroll through their account.

 

The update is important because it’s going to change how your funeral home page interacts with your audience. Facebook changed the News Feed so that people will see “more posts from friends and family … we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

 

They warned that some businesses might see a decline in engagement and traffic from their content. That is unless their content can spark conversation and meaningful interactions among users.

 

Here’s what Facebook said about their update in a press release.

 

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook — in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos… Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”

 

This is big news for funeral homes. To make sure your funeral home’s content doesn’t get pushed to the bottom of the feed, or even removed from the News Feed altogether, you’ll need to prioritize your Facebook marketing efforts. That means creating valuable and consistent content.

 

Ideas for Engaging Families After the News Feed Update

  • Hire an intern to help with your social media marketing efforts.
  • Host more local community events and share them via Facebook. Download this free guide for easy ways to plan and market your events.
  • Download our free social media kits of engaging, ready-to-use posts to share with your families. Here’s a link to the free download for January. And make sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter for free social media kits every month!
  • Use more live videos. Check out our blog for ways your funeral home can effectively use Facebook Live.

Facebook Messenger Update

Marketing through messenger apps, such as Facebook Messenger, was a huge trend last year. That’s why Facebook is expected to roll out a new update later this year called Messenger Broadcast.

 

It’s essentially a marketing tool that will allow your funeral home to send mass messages to your audiences. The new tool allows you to customize a welcome message, a title and subtitle for your message, a call to action (such as visiting your website or contacting your funeral home), and a whole lot more.

 

Think of it like direct mail or email marketing, only in Messenger. It’s an exciting update that will help your funeral home increase its reach within the community. Learn more about it here.

 

How does your funeral home plan to use Facebook to connect with families this year? Share with us in the comments below!

 

Like our Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on funeral news, innovative ideas, and ways we can help make things easier for you and the families you serve.