Social Media is the “in” thing. We often say to our clients – where are your customers? If they aren’t using Twitter or Facebook then why bother using it for business purposes?
No one really likes discussing death and the topics that surround it – so why would they want to even consider it on social media?
That begs the question: how should a Funeral Home use social media, if at all?
Well this depends on a variety of factors – who your market is, what will be successful on social media and on what social media channel you operate in.
Many funeral homes are already exploiting channels such as Facebook to share obituaries and funeral dates. This is of course a useful feature, which should be utilised with social media, but it should not be your only type of content. People will only check your content and follow/like your page if you post content which is interesting and different from your competitors.
Think about where your funeral home is situated
Are you operating in a small town where everybody knows everybody? Then your messages should be more personable and meaningful than a simple announcement. Whether it be a remembrance post (after 1 year) or a death of a previous local, thinking of social media as more than a simple noticeboard is the easiest way to get in the right frame of mind.
Larger funeral homes (which often deal with people they’ve never met before) may find it appropriate to share famous deaths from around the world and share alternative ways to celebrate a life. This will act as a break from the otherwise seemingly continual stream of obituaries.
What sorts of things work on social media
What works on social media? It’s not like you can post pictures of dead people…
Social media can offer potential customers an opportunity to “view” your facilities. Taking photos of all available areas can show off your home and help guide people to your home. The funeral industry is relatively insensitive to price. This means that once they physically view your premises, they usually commit to doing the funeral service there. Therefore, you all that is needed is to get people to visit your home and if seeing photos of it online helps, then it is definitely worth doing.
Social media can help give ideas for other potential customers. Taking photos of other services and posting other ideas of how to celebrate a loved one’s life is another way of adding varying content to your page.
Which channel are you on?
The Social Media channel you use will determine whether what you post will be successful or not. Twitter encourages short text messages with a link whereas Facebook thrives on videos & photos. Pinterest focuses purely on photos, a useful tool if you want to share photos of your home/grounds or beautiful services (which can be shared with attendees).
Ensuring you use the appropriate content for each channel will prevent your social media efforts being frowned upon.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Jonathan Malcolm Lewishttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJonathan Malcolm Lewis2013-12-02 16:38:472013-12-02 16:38:47Social Media Marketing For Funeral Homes
A Twitter manager is an individual who monitors one or more Twitter accounts and engages with Twitter users for those accounts. They are more than an automatic tweeting machine. They think of ways to engage their followers, how to gain new ones and spend much of their time interacting with the Twittersphere (the space of Twitter).
A Twitter manager must keep in mind that they are an entity and represent the values and voice of the account that entity belongs to. This is particularly difficult when they manage multiple accounts as they have to reflect multiple personas in their tweets.
What does a Twitter manager do?
These attributes are exactly what a regular Twitter user will do. However we’re talking about it and looking at it from a Twitter manager’s point of view. Here are the activities a Twitter manager undergoes and how they do them differently…
Creates original tweets: when a tweet first comes into existence it is said to be original, rather than taken from someone else’s tweet.
Shares tweets: this is where a tweet is tweeted again and the original sender is notified and credited. These types of tweets can help smaller pages generate hype and develops relationships with the original tweeter.
Sends and replies to direct messages: known as DMs, direct messages allow twitter users to message each other privately. This opens up the Twittersphere to the sharing of personal details and private conversations.
Uses #hashtags and copies @people in tweets: by using a hashtag or at symbol in a tweet you notify users of that tweet. It comes up in their feeds and is a more reliable way of getting your tweets seen by the Twittersphere.
Follows #hashtags and conversations: a hashtag records all tweets with it attached and you can search via hashtags to follow a topic or conversation. This is crucial to success for Twitter managers as they can follow the best conversations from specific topics related to the account(s) they manage. They show you who tweets the most in that topic, who is important in that topic, what trends are rising and even helps you keep up with big news and events.
Balances their number of followers with the number of people they are following: this is another way of getting noticed. By following a Twitter account (a user) you encourage them to see what tweets you make and they will often reciprocate the follow. So this subsequently grows your followers and provides you with more original tweets to retweet from that user you followed. This also allows you to get more in touch with your followers by direct messaging who you follow as long as they also follow you.
Tools of a Twitter manager
www.tweetdeck.com = this is a powerful tool that grants you the power to post using multiple Twitter accounts, schedule posts and see every corner of each Twitter account in an instant. Being able to view messages and posts all on one screen improves productivity by a lot, even for just a single account.
www.tweriod.com = if you’d like to know when your followers are online the most, use Tweriod. They’ll send you a report showing you when your followers are most active. From here you can schedule your best tweets using Tweetdeck so they get the most impact and following.
Find many more on the Twitter Tools Listly. There are many tools to follow metrics and statistics for Twitter accounts and show you exactly how to use your account to it’s fullest potential.
Pitfalls of a Twitter manager
Be careful when replying – as a Twitter manager, your voice is that of the accounts you are managing. You have to maintain a constant persona for each account and be careful not to stir up negativity in your followers. For example, I’ve created conversations by simply asking people about what they do in their daily lives. They then get interested enough in me to look at the company web page and learn more about the brand I’m managing.
Share for your audience, but avoid profanity – as you re-tweet content you’ll see great tweets that are inappropriate in language, but perfect in context. Tweak these tweets to be appropriate and make sure you read tweets over a few times. It is easy to quickly retweet something that makes you laugh in the context of the account you manage.
Always give recognition of the source – if you know where it came from, recognise the creator because Twitter is all about following conversations and tweets from the source. If you re-tweet without saying who the tweet is from a lot of the time users will feel you’ve cheated the impact of the original tweet. It discredits your account and makes it seem like you put less effort into it.
Have personality, but don’t be personal – avoid getting too comfortable in your role. Have strict rules in place with how relaxed you can be on interacting with your followers.
Balance your followers and followings – try to keep these levels the same or have your followings higher than the number of followers you have. This promotes constant growth and makes sure you’re friendly with everyone in the industry you’re following for whichever account you are managing.
Final notes on Twitter
Twitter is all about getting shared and found, getting the most notice from your tweets and connecting with your followers and industry more closely. That level maintains a professional feel but again being able to become personal with your customers and industry is incredibly powerful for a company’s public relations.
Have all your activities reflect these points and connect with your audience and your industry on a level like no other!
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Theo Martinhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgTheo Martin2013-10-22 17:00:242013-10-22 13:40:07How to be a successful Twitter manager
Facebook hasn’t replaced any newsletter (at least not yet but you never know what Facebook’ll do next). What Facebook has done is equal the amount of traffic driven to our website from our weekly newsletter. And helped us to recruit new opted-in newsletter subscribers.
Better yet – it’s all free.
Key things to note: Our weekly newsletter has over 4,500 subscribers. Our Facebook page had just 400 (over the course of this experiment we increased this to 550). Wow – that’s ten times fewer subscribers but they’re visiting and re-visiting the website.
Everyone knows the theory of email newsletters – their open and clickthrough rates so I won’t waste time here. We’re going to tell you how you can drive more traffic to your website from Facebook. Then invite visitors to join the newsletter.
What we were doing
We posted 3 times a day on Facebook, for Facebook – all of which was shared from other users and pages on Facebook. These posts were backed up by regular blog post entries (one every day) which were automatically fed to our Timeline. Very standard.
So what did we change?
There were 3 major changes.
The first was to do with posting amounts and timing. We increased the frequency of posting and changed what time of day we posted Facebook updates. This was increased to 5-6 times a day (effectively doubling our previous posting frequency).
The second major change is where we post from. We changed all sources of our posts to our website and then linked to them.
Our third major change was where we sourced our content from. It’s important to note here we hardly ever created original content – we either shared others or repurposed our archived content.
To facilitate changing the source of our posts to our website we installed new plugins. People will spend less time on our Facebook page because we are directing them to our website. As a result, many of the plugins we installed were to make sure our content is still shared (which often doesn’t happen once you leave a social media site). As we knew many of our visitors would also be arriving from a mobile device (Facebook’s App is becoming more widely used) we paid particular attention to how our site looks on mobile devices.
Step 1: Smarter Posting Times
Our audience is active at all times of the day. We were initially posting 3 times daily between 9am and 5pm – Not the smartest move when you look at the graph below of our visitor traffic over 24 hours.
Click To Enlarge
For this reason – we opted to post every 4-5 hours. Remember – we don’t want this to take up all our time and we definitely don’t want to be up all night so we chose to schedule our Facebook posts. To enable auto-posting of blog at all times of day we installed new plugins which I’ll discuss below.
Step 2: Make The Website The Destination
We want to drive traffic off Facebook to our website. This is marketing real estate that we control and manage. We’re not dependent on Facebook’s grace. Making most of your posts direct to your website is therefore logical. And remember our objective is to drive readers from Facebook to becoming opted-in newsletter subscribers.
This of course means publishing content designed for Facebook on your website. Whether you’re sharing an article or a photo, upload it to your site (add a link on the post to credit the photograph if appropriate). Don’t just link them straight to the original source, ideally you’re seen as the source of the content so they spend longer on your site and less elsewhere.
With our new plugins – photos are uploaded from our website to Facebook automatically. When a user clicks on a photo expecting it to enlarge they are instead redirected to our website (where there is a larger image front and centre). Bingo – we’ve just driven traffic from Facebook to our site. From here you have 2 challenges –
How can they share this with their friends?
What’s going to keep them from leaving your site?
The first challenge is easily answered – plugins which I will discuss later on. The second is to have an attractive website littered with quality content – this is discussed just below.
Step 3: Sourcing Quality, “Original” Content
To ensure our content is appealing, we need it to be socially shareable. While there are no guarantees, using already proven socially shareable content is a start. But you don’t want to appear a copycat. So how do you get proven socially shareable material while still looking “fresh” and “original”? The easiest strategy is to find content from sources other than Facebook. Pinterest was a great resource for me as pictures make the best Facebook posts and most photos came with a short description or piece of information – perfect.
Setting Up Your Website: Plugins Used
Below is a list of the plugins you’ll want to install if you’re on WordPress. I’ve described the types of plugins you want before stating what plugin we used. These plugins are all free and you may have your own preference.
New Automatic Posting To Social Media (Facebook/Twitter).
NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster [Hands down the best autoposter plugin. Fully customisable, plenty of social media options and looks like the posts were shared straight from Facebook. 2 great features of this plugin are that you can choose individual posts to be image posts or linked posts etc & Imports Facebook comments so your website appears popular]
A more simple “Like Us” button further up the News main page.
Facebook Social Plugin Widgets(This plugin installs widgets to be used wherever – we used them in the sidebar of our blog page [note page and not post])
When someone enters our site (for the first time) a like us on Facebook plugin pops up [This doesn’t interfere with our pre-existing Newsletter signup popup].
So what were the results of our changes? The graph below reveals all. With a simple change in the frequency and timing of posts our weekly reach exploded. This is most likely due to reaching more individuals as opposed to reaching the same people multiple times.
Click To Enlarge
Results of Our 2nd Change
The screenshot below is of our website’s referrals for the 2 week period before and during our Facebook efforts. As you can see, vast improvements. We basically received 1000 extra page views each week (remember, at the time we only had 400 people liking our page). I’ve highlighted the Twitter referrals as well (t.co) as although we designed this campaign for Facebook – using the NextScript Autoposter plugin we also published the same content to Twitter (although we changed the structure of the titles and links etc from within the plugin’s settings). You’ll notice the amount of referrals we got from Facebook Mobile (m.facebook.com). Good thing we had WPtouch installed so our page would look good on any device.
Click To Enlarge
Did Our Plugins Do Their Job?
I was initially skeptical when installing the Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox – no one likes popups. After 2 weeks though, we picked up 50 likes from external “Like” buttons. These buttons were only in 2 places, the first was in the sidebar on the blog page the second was the aforementioned lightbox. I’m almost 100% sure the lightbox is where we picked up all of those likes.
Click To Enlarge
Sling pic and both social sharing bars (vertical and horizontal) picked up a few extra “Likes” and retweets which was nice – nothing to write home about but every little bit counts. WPtouch can be attributed to the 13 mobile likes as although it means people liked our Page from Facebook (on a mobile device), the website must have been attractive enough to have convinced them.
The initial results are all very promising, only time will tell how good a long term strategy this is. The short term gains were an instant increase in likes going from 400 to 550 in 2 weeks, engagement going up and a large increase in unique visitors and page views. There were of course more minor, intricate strategic choices made during this period and still being made now – these will be discussed in a later post.
If you’d like any help setting these plugins up or want to discuss how this can apply to your online strategy get in touch by leaving a comment below.
Wildfire was one of the first apps we found to do promotions on the Facebook platform. Founded by cool Kiwi entrepreneur Victoria Ransom, they got bought by Google and have clearly been spending time refocusing their work onto large customers who can afford $2,500 per month fees. The little people will have to go elsewhere in future.
Here’s a list we curated on List.ly of Wildfire Alternatives. Please add your own favourites.
A self-serve tool that allows you to create a new kind of promotion; include digital music rewards for every participant to increase engagement, and only pay for rewards for your fans. HipRewards promotions work seamlessly on all devices, even mobile. You'll gain fascinating insights on who your fans are and what they think.
TidalWave 's new premium Customer Service App creates a 'round-trip' solution for your Social Customer Service needs. By combining Social Media and BPMS into Social BPM, you can now address your clients needs directly through a combination of TidalWave for Facebook and TidalWave Process Manager.
Allows anyone to drive traffic, leads, and sales through campaigns on Fan Pages or mobile devices. Also, with one click, we create a mobile app based on your social data.Our goal is to provide a tool that caters to a brand new business looking to get started, a mid size business or agency focused on growth, or a market leader looking to empower their evangelists.
Votion helps Brands and Publishers create & keep customers through content types such as Brackets, Quizzes, Visual Polls, StackUp, Interactive Lists and MatchUps that are crafted for engagement. Our products build dialogs between brands & consumers
Social Campaigns from Constant Contact makes it easy for small businesses to create promotions and offers exclusively on Facebook. Integrated email and social posting features help to promote your offer to all of your social and email contacts to drive them to your Facebook page. Detailed reports track unique visitors, new fans, offer conversions, shares and new email addresses. Grow your fans and turn them into repeat customers and advocates!
Zeus Contest and Sweepstakes products are for one-time use and include the technology for either a Facebook Page and/or a standalone microsite (for up to 90 days) and ALSO include the complete Official Rules specific to your promotion. @zeuspromoapp
Piqora is an advanced Pinterest Analytics Solution that makes it really easy to identify and connect with influential brand advocates, get actionable insights into trending pins and boards, and measure key virality metrics to quantify brand engagement on Pinterest. Sign up for a free 14 day trial at www.piqora.com
Facebook contests are easy with OfferCandy. Create a sweepstakes in minutes with our easy to use, customizable templates. Engage with your facebook fans and track the results. No design knowledge needed. Grow your fans and in turn your business.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-04-17 15:56:402013-04-30 10:55:14Alternatives to Wildfire as they withdraw pay-as-you-go
Here’s a great guide to how to find the best digital agency for your business brand needs.
Getting an organisation who matches your needs and is able to deliver to your brief takes time and careful analysis. Get yourself all the information you need in order to find the best agency and then you have to brief them well.
Writing an awesome creative brief is a challenge and one we can help you out with – even if we’re not doing the work for you. Getting the language and the articulation of your requirements correct will shortcut the selection process of finding the best digital marketing team for your needs.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-01-23 10:00:002014-05-28 16:12:22Hire the right digital marketing agency - a guide
Wests New Zealand is a Dunedin based manufacturer of Cordials and Soft drinks. Wests have been producing beverages since 1876 and are currently in the process of spicing up their branding. This includes the purchase of a new bottling machine that allows them to customise their bottles.
Creative Agency Secrets spoke with them to discuss ways they can improve their marketing efforts using the Wests NZ Facebook page.
Facebook marketing goals
Their goals for Facebook include increasing their followers and developing more consistent levels of engagement.
By improving their Facebook marketing they also hope to maximise the potential that this new bottling machine will create. They want to achieve this by generating excitement and anticipation amongst their customers before the new bottles come into circulation.
Because of the investment required for the new bottling machine, they are looking to be as cost efficient as possible with their marketing campaign.
By leveraging their already established Wests NZ Facebook presence they will be able to achieve these objectives with minimal costs.
Wests had already created a solid foundation of Facebook fans, but found that they had reached a standstill. They weren’t gaining new followers and they weren’t consistently keeping their reach and engagement at high levels.
Creative Agency Secrets recommends Building Social Engagement
We gave them some recommendations on how they could go about improving these statistics, which can also be used for their promotion of their new bottling machine:
Regular posting to help stabilise reach and engagement of their Facebook fans.
Utilising and 80/20 rule when thinking about posts. 80% are aiming to build engagement and the other 20% are marketing their own products and specials.
Be active on other group pages (mainly by sharing and liking posts) that are in their product or geographical area. This is to get visitors to these pages to also visit the Wests page.
Would you like to know what ideas we have for your business?
Get in touch with us for a FREE 20 minute chat on the the phone or Skype.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Brad Jameshttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgBrad James2012-12-07 09:00:002012-12-06 17:16:23Facebook marketing for a drink brand on a small budget
List.ly is a list building website that allows you to build and curate shareable lists. These are then viewable by others.
People can ‘like’, ‘dislike’, comment or even add items to the list. This results in a list that re-organises items based on their popularity. You can then embed these lists in your website or blog. So, rather than directing traffic to lists you’ve built on Facebook or Twitter, you can keep that traffic on your own site! One of our first principles of marketing: build your own audience on assets you own.
Getting started with List.ly
Creating lists is simple. Go to the list.ly site and click create a ‘new list’, then put in a name and description. Then all thats left is to add your content, simple.
By delving into the advanced options you can also create branding on your list. The advanced options allow you to add tags, a header image and links back to your website. This means that Listly will also help you promote your brand through the header image, and also give you another backlink to your website.
How can brands and agencies use List.ly?
There is huge potential for brands to leverage Listly in order to gather customer feedback. Feedback is key in developing new products or making adjustments to existing products. Listly can be leveraged to create feedback, and even to get new insights into what your customers want.
Simply create a list of your products (or even future product ideas) and watch how customers interact with it. They will vote up the products they like, and vote down the products they don’t or they can leave comments.
In addition to this give them the opportunity to contribute their own ideas. If they add something to the list that resonates with your other customers it will climb up the ranks and give you new products/developments to consider. The best part of this is that not only are you getting ideas that your existing customers want and will buy, you’re getting them for FREE!
As a bonus you will also receive alerts from Listly when someone adds an item to your list. So you always know when something is added to your list, as well as who added it. You can also follow other peoples lists. This feature helps you to stay up to date with the how lists you’re following are changing and the new ideas that are being added.
Lists of Tips
Creating an industry specific list of tips allows you to easily find out what content your followers engage with the most. By following what tips people are voting up or down you are able to see what they want to know more about. This allows you to better plan out your blogs to appeal directly to your audience and will help to prevent you wasting time producing content that your audience isn’t interested in.
These ideas only highlight some of the potential that list.ly can offer in terms of content and product development strategies.
Do you have any other strategies? Have you used list.ly? Let us know your thoughts.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Brad Jameshttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgBrad James2012-11-30 10:00:002012-11-30 15:49:48How to use List.ly as a Marketing tool
Step up to the plate, England Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys from the NFL. As we did last time, we will be looking at how these sporting brands engage with their huge number of followers/ likers and critiquing who does it best, as well as providing our suggestions for improvement along the way.
The All Blacks numbers speak for themselves, they are a head above any other NZ brand on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll start with Facebook.
Their Facebook page has just over 1.87 million followers (at time of writing) with an average of 50,000 Facebook users talking about it at any one time. They use the ‘favourites boxes’ in a basic but effective way, including; photos, videos, online store, E-calander, Youtube account, events, live streaming and an RSS blog feed. Possible improvements here could be a competition box/giveaway box, or a Fan Photos box offering high quality All Blacks photos for fans to use as their own cover photo on Facebook.
They average 3 posts on any given day but this can change if events are happening or important news is being circulated. Every post includes a photo or video/news link as well as posting polls and finishing all posts with a question of sorts. One of their most popular posts of late was‘Who has the better signing pose, Ma’a or Dan?’ and includes a photo of the two players signing jerseys at school event. It is very simple, asks a question and has a photo. A great way to get involved and engage with their fans. The post received almost 3,000 likes and 400 comments.
The All Blacks Twitter account is also used in a very engaging way and has an impressive 175 thousand followers. They send regular tweets with news updates, promotional info, the live location of training’s and events and post twitpics of fans at the events. They use hash tags effectively and retweet mentions of the brand/messages of support. A possible improvement for their Twitter engagement would be to tweet less (currently anywhere between 10 and 25 tweets a day) and mention fans as well as retweeting messages. They could also start up hash tags that can reach certain players or coaches and think about a ‘Player Takeover’ – more on that soon. Read more
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rob Lanehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRob Lane2012-11-07 10:50:252012-11-08 05:24:32Battle of the Brands - A Sporting Engagement
Following up to yesterdays post, I’m now going to look at the top NZ brands on Facebook and compare them to our most engaging brands, our most trusted brands and the most engaging brands on Facebook in the US.
Interesting side note: The All Blacks were left off this list despite have 1.8 million fans. I guess rugby teams aren’t brands??? More on this later.
As you can see, there are stark differences between the top brands by numbers and the top brands by engagement with only Air New Zealand and Nutella (Aus & NZ) truly engaging with their large number of fans.
What does this tell us? Numbers aren’t everything! Just ask Barack Obama. If anyone figures out how to engage with fake Twitter and Facebook accounts , let us know.
To add a further factor of interest, not a single brand from New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brands list appears on either of these facebook lists. This shows us you don’t have to be the well known knight in shining armour to engage with people online, you just have to know how to do it right.
So lets focus on the most engaging brands on facebook as the more realist statistic on social media success. In the Top 10 most engaging brands in New Zealand we have four alcoholic drink companies, two foodstuff companies, two communication network providers, one airline and we can’t forget Persil NZ washing detergent.
Compare those brands to the most engaging facebook brands in the United States we see a huge difference. Leading the way are five television networks, followed by one sporting event (non US), one supermarket, one alcoholic drink company, one restaurant and one motorcycle manufacturer. Its safe to say that if Kiwis have a drinking problem then Americans have an even bigger television problem.
So we now know who is engaging the most with their fans. The next question is, how are they doing it??
Tomorrow we will put two brands from each list head to head in our ‘Battle of the Brands’ feature to showcase different ways to engage with your fan base. See you then.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rob Lanehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRob Lane2012-10-02 11:35:592012-09-24 18:58:29Fan Engagement - has a real ring to it doesn't it?