The last couple years, I've come to this conference preaching the importance of social media as part of your overall marketing strategy. While this industry is notoriously slow to change, the good news is that I've seen a shift in thinking, as many of you have recognized the impact of social media, and have started embracing it in your business.But, there's still a lot of mystery about Facebook. Most of you see the value, but you're still not sure:How it all worksHow to maximize its impactSo today, I'm going to expose the secrets of Facebook. You're going to learn following: How Facebook determines who sees your postsHow you can use that knowledge to get more people to see your contentI'll show you real world case studies of how your peers (some in this room) are succeeding on FacebookI'll reveal a 7-step strategy for taking your Page from nothing to active, effective marketing channelI'll show you how to measure your results and see if it's all workingReveal a HUGE new Facebook feature, revealed just this week, that will affect the future of your business
Also don't worry about taking notes. Only one thing you should write down. This address for our FB Page: Facebook.com/funeralinnovations, Where you'll find all the updated slides, as well as notes & some exclusive content:
Live in beautiful Boulder, CO, in the foothills of the rockies. Want to give a quick background of how I went from being simply a tech geek within big tech company to still being a tech geek, but running my own company in the funeral industry?
How did a Midwesterner like myself up creating software for the funeral & pet loss industries?Let me tell you a story… U of MN – CS + MathInternship at MSIImmediately at IBMIBM ResearchRose quickly100+ patents & Master InventorOne problem…
Facebook caught my eye & inspired me,I wanted to do something bigger & more importantI wanted to change an industry
So I left IBM to start my own company, Funeral Innovations, with my co-founder and fellow IBMer, Greg YoungFocus on web-based solutions to help progressive funeral homes grow online, including custom websites and the industry's most engaging obituaries
We've just released a really amazing new line products, called the FI Copilotssoftware that acts just like a Copilot on a plane, because it helps automate and run your funeral business, including:FB presenceEmail marketingMonument business
Why is it so important that you are in this session right now?Because consumer behavior is evolving & evolving quicklyGrowth in your marketing is going to be online & in social mediaIf you don't go where your customers are, you risk falling behind those who doToday we are going to focus on Facebook as a marketing channel But why should you focus on Facebook over everything out there?
It's simple: Facebook now has over 1 billion active users. That's billion with a "B”That's 100 million more users than when I stood on this stage last year
And while you may only hope to get a small fraction of those users as fans of your Page, It's not just about reaching those who are direct fansIt's also about the friends and family of your fansBecause even if you're reaching a 25 yo just out of college, you are then exposing your message to her parents… or even grandparentsIf you're sharing pre-planning education, wouldn't you agree that those are important people to reach!?
Before talking strategy, let's make sure you fully understand how Facebook Pages work
Here's one of our customers' FB pagesWhen you look at this, what really stands out?Big, beautiful cover photo - first thing they see, and often what they rememberApp listingTimeline of content & milestones
Set up rolesGood if having multiple staff contributeDon't want situation where a laid off or disgruntled employee from deleting page in retribution (trust me: we have seen this happen)
How to become a fan?* One way = Click “like” on page
Add like button to websiteBecome a fan w/o leaving pageTake it a step further by adding a Fan Box.Why do you suppose this is so important?Because it provides social validation. Subconscious tells them: If those people like the page, it must be pretty good!
Once a fan, that's when the magic happenseverything you post on your page is pushed to themThey see it in their news feed when they log in to FBThis builds an interactive & ongoing channel to your customers
Now that you understand the basics of Facebook Pages, let's start uncovering the mysteries
Ever noticed when you visit FB, you see the posts of some people and brands more often than others?And did you know that when you post something to Facebook Page, if you have 1000 fans, only a fraction of them will see it?Why is that?
Answer = EdgeRankFacebook's formula for determining who sees what, and how high in the newsfeed a post is shownBy understanding this formula, you can gain an advantage, and ensure more people see each of your posts!EdgeRank is comprised of 3 main factors: affinity, weight, and time decayI'll explain each of them nowAnd give you tips to improve each factor and maximize your EdgeRank
Affinity - a measure of each fans' interaction with your pageex, 2 fans: bubbles & gigglesgiggles interacts more with your content, by liking & commenting on your postswhat that does is increases affinity between your brand and Giggles and due to edge rank, Giggles is more likely to see your future posts than will BubblessIn other words, the more a fan interacts with your content, the more likely it is they'll see your future posts
How do you use that information?Advice: Tips to craft more engaging posts
Weight - measure of how much effort involved in the engagementNot all actions your fans take are created equalIf bubbles comments or re-shares a post from your page, that carries more weight than a simple "like"Let me repeat: actions by your fans that take more effort are more valuable to your pageAs a result, Bubbles will see more of your stuff in the future, and it'll give that post a bump up in the rankings for all your other fans
Rule of Thirds1/3 content should be related to your business1/3 should be about your industry: grief tips, funeral resources, pre-planning educationfinal 1/3 should be you directly engaging your fans; talk to them, ask them questions, try adding polls
Time Decay - the freshness factorThe older a post is, the less likely to be seen, or will be shown lower in the feed
Advice: Post frequently. because of the Time Decay, you need to post often to make you have fresh content that will show up high in the feed
Let's look at some real life examples of how your peers are succeeding on FB, and what can you learn from them. Pay closest attention to how their techniques are maximizing those 3 EdgeRank factors.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & CrematoryClever game: guess the name the famous person who passed away on that day, based on cluesTheir fans submit guesses in the comments.How does this increase their EdgeRank?Higher Weight due to the commentsBecause they post daily or more, there is always fresh content appearing in their fans' feeds
Williams Funeral Home – run by Lauren Blevins & amazingly successfulLast year tragic fireAs they rebuild from this fire, they are involving their fans by posting imagesWhat makes these posts so effective?In addition to providing a human element to their brandBuilding High affinity - look at all the interactions!Remember how photo albums got the best engagement? Here is proof!
Peaceful Paws Pet CremationPeaceful Paws Tour -posts photos of their facilities and groundsWhat makes this work?Shows off a powerful aspect of their brand: beautiful facilitiesAgain, photos have increased engagement
Horan & McConatyExample of speaking directly to fansIncrease weight of interactions
Maquoketa Area Obituaries - run by Don Carson of Carson & Son Funeral HomesSeparate from their funeral home's pagePost obituaries in their communityWorks best in small townsBut what makes this so clever?Post not just his own obituaries, but his competitors!Essentially monopolizing the obituary market. Why follow his competitors' Facebook Page for obituary notifications, if you get them ALL right here!That way, he controls the information and has access to all the fans in the community - well over 1,000 fans in a very small town
Now that you understand FB Pages and EdgeRank, and you've got some ideas from your peers, let's pull it together into an advanced end-to-end strategy, to take your FB Page from zero to hero.
. Create Page & cover photoImportant first impressionIf not artistically inclined, use free pagemodo
Invite all my friends and familyCan't emphasize importance enoughSo many companies skip this step and wonder why they can't grow their pageNeed a base of fans to start engaging community & grow virallyBest way to get base is through family & friends
Post engaging content to build affinity and get viral growthWe built the Facebook Copilot to do just that, so it’s proven to us what works:PhotoboardsInspirational quotesGrief tipsFuneral service newsFacebook Copilot automates this for you. You can do it on your own as well, just make sure you stick to a schedule and stay consistent.
Ads & sponsored posts to grow further2 Kinds of ads: traditional sidebar ad units and sponsored storiesMost effective ad for growth is sponsored story, by farShows to friends/family of your fansWe've optimized these to as low as $0.70/new fan
Pre-planning content and marketing messagesAdvice: keep it interesting: education, case studies, testimonials, storiesMake it easy to get startedDon't overdo it
InsightsSee what works/doesn't. Do more of what works and less of the restSee how each post performs and what works for your audience, because every fan base is different
Power RankingsFree tool for analyzing your effectiveness and see how your page compares against others in the industryTakes under 10 secondsUpdated monthly, so you can see how you perform over time
Repeat continually - effective strategy requires patience because process is ongoingKeep engaging, using ads to enhance your reach, marketing & analyzingEach time, refine the processgrow faster and fasterIf you stay patient and refine your strategy,your effort will pay dividends now, and help your firm grow, and position you to win for years into future
New feature announced TuesdayGraph SearchLike a social version of GoogleExamples:Funeral homes that people in Madison WI likeFuneral homes that my friends likeIf you’ve built up your fan base and engage people in your community, guess who will show up on top of those queries?This will provide a huge advantage to funeral homes who take my advice, build their fan base and engage their fans
Now let’s open it up to questionsIf you want to chat more offline, contact at: firstname.lastname@example.orgGet all the notes and more tips on our FB PageLearn about our social media software at:
The Facebook Formula for Funeral Homes
The Facebook Formula Secrets for taking your funeral business viral on Facebook Zachary Garbow Co-founder, Funeral Innovations http://facebook.com/funeralinnovations