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Should a Funeral Home Be on Instagram?

You probably clicked on this article because you are in the funeral home business and wondering whether your funeral home should be on Instagram? Or, perhaps you are not in the funeral home business, and simply curious because you wanna know how a funeral home could even use an Instagram. Unfortunately, societal and cultural norms have made everyone think that Instagram is only for celebrities trying to connect with fans, Instagram models selling flat tummy teas, or remote workers sitting by the beach with a laptop. However, there is an underbelly of social media strategists licking their chops at the number of potential consumers sitting on Instagram, scrolling and tapping. The short answer is, “yes a funeral home should be on Instagram”. Want proof? Keep reading. Virtually everyone knows that Instagram started as a photo-sharing application where users share filtered pictures with hashtag captions. Instagram, like so many social media platforms have evolved to include videos, profile “stories”, and even influencers. According to Statistica (2020), there are an estimated 1 billion Instagram monthly active users worldwide. There are an estimated 107 million Instagram users in the United States alone”. This article will provide three solid reasons why a funeral home would benefit from being on Instagram:

  • Most Instagram Users Are Millennials: A Different Type of Consumer.
  • Millennials Are Changing the Death Care Industry.
  • Instagram Has Several Tools That Will Help a Funeral Home Gain Leads.

Facebook owns Instagram, but there is a big difference in the age range of a typical Facebook user, compared to the age of a typical Instagram user. The people who use Instagram are significantly younger than those who use Facebook. According to Statistica (2020), the largest percentage of Instagram users fell within the ages of 20 – 29, which was 30.5 %, and the next largest group fell within the ages of 30 – 39 at 22.6%. Those two groups make up more than half of the active users on Instagram, which means that most of the active users are Millennials. Millennials are uniquely different with how they move through life in terms of career type, large purchases, marriage, and even death care. A large percentage of millennials are planning their deaths, which takes the stress away from their loved ones but simultaneously removes any skepticism about their last wishes. The National Funeral Directors Association found that 15.8 percent of Americans age 18 to 39 believe people should pre-plan their funerals before they’re 40 — something only 7.9 percent of people over age 60 believed. This is one reason why funeral homes should consider being on Instagram because millennials have very different attitudes. Most businesses aim to market to the older crowd because research has shown that folks over 40 are more financially stable, which means they can make purchases. However, in this case, there is a unique market segment of young people who have different ideas about death and want to plan. Amritha (2016) stated, “a wave of apps such as Everest, Cake, and SafeBeyond are emerging to help people plan their own mortal passings, right down to Instagram-worthy funerals”. Millennials are unique and most fail to conform to age-old traditions, so funeral homes should take into account these societal changes and market differently.

Millennials Are Changing the Death Care Industry

Millennials are shaking up the death care industry in a strangely positive way, which may seem weird to some, but new ideas are always a little weird. In recent years, news outlets have been reporting about how Millennials think about death and funerals because it is very different from previous generations. For example, Vox came out with an article entitled, “Why millennials are the ‘death positive’ generation”. The article describes how millennials are moving towards cremation more than those who are over 40, for various reasons. One reason is that millennials want to ensure that their loved ones are not left trying to figure out what to do with their digital assets, monetary assets, and body. Some are more concerned with the environment and do not want traditional embalming, because of the negative impact on the environment. Others have split from the spiritual practices of their parents and grandparents. Apps like SafeBeyond are growing in popularity because it is a way to send messages to family members and friends posthumously. The messages can be timed at various milestones in the lives of the surviving family and friends. Another shift in the way millennials approach death is reflected in the creation of death cafés. Death cafés are places designated for strangers to meet and greet for the sole purpose of discussing death, but over food and drinks. The main point is that these consumers are already on Instagram, open to the idea of planning their funerals, whether it includes cremation or traditional embalming. If funeral homes are on Instagram, then they would likely pick up a large percentage of millennials seeking preneed services. It is a very unique market segment that appears to view death in a non-traditional way.

Instagram Has Several Tools That Will Help A Funeral Home Gain Leads

Instagram has evolved and now has several tools outside of sharing photos that will help a funeral home gain leads, in the area of preneed planning. This article has already established that Instagram has a unique market segment that funeral homes should pay close attention to. But, how would a funeral home use Instagram? Millennials love videos and Instagram is popular for sharing videos and live streams. The live streams occur in real-time, allowing those watching to interact but can also be viewed later. Funeral homes can share videos of their staff playing with their grief-therapy dog if they have one, or anything that sets their funeral home apart from the next. For example, they can offer short, informative videos that discuss preplanning, environmental issues, or cremation – the options are endless. Another very important tool is hashtags; they are needed because it is how other users will find the uploaded videos and photos. Hashtags tend to unite people with common interests, because they can follow a hashtag and see everything uploaded dealing with a specific subject. On the other hand, story mode allows businesses to show something temporarily. The story mode is good for when a funeral home wants to ask their followers a question, share a quick poll, or just engage with the community.

Beacon Social Are Experts in the Areas of Social Media, Funeral Homes & Marketing

If you made it to this part of the article, then you know that it is a “no-brainer” for funeral homes to be on Instagram IF you are wanting to target the millennial generation. Did you notice how much data has been analyzed on millennials? Well, that is why funeral homes have a decision to make when it comes to reaching those consumers. Sure, funeral homes can ignore huge market segments of consumers who want to plan their funeral. But, why would they do that? Sure, funeral homes can create an Instagram account and try to reach those consumers. But, how effective would the targeting be? Beacon Social is a social media agency that has all of these things figured out. They have data analysts who understand data, trends, consumers, marketing, social media, unique market segments, and much more. Beacon social already knows how to set funeral homes up on Instagram, because they already have a growing clientele. Beacon social already knew millennials were planning their funerals differently than previous generations, so they understand how to market to them. If you are funeral home and want your business to thrive, then take a chance and step outside of the “norm”. The death care industry is changing every day. Young people (strangers) are meeting to discuss death and funerals at death cafés. Again, Beacon Social will eliminate stress and confusion that comes with trying to figure out how to appeal to various markets. The bottom line is that funeral homes should be on Instagram if they are ready to target the younger generations. This can include marketing to adult children with parents in the age range of 60-80. They can be ready to talk to Mom & Dad about planning ahead. Want to learn more about targeting this demographic? Request a demo!