Friday, July 31, 2015

Do you need a Facebook Bluetooth® beacon?

This small, plastic pod-like device is making big promises about the future of business. The Facebook Bluetooth® beacon promises to boost your social connections to your customers while protecting their privacy. Installation is simple and you can’t beat the cost: FREE.
We’ve requested beacons for all of our Sunset Funeral Home and Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel & Cremation Center locations. (Only a limited quantity are currently available. You can request yours now and it will arrive sometime in the future.)

It’s always exciting to have the latest gadget, but do you really need one in your funeral home or cemetery?

Just because the Facebook Bluetooth beacon is free, it doesn’t mean you should absolutely request one. Making it worth it is going to take some time investment and expertise. You’ll need to regularly engage with people using the tool. It’s not just a “set it and forget” thing like printing a brochure. If you don’t have a plan for the beacon and how you’ll use it, I suggest waiting to request one. Focus on other priorities right now, but keep it on the list.

If you’re an early adopter, you’ve probably already requested a beacon (or five). We’ll be doing lots of strategic testing to see what really makes it worthwhile to the families we serve, but I’m confident we’ll focus on two things no matter what:

Creating lots of value on the Facebook page.
Value doesn’t have to mean discounts, although we may consider offering a small gift to people who visit our page. Following the best practices of Guy Kawasaki (link to his website), we curate articles, images and ideas from around the web and serve them up to our Facebook fans without asking for anything in return. We create a culture of service, sharing information and ideas that our customers want to know – not just what we want to tell them.

Encouraging check-ins.
People are tired of hearing me say that getting people to attend a service at Sunset Funeral Home is the single best marketing tool we have. Once they do, they immediately see the value, understand why we’re different and start thinking about their own legacy. Facebook beacon promises to encourage check-ins, which would allow friends of people in attendance to see where they are. The more people checking in, the more attending a funeral becomes normalized. The more “normal” it seems, the more people who will make the effort to come pay their respects.

I’ll keep you posted on how our Facebook beacon installations are going. If you receive one, would you let me know what’s working for you and what’s not? You just might see your story in an upcoming newsletter. You can email your stories to

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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