Traditional Facebook Posts Only Reach a Fraction of Friends

Families have been using Facebook to notify friends, relatives, and others about the death of a loved one for years. The biggest challenge, according to Facebook, is users who rely on a traditional Facebook “post” generally reach only 10% to 40% percent of their friends on the platform.

Globally recognized sources for obituary information such as, or local resources like the newspapers or funeral homes are all places to find information about the deceased, but they share one common problem: the audience has to be LOOKING for the obituary. They are not receiving a push notification or being “sought out” using the newest tools available.

Kim Safran, iPublish Media Solution’s VP of Sales, explains the gap created by current obituary distribution methods in today’s fragmented media environment.

“When my father passed away, I had no problem locating family members, people who lived in his retirement community and a few lifelong friends. But there were many people I couldn’t reach because there was no method to do so. I know my Dad grew up outside of Detroit. He graduated from Michigan State in 1962 after he served in the army. He worked for General Motors and the American Cancer Society before settling into his long-time career in commercial real estate in Chicago. He & my Mom retired to Vero Beach, Florida a few years ago. Throughout his life, he was active in sailing clubs and the Episcopal church. There were multiple locations, multiple employers, and many colleagues and friends I didn’t know personally, and had no way to reach. Facebook’s advertising targeting tools solve this problem.”

Introducing AdPortal Targeted Obituaries

At the request of current newspaper and funeral home partners, iPubish Media Solutions designed a way to take the content in the newspaper obituary and turn it automatically into a targeted Facebook “advertising” campaign using AdPortal Targeted Obituaries.

The biggest benefit is that people who care about the deceased will not feel left out because they were not alerted. Facebook ads allow a more complete way to distribute information about the death and funeral service to significantly more people who need to know, so they can find important details like the time and location of the service, and other relevant information.

The targeted distribution allows families to reach unique groups that their loved one participated in, but whom they may not personally know, including people associated with schools, interests, memberships, employers, affiliations and hard-to-reach digital-only and digital-first audiences. Via integration with the newspapers’ Facebook Business Manager account, funeral homes can assist families in selecting from Facebook’s built-in targets, allowing every obituary to be individually customized. So for example, the tasteful ads can be targeted to key words such as Detroit, Chicago, Vero Beach, Army, Michigan State, General Motors, Sailing, Episcopal Church and finally by an age range matching up with the deceased’s most likely colleagues and friends. There are multiple options to which to direct the click-through traffic.

The media logo which shows at the top of the obituary, and the funeral home logo is also on the post which can receive thousands of impressions per week. In our beta tests, the clickthrough rate averaged over 20%.  Think about that: if there were 10,000 impressions, 2,000 people/clicks actually went to the URL to which the Facebook Obituary was pointed! It is an easy and convenient way for families to extend the reach for obituaries to the people who need to know.

iPublish Media Solutions, a company, is the leading provider of obituary software for the newspaper industry, processing over 600,000 paid obituaries in 2019.

For a demo, please contact Kim Johnson, VP of Sales, iPublish Media Solutions.