Weddings, Funerals and Social Media

Today I had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral. It was not unexpected, and thankfully she went peacefully.

As I sat in the ceremony and the later at the wake, I noticed many people were on their phones, text messaging, tweeting, facebooking and surfing the web like at any other social gathering.

It got me thinking…

How long before people begin to add (and in my opinion harness) social media for good at such gatherings? As the mouse jumped on the wheel and got my social media brain going I thought how could social media be integrated into social gatherings like funerals and weddings.

Here are my thoughts.

Funerals

Twitter Fountain ~ Claim a hashtag, as an example #CelebrateAnne, Encourage guests to tweet during the reception and share memorable stories, favorite quotes, fond memories, and pictures. This would also allow people who couldn’t attend the reception to interact and engage with their loved ones.

**Social Good Tie-In** The family could donate money so for each Tweet to the church where the service was held**

Create a Ning commuity ~ It would allow loved ones to share longer stories with relatives and loved ones. This might especially be valuable for a terminal patient, or a way to grief in the case of a sudden death.

Weddings

Photo courtesy of funny-wedding-ideas.com

Create a Facebook Event – Invite all wedding guests to the event. Ask guests to share their favorite memories and pictures of the couple. These comments and pictures could easily be turned into a slideshow during the reception.

Claim a Hashtag and Use a TwitterFountain – (Ex. #ShippWedding) Encourage guests to Tweet pictures and share fun moments from the reception. Depending on the social media savvyness of your guests, you could leverage a reduced price on the venue by encouraging guests to check-in using Foursquare, Yelp (write positive review), Facebook Places, etc…

**Social Good Tie-In** Take something traditional away (I’m not sure exactly what to take away, but I’m sure there’s something with all excess associated with weddings theses days) and assign a monetary value for each Tweet ~ Then make a donation on behalf of the entire wedding to a cause or organization.

As our use of social media continues to evolve, it will be very interesting to see how and where it finds its way into such important parts of our culture like funerals and weddings.

What do you think?

-Andrew

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About Andrew_ShipPR
I am a communications professional with a track record of proven success as a social media strategist and social media community manager. When I'm not working I love to play golf, run and go out to dinner.

3 Responses to Weddings, Funerals and Social Media

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Weddings, Funerals and Social Media « The PR Social Media Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Craig McGill says:

    At least you aren’t suggesting a Foursquare badge unlocked at crematoriums! I think to ask those at the service to be doing something else does a dis-service to all involved. The point of funerals – normally – is to be thinking back and reflecting internally, not also doing it with a keyboard in hand, which distracts from your concentration of the person who has passed away.

    Weddings are slightly different. They are a celebration but yet again, like the best events, they won’t be tweeted. Why? Because people are too busy having fun in the real world to pull out the phone and tweet.

    • Thanks for the comment Craig ~ I was more so talking about live-tweeting at the wake as opposed to the actual service. I definitely agree that tweeting during a ceremony like a funeral would be a definite dis-service.

      -Andrew

      P.S. I think you might be on to something with that Foursquare badge ,)

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