Online Funeral Home Directory iMortuary.com Gets Viral Social Media Exposure

October 06, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
SEATTLE, WA (October 6, 2010) Online funeral directory website iMortuary.com is one of the first companies in the funeral industry to demonstrate the power of social media and embrace the Internet as a platform for consumers seeking death-care services.

To date, the death-care industry has been one of the slowest to adopt the Internet as part of doing business, and over 6,000 funeral homes in the United States have yet to even build a website. On Tuesday, September 28, the company proved that the Internet is a viable platform for the industry, thanks to an infographic they created that reached viral status on Yahoo Buzz, Twitter, Digg and Reddit with over 20,000 views within a 24-hour window.

The infographic, entitled "Grave Curiosities," taps into the pervasive human interest in the strange and macabre with an array of death-related trivia. Some of the facts presented include:

- Prior to the twentieth century, some European families would hire professional mourners to either look sad or wail, adding the right tone to a funeral.

- In 1992, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner purchased the crypt beside Marilyn Monroe in Westwood Village Cemetery for the price of $75,000. He said, "Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up."

These tidbits, which are embedded in a pictorial headstone, provide an interesting look at the funeral industry, stepping away from more somber facts and placing the focus on the weird and unusual. For Minda Brusse, co-owner of iMortuary, this captures much of what the company strives to do.

"Progressive organizations in the industry are beginning to harness the power of social media and the Internet to engage the public," says Brusse of her company's platform. "And that means reaching a new demographic. It's exciting to validate the power of social media for the death-care industry. Until now, nothing had ever gone viral like this."

iMortuary isn't alone in this approach. Today's generations use webcasting and memorial websites to participate in funerals they might not otherwise have had the means to attend. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of the 20,000 members of the National Funeral Directors Association offer webcasting, and those numbers are only expected to increase over time.

For iMortuary co-owner Matt Pressnall, the infographic's popularity means good news for both his company and for funeral homes around the country. "We had fun putting the infographic together, and it was wild watching all the traffic strain our servers on Tuesday," says Pressnall. "Our social media and SEO consulting is founded on our real-world successes, and this is just the beginning. We're excited to see what social media can do for the funeral industry as a whole."

The infographic is still available for viewing at http://www.imortuary.com/articles/grave-curiosities/.

About iMortuary.com

iMortuary.com is one of the most visited funeral home and cemetery directories on the Internet with over 100,000 consumers each month; the company is based in Seattle, WA, and is one of the forerunners in bringing Internet opportunities and social media to the death-care industry. Founded in 2007, the company is a proud member of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA). The company provides everything from directory information to funeral planning resources for consumers. Funeral homes and cemeteries can partner with iMortuary.com for enhanced directory listings, online pre-need leads, and social media and SEO consulting services

Minda Brusse will be presenting at the ICCFA's Sales Management and Marketing conference in January 2011 on the topic of "Getting Results with Online Leads." For more information, you can visit their site at http://www.imortuary.com.