Announcing A Death On Social Media

Social media plays a large part in many of our lives. And, as a result, is often used to share the news when a loved one passes. Here is our guide to announcing a death on social media.

What is a death announcement?

Simply put, a death announcement informs people of a recent death and usually includes the following information:

  • Full name (including maiden name)
  • Dates of birth and death
  • Location of death
  • Details regarding the funeral and/or memorial service

If you need a bit more guidance, here are some fully customisable templates you can use: Death Announcement Templates from Canva.
A death announcement, also known as a death notice, is traditionally placed in a newspaper. But in recent years people have posted more informal versions on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Is it wrong to announce a death on social media?

Nowadays, social media plays a big role in our day-to-day lives, with many people posting positive news such as engagements, births, and new homes. Although announcing a death on Facebook can feel slightly taboo, if you remain sensitive to the person who has died and their grieving family, social media can be a useful way to share the news.

What are the rules for dealing with death on social media?

There are no ‘rules’ as such, but it’s important to consider the feelings of those who will be reading the post. Before you post anything on social media, make sure it’s the right thing for you, your family and friends of the deceased. If you are going to post online, it can be a good idea to tell close friends and family members in person or over the phone first.

What do you say on social media when someone dies?

When deciding what to say on social media, consider the following:

  • Keep it simple – a traditional announcement usually includes the name of your loved one, the date of their passing, and any details about the memorial service. Alternatively, you may opt for a more sentimental post that includes personal memories and a photo of the deceased.
  • Remember your audience – not everyone will appreciate receiving this sort of news on social media; it’s worth considering this when writing the post. Additionally, some people include a warning message at the top i.e. Sad news alert.
  • Consider the sharing settings – some people have hundreds, even thousands of friends on Facebook, not all of whom you’ll want to share personal information with. Most social media platforms give you the option to adjust the privacy settings so only certain people will see the announcement.
  • Think about the timing – the death of a loved one is a very difficult time for many people, it can take days, weeks or even months to adjust to the news. With this in mind, we suggest waiting at least a day or two before you share the news online.
  • Be sensitive – lastly, think carefully about what you post. Ask yourself: will it offend anyone? Would your loved one appreciate what you have written? Is it something you’d want to read yourself?

Creating a digital memorial

A digital memorial follows a more formal obituary style and lets you memorialise your loved one’s social media account. Think of it like a digital legacy which acts as a celebration of life; friends and family can share personal memories about their loved one. To create a digital memorial on an Instagram or Facebook page, you’ll need your loved one’s username and a copy of their death certificate. Find out more about memorialised Facebooks accounts or memorialised Instagram accounts.

What is the etiquette for family members posting on social media?

It usually falls to a member of the immediate family to post an announcement on Facebook – if they wish. Additionally, some close family members will choose to share a memorial post to share their loss with others.

What is the etiquette for funeral attendees posting on social media?

If you are attending a funeral and want to post about it on social media, it’s respectful to check with the bereaved family first. They are going through a difficult time and may prefer you not to discuss the death online. Alternatively, the family may have set up a tribute or donation page for mourners.

How to invite people to a funeral on social media?

Social media can be a great way to inform friends and close acquaintances about a funeral memorial service. But remember, only include information you are happy for a large number of people to see, and be specific about the plans.

Streaming funeral services

Nowadays, it’s fairly simple to live stream a funeral service online using your smartphone or digital camera. Benefits include:

  • More people can pay their respects
  • It prevents large gatherings
  • Family and friends can watch from anywhere in the world

There are a number of public platforms which you can use including: Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook Live. Or, alternatively, if you’d prefer a private stream it may be worth speaking to your chosen funeral home or funeral director; many crematoriums already have a system in place to accommodate this.

Dealing with online accounts after death

Following the death of a loved one, as well as funeral arrangements, you will need to consider what to do with their social media accounts – if they had any. Here is our guide to dealing with online accounts after death.

How to pick a funeral director

You can be assured that every funeral home that is part of the Funeral Partners family will provide outstanding client service.

Documents and certificates

Certificates you will need to enable you to start arranging the funeral and sorting out the affairs of the person who has died.

Letting people know

Picking up the telephone to tell close family or complete strangers such as an employer about the death is usually difficult.

Further Reading: Arranging a funeral

Read about how funerals are arranged and what services you can expect to get.