Why Should Accountants Use Social Media?
Social media is your accounting firm’s opportunity to connect with potential clients all year long. While tax season is busy, having a steady flow of great clients year round is ideal.
By having a strategic social media plan, you can boost your online visibility, connect with your ideal clients, and quickly establish yourself as the expert in your field. When people realize they need accounting services, they will often head to Facebook and LinkedIn to do deeper research into your company.
Yes, Accounting Firms Can Increase Business from Social Media
Social media isn’t just selfies, memes, and cat videos. Social media companies are multi-billion-dollar entities, and they offer you a place to demonstrate your professional expertise while reaching new clients.
From a business development standpoint, social media lets accountants and bookkeepers engage with existing clients, get prime exposure to potential clients, and expand referral networks.
Because people are on social media to consume information, platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to exchange ideas, learn about new concerns among your ideal clients, and establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
While it can often be difficult to effectively calculate your ROI from social media, it’s becoming a generally accepted practice that successful firms have a professional social media presence.
By avoiding social media, you risk missing out on establishing and strengthening key relationships. In fact, studies show that some consumers won’t consider working with businesses that lack a social media presence.
If you’re ready to open a new growth channel for your accounting business, take advantage of these social media benefits:
Benefits of a Social Media Strategy for Your Accounting Practice
1) Building Brand Awareness
Believe it or not, your accounting practice is a brand. Sure, you’re not Nike or Coke, but you still want to control how you are presented and perceived in the marketplace.
Bookkeepers and accountants can use social media to tell their brand story to potential clients.
Using social media this way is especially effective for humanizing your brand and helping you form a connection with people who need the day-to-day financial and tax help you provide. When people see you in the more relaxed social media space, you’ll find you have a much easier time winning their trust and loyalty and earning their business.
Trust shortens the sales cycle and gets people motivated to work with you more quickly.
Brand awareness posts can highlight your firm’s achievements, and you can also share stories about your community involvement. Having a little fun on social media can help break down stereotypes about “number crunchers”. This is your chance to share your personality.
3) Engaging in a Little “Social Listening”
Great marketers (and smart CPA’s and bookkeepers) know it’s easier to sell your services when you enter the conversation your ideal client is already having about their financial concerns.
Social listening can give you insights into challenges, pain points, and most importantly, the actual words your prospective clients use to describe their financial issues.
It can be tempting to rely on jargon, but if you want to connect with clients on social media, you need to speak like your potential clients speak. Or take the opportunity to explain some of those acronyms so your clients leave their social media a little smarter than when they arrived.
Everything you can discover about what your ideal clients say when they are hanging out online will help you market your services more effectively. Use these insights to further perfect your core messaging. It will make your content marketing and paid advertisements even more powerful.
4) Attracting Prospective Clients
You want to focus your social media marketing efforts where they will be the most effective. And that means putting in your time on the platforms where your target audience hangs out. Certain platforms just make more sense for professional service providers. You might find that Facebook and LinkedIn feel more natural.
When you built your ideal client persona, you got a pretty good idea of the social networks where your ideal clients hang out.
When you’re on those platforms, remember that people aren’t just on social to be social. Most people see social media as a place to consume different types of content and engage with brands they like or are interested in learning more about.
This is your opportunity to engage with your target audience and turn them into prospects and clients. By providing them with engaging content, like blog posts that answer the most frequent tax or accounting questions you’re asked, you’ll soon find you’re attracting a steady flow of qualified prospective clients.
5) Establishing Authority and Thought Leadership
Most people who engage with an accounting law firm on social media have an issue they are hoping to resolve. You can use social media channels to establish yourself as an authority in your field to gain the trust of potential clients.
Making an effort to consistently share useful information that will be of interest to your ideal clients will establish your authority. It will help you prove your credibility and show you can help people who find themselves needing help with balancing their books
By positioning yourself as a local thought leader in your specialty, you will build a following and become a go-to resource for clients and build a more robust referral network of other professionals.
6) Improving SEO Efforts
Social isn’t a direct ranking factor when it comes to search engine results, but it’s hard to ignore the correlation between your activity on social and your search engine ranking.
With Google always looking to improve their user experience, they are increasing their addition of dynamic content – like social feeds – to the search engine results page (SERP). Search Engine Journal reports that Google has changed its story “multiple times regarding whether website links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as ranking signals”.
But where social really helps is by giving you greater control over where and how your accounting firm’s name is being used in the online space. Strategic development of your social presence tends to equal overall improvements in online traffic and visibility.
With search engine optimization (SEO) being the most important component of any effective digital marketing strategy, it makes sense to do anything that assists those efforts with even just the potential benefit of higher ranking, further reach, and increased traffic.
7) Making Connections to Strengthen Your Referral Network
Social channels aren’t just a place to meet your potential clients online. A secondary benefit can be using social media to connect with other professionals who serve the same clients or types of clients you would like to work with.
Setting aside just a few minutes a day to have online chats with other professionals can be the bread and butter of a powerful referral network. Comment on other company’s social posts.
Seek out attorneys. Connect with real estate agents or insurance agents.
You might be surprised who can send an ideal client your way.
Another benefit to expanding your referral network is the potential to be a “guest blogger” on another professional’s website.
If you see a local professional who shares information that could be beneficial to your clients and vice versa, a blog exchange can be a great way to get in front of a new audience as a trusted expert.
8) Showcasing Your Office Culture
Money is a real point of stress for people. One way to lower their stress around coming into your office is to showcase your office culture. By introducing the accountants, bookkeepers, or professional support staff you humanize your office environment and that serves to soothe potential anxiety.
Show you and your staff having some fun. People like doing business with people who love what they do.
Another benefit to sharing your office culture openly is that it’s a great recruiting tool. New associates want to see beyond the interview and get a sense of what it’s like to be a member of your firm.
“Getting to know you” content can be the differentiator between you and another employer.
People love to see who is making it happen behind the scenes. Don’t be afraid to share office celebrations, pictures of you attending conferences or other educational events, or pitching in at a community happening.
Used correctly, social media can be a powerful way to promote your people, your culture, and your values to your potential clients or new associates.
Adding It All Up
As you can see, there are real benefits when you effectively leverage social media to market your financial services, answer questions, and attract new clients.
There’s no getting around it, if your colleagues and competitors are using social media, it’s a marketing tool you need to use too. Social media can be ignored. It’s an essential component of an effective digital marketing strategy for accounting firms.