If you have ambitions to grow your accounting firm, you're going to need to do some form of marketing. It's that straightforward.
It’s important to understand how powerful social media can be in your overall marketing strategy.
It's one of the most influential tools for building professional connections and networks, and for growing your firm without even touching your marketing budget.
Social media isn't a tool you can ignore anymore. It's understandable if you're hesitant—social media can look like an insurmountable climb, especially if you don't have a lot of time.
But it's time to make the time.
Over half the people in the world spend time online—3.8 billion of those are active on social media platforms. And 500 million of those people are on LinkedIn.
But does it really matter to your firm?
Of those 3.8 billion people, over 90% are millennials and nearly 50% are baby boomers. Over half of both use social platforms to research products and services, and almost three-quarters of those who've had positive experiences with companies on social media tend to spread the word to family and friends.
Taking that into account, social media matters to your accounting firm.
If you’re worried about what it takes to build up your presence, consider the following reasons why accountants should use social media.
Before worrying about what goes into setting up a presence and building your following, take a look at why you should.
Adding social media marketing into your accounting firm's overall marketing tactics offers benefits such as:
A brand awareness boost
Building a community through engagement
More website traffic
Less marketing spend
Improved client experience
Proving thought leadership in the accounting space
Cultivating trust with clients
You should consider that other firms like yours are already seeing these benefits. That's why it's important to begin building your presence as soon as you can.
You may already feel overwhelmed with the vast list of potential social channels. So, which social media channel should you use?
The good news is—you don't need them all.
But you do need to decide which platform(s) best represent you and your clients. To figure this out, first, ask yourself what you want or expect from the experience. Just to tell prospective clients about your services? Maybe get the word out about new services? And who is the audience you want to reach? Older, baby boomer business owners? Millennial entrepreneurs?
Deciding on the perfect platform takes into account who you are as a firm, who your target audience is and the type of content you either currently produce or can produce in the future.
For instance, LinkedIn is often the best platform for business services like accounting. Pinterest or Instagram, maybe not so much—but that can all depend on you. Have an interesting office culture, staff gatherings or other aspects of your firm perfect for photos or video? Consider branching out in that case.
The bottom line is you don't need to go all-in to make social media work for you.
Regardless of your platform of choice, your posts should be helpful and engaging. Sharing information that offers useful insights or entertains your audience will help that audience grow. While informative posts about your services are good, too, it shouldn't be all you post.
The five most important reasons accounting firms should be tapping into the potential of social media include:
Relationship building—The conversations you and your staff have on social media are the perfect way to meet others and cultivate new relationships, either with new clients or others in your field.
Establishing thought leadership—Sharing your knowledge through updates on social channels gives you the opportunity to show off what you know, helping to build trust in your expertise.
Highlighting firm niches—Accounting is broad, and the everyday person doesn't typically understand the field. In fact, a lot of business owners aren't even sure what type of accounting or services they need in a certain situation.
Attracting new talent—Throughout accounting, firms find it difficult to attract and retain younger staff; the very staff the firm needs. Today's job seekers head right for the internet when researching firms to work for, including social media. While it isn't necessarily an accurate portrayal, most talent today assumes that a lack of social media activity is a red flag.
Keeping your firm top of mind—Most people don't even know an accountant, and they don't look for one until they need one. If you only interact at occasional functions or other gatherings, you're easily forgotten. This isn’t the case if your firm's name and thoughtful ideas regularly grace social channels.
When done right, social media will only strengthen and support your firm. And there aren't any other marketing strategies as effective, low-cost, or easy to implement.