The new business function of any accounting and business advisory firm is its lifeblood. Once upon a time, it was the exclusive responsibility of partners. But today, attracting new business is a challenge that nearly every employee can and should embrace.
New business no longer entails just fancy dinners and golf outings. Rather, today’s popular social media mediums are great tools for younger staff members and “seasoned” professionals alike to attract new clients and build valuable mindshare in the markets that your accounting firm serves.
In our three-part series on social media tips and tricks for accounting firms, we’ll highlight which mediums offer the best opportunities for your accounting firm to communicate with its key audiences. We’ll share strategies to help you communicate most effectively within these mediums. And we’ll dig a bit deeper to discuss best practices in sharing content that you develop.
Which social media mediums accounting firms should be using
LinkedIn is, of course, a great online resource for networking with current and prospective clients. It is also a great place to share a wide variety of content and, in doing so, build one’s personal brand and association with thought leadership within a community.
Content posted to LinkedIn can be quite broad and can focus on both business issues, and relevant individual issues (e.g., wealth management, retirement or college planning strategies, personal tax) – Because although LinkedIn is used mainly for business, everyone on there is first an individual.
LinkedIn also works well as a medium in which to share premium content – e.g., e-books that you and your firm prepare, consultations and other value-added content. Such premium content comes at a price – typically an exchange of name and email address; but it’s generally more acceptable to “sell” on LinkedIn – it’s a professional website, and visitors expect it.
Accounting firms can also utilize LinkedIn to post job openings, events, firm news, mentions in articles and publications, and industry news and updates.
Overall, a company Facebook page can help to lend personality and feeling – a human element, if you will – to a company or organization. This can be particularly helpful in recruiting, and it builds a sense of transparency that can augment and enhance your entity’s personal brand.
If you have a Facebook account, then you probably know that content in this medium is geared more toward individuals, and to some degree, small businesses. Content geared toward those two audiences then would be very relevant thought leadership to be sharing on Facebook.
That said, it also serves as a great medium in which to share news about company events, job openings, company news (including mentions in articles and publications), links to blogs, videos, industry news and updates – and of course, photos. These types of posts help shape the personality perception of your firm.
Twitter offers immense potential for accounting firms – provided that this medium is used strategically, often and responsibly. In Skoda Minotti’s June 2015 CPA Website Audit, we found that as a company’s followers increase, they see a significant increase in search traffic each year.
Number of Twitter Followers
|Average Traffic Rank|
While being ranked 1,235,555th may not seem terrific, you have to consider the enormity of the Web-verse. What these numbers demonstrate is that traffic rank increases substantially as Twitter followers increase. And increasing the number of one’s Twitter followers isn’t that hard of a thing to do; it just takes consistent efforts.
Twitter offers users a forum in which to share anything and everything – provided of course that the tweet doesn’t exceed 140 characters.
Whenever possible, we recommend using hashtags within the post for common phrases and/or major keywords in order to help that post be searchable across the medium.
Google+ competes most directly with Facebook, and while Facebook is the clear leader in its category, we believe that Google+ still presents an opportunity for accounting firms for one very important reason – SEO. Essentially, as long as you’re posting on LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter, you might as well post on Google+ as well to augment your SEO efforts.
One helpful tip here: Use keywords in your Google+ post that you’re focusing on for your SEO efforts.
In our Part II of Social Media Tips & Tricks for Accounting Firms, we’ll share tips on how to communicate effectively within these mediums. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning how social media can help take your accounting firm to the next level, contact Anna Marie Murphy at 440-449-6800, or download our free e-book, How to Find Prospects Using Social Media.