In recent years, the world has become obsessed with social media. Home to more than 4.2 billion active users (yes – that’s over half the global population), it’s certainly not short of opportunities. With more and more consumers and businesses embracing social media marketing, now is the time for your accountancy firm to break tradition and be more social.
What is social media marketing for accountants?
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves creating and sharing content on key platforms (such as Facebook and LinkedIn), engaging directly with your audience, actively carrying out social listening, monitoring analytics and running paid advertisements.
Whilst social media has traditionally been thought of as a channel used exclusively by B2C brands, times have changed. In fact, social media is now one of the most popular B2B marketing tactics, with over 80% of marketers using it – and not without good reason. Some of the key benefits of social media marketing for accountants include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Building relationships with new and existing clients
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating leads
- Accessing invaluable insights
Typically, social media marketing falls into two categories: paid and organic. Organic social media marketing is free and involves publishing content and engaging with audiences using the free tools offered by each network. Because much of the success of organic marketing relies on interaction from existing followers, this method is usually more effective for brands with an established online presence.
On the other hand, as the name suggests, paid social media marketing refers to the campaigns which brands are paying to promote to targeted audiences in the hopes of achieving a specific goal, such as raising brand awareness or driving traffic to a particular webpage.
How to get started
Start with strategy
Firstly, you need to ensure your social media marketing efforts align with your overarching strategy and objectives. Then, you can get more specific and define goals for your content – be it to raise brand awareness or generate more leads – using the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) framework for each. By doing this, you will not only be able to monitor your progress more effectively, but you will also be ensuring the goals you set are both realistic and relevant.
Once you’ve clearly defined your goals, you can then move on to defining your target audience. Think about your buyer personas and which platforms each group is most likely to be active on; this will allow you to focus your efforts on the most relevant channels and tailor your content to fit the needs of each group. Remember: if you are just starting out on social media, it’s better to focus your efforts on just a few of the most relevant networks to begin with. As an accounting firm, it’s likely you will want to prioritise LinkedIn, with 66% of B2B marketers claiming it is the most effective social media platform and over half of all B2B buyers using it to help inform their purchase decisions.
Once you are clear on your target audience and networks, you can then begin thinking about the types of content you want to create: to maximise the effectiveness of your social media marketing, you need to ensure you plan your content with your audience in mind. Think about what is most likely to engage and offer value to them. And remember: different networks will likely have different audiences, which means your content should vary, too.
Some content ideas for social media for accountants include:
- Industry news and updates
- Frequently asked questions
- Inspirational quotes
- Helpful tips and advice
- Promotion of new services
- Company and employee updates
- Client testimonials
- Cross-promotion (for example, sharing blog posts)
Optimise your profiles
Once you’ve decided which platforms will work best for your accountancy firm, you then need to move on to creating (or, if you’ve already done this, optimising) your profiles. For each network, you will follow slightly different steps, but as a general rule, you should aim to do the following:
- Complete all profile fields, offering as much information about your firm as possible
- Ensure you have set up a business profile to make the most of the free tools available
- Include relevant keywords where possible
- Use high-quality, on-brand header and profile images that follow the recommended dimensions for each platform
Plan & publish
When it comes to social media marketing for accountants, consistency is the key to success. To ensure you don’t fall behind with your posts or stray from your overall strategy and goals, you must plan and schedule your content ahead of time. During your planning process, you should build on your initial content ideas with further research into trends and competitors to uncover which keywords and types of content will resonate most with your audience.
Once you’ve established any key dates – for example, you may want to publish Tax-related content in line with Tax return dates – and created your content, you can then move everything over to a content calendar to ensure consistency. Once you have established a clear pattern, you can then use tools, such as Hootsuite or Buffer Publish, to schedule your posts at the most appropriate time and frequency.
Listen & engage
Whilst creating and sharing the right content for your audience is important, it’s only half of the social media marketing process. Equally as important is listening and engagement; this means interacting with your audience on your posts and monitoring and engaging in conversations surrounding your brand (you won’t always necessarily be ‘@”, so keep an eye out).
Social listening is a great way to gain customer insights and build relationships, offering an opportunity to delight them by responding to their positive comments and to mitigate issues when problems arise.
Evaluate your performance
Regularly evaluating the performance of your social media content – whether paid or organic – is key for any accountancy firm: particularly those who are just starting out on the channel. Taking the time to review and understand your analytics data will not only help you to understand how successful your efforts have been, but will also allow you to identify which types of content resonate most with your audience, the days and times which are best to post and any areas which may need improving or changing.
With that being said, to get an accurate picture, you need to ensure you are monitoring the right metrics. Whilst things comments and likes are easy to track and can have their place, they are often nothing more than a vanity metric, thus you should (in most cases) avoid placing too much emphasis on them. Instead, you should focus on those metrics which enable you to effectively assess your performance in relation to each of your goals. For example, if your goal was to increase traffic to your site by 10% within 3 months, then you’ll likely want to monitor click-through rates. The most important thing is to keep your objectives at the forefront of your mind when choosing which metrics to focus on.
Whilst all social media networks provide free access to basic analytics, if you are looking to obtain more in-depth information and access all of your data in one convenient location, why not try a social media analytics tool, such as those offered by Sprout Social or HubSpot?
If you are ready to #BeMoreSocial, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to B2B social media marketing for more helpful tips. Alternatively, head over to our digital marketing page for accounting firms to see how we can help you to develop a strategy that sells, or contact us for a free consultation with one of our marketing experts.