With an estimated 39 million people using social media across the UK, it’s easy to assume that social media is simply part of everyone’s lives. Yet many industries are still not making use of the benefits social media has to offer – and accountancy is one of them. Social media, for accountants and most other businesses, is an essential marketing and communication channel – and should not be overlooked.
So why is this? Well, for a long time, there was a widespread belief that you had to be in a certain industry, be a certain kind of business or have a visually appealing product to thrive on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, which explains the lacklustre uptake of social media from accountants.
Thankfully, this belief has been proven wrong time and time again, and some of the best social media accounts in the last few years have come from industries without a particularly attractive presence or product. In other words, companies traditionally deemed ‘boring’ have started to flourish online.
The ‘boring’ businesses winning at social media
Just take a look at Mailchimp, a marketing automation platform who’ve curated a wildly successful social media presence without a computer in sight. PayPal, the online payment company, transformed their “faceless” brand using social media and enjoyed a 327% increase in engagement as a result. Then there’s 3M, the American company behind office items like post-it notes and scotch tape, who have accumulated over 4 million followers on Facebook by taking a science-heavy approach to their newsfeed.
For accountants, social media has numerous benefits and, as companies like MailChimp, PayPal and 3M have demonstrated, anyone can get involved. It’s a fast, easy way to increase exposure for your firm, and a simple way to get ahead of competitors.
Being part of an industry where the widespread opinion is that it’s too uncool or uninteresting for social media also gives you a huge advantage – any effort you invest in your social media strategy will immediately make you stand out from the crowd.
Using social media to expand your customer base
When it comes to marketing for accountants, social media should be at the forefront of your strategy. Getting new clients is all about being in the right place at the right time, and the fast-paced nature of social media makes it the perfect place to build up your customer base. It’s much more effective than traditional face-to-face networking – after all, what are the chances that someone is looking for an accountant at the same time as a networking event? And how much time would you have to put in to find out if they’re interested?
An estimated 60% of businesses across the UK use social media on a regular basis, and the relaxed and casual style of the platforms makes it easy to reach out and build relationships with potential customers. It’s as simple as liking and engaging with their posts from time to time, and ensuring your own posts make you come across as approachable and knowledgeable.
With social media, you can also use your time much more efficiently and ensure you’re talking to people who are really interested. There are plenty of small business groups that you can join on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, where users new to business will regularly post needing accountancy or bookkeeping advice. Since you’ll be sent a notification any time someone posts, you can reply back and offer your services almost immediately.
Brand and social media for accountants
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media that many accountants hold is that it needs to be serious, or full of pictures of spreadsheets or calculators. Of course, as Mailchimp proved, social media isn’t about explaining what you do – it’s about demonstrating your brand, your personality and what you can do for your customers.
When it comes to social media ideas for accountants, the best place to start is with your brand. A brand covers everything from colour scheme and image to personality and tone of voice. Developing a strong, consistent brand will make your firm seem trustworthy and credible, and you’ll attract the customers you’re actually looking for.
Here are a couple of questions to start with:
- Are you looking for work in bookkeeping, accounting, tax returns for private clients or reducing tax bills for small businesses?
- Can you define what makes your company different from other accountants?
- What’s your selling point? Are you looking to be more interesting and attractive than other firms, or are you more convenient (perhaps you have a specialist focus, or your firm’s online only)?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to identify who your target clients are, what kind of content you need to be posting and which platform is best for you.
For example, if your firm has a focus on tax-related issues specifically, put together some guides on common questions you’re asked or easy ways people can save money. These guides are always helpful, and users can bookmark them to refer back to.
It’s also important to remember that the best part about social media is that it gives you an opportunity to show your personality, so don’t be afraid to be light-hearted. Some social media ideas for accountants might be to compile a list of the most ridiculous expenses ever submitted or the best excuses for a late tax return. It’s a great way to spark conversation and it’ll make you seem approachable to potential customers.
Moving on from organic reach
It’s impossible to talk about the benefits of social media without discussing paid social media advertising. Paid social media advertising is essential for any modern business, since it’s by far the most effective way to target a specific demographic.
When social media first rose in popularity, companies could easily reach potential customers for free. This was known as organic reach – or, the number of people you can reach for free by simply posting to your page.
However, with more and more content being published on social media, the fight to be visible in someone’s newsfeed has become increasingly competitive. This is where paid social media advertising comes in, guaranteeing brands a place in someone’s newsfeed who’s relevant to them. Paid advertising has become so common that organic reach was pronounced “dead” earlier this year, meaning it’s now essentially impossible to target users with a free advert.
The benefits of paid social media advertising
So, should accountants be using social media advertising? Well, it’s popular for a reason. Social advertising on Facebook, for example, gives you an immense reach at a very low cost and ensures that the people who see your advert are relevant. It’s the perfect way to get your firm in front of potential new customers. Whatever the demographic you’re aiming for is – whether it’s age, gender, industry, background or interests – you can target specific users with content specifically designed for them.
Best of all, it’s easy to track the progress of your advert, so you can make changes to the campaign as it’s running. This means increasing the exposure of an advert or guide that’s attracting a lot of interest, swapping out something that’s not performing as well as you’d hoped, or changing the entire campaign altogether. It’s incredibly flexible and provides a fantastic ROI, which is why social media is key for accountants in the modern workplace.
There are plenty of fantastic social media ideas for accountants, regardless of which area of accountancy you work in or the social media platform you plan to focus on. However, it’s absolutely vital that you keep your posts consistent. Posting once or twice a week won’t get you much traction with your audience, and leaving your account inactive every time something comes up at work can make your brand seem inconsistent and flaky.
Social media is a real commitment, and you’ll need to keep up regular posts if you want to enjoy the benefits. Many companies outsource their social media to professionals, who can take care of everything from strategy to social customer service. Outsourcing your social media leaves you with the time and energy to focus on running your firm, and it’s inexpensive too: you won’t need to spend time or money on training up employees or making new hires.
Choose Greener Media for your social media
When it comes to social media for accountants, you need a company you can trust to represent your brand and give you the results you’re looking for.
At Greener Media, we’ve been helping accountants succeed with their online marketing for over eight years. Whether you’re just starting out in social media or you’re looking to breathe some fresh air into your online presence, we can help. Our team of creative, talented individuals have a wealth of digital marketing experience, and we can ensure your business goes from strength to strength.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, take a look at our online package builder today.