Many small to medium accounting practices are still reluctant to invest resources in social media marketing. But with the rapid growth of Facebook, Twitter and most recently LinkedIn, can you afford not to reach prospective clients using these platforms? And how should you be doing it?
Engage, don’t sell
‘Selling’ isn’t a dirty word by any means – and it’s certainly what you should be doing if advertising your business on a billboard or flyer. But the hard pitch won’t fly very far on social media. People come to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in search of valuable information and new connections. It’s much better to seek out groups within your target market and add your voice to the conversation.
Just like accounting, it’s a numbers game – the more you get involved, the more value you’ll gain from it. Don’t feel that you have to immediately convert every new contact into a paying customer.
To many people, accounting is just about numbers, and one provider is the same as the next. By putting a human face on your services, social media can connect you with people who have a genuine need for your particular skills, rather than people who called simply because they found you in the phone book.
This doesn’t mean you have to share everything – just the best aspects of yourself. Answer customers’ questions, be inclusive, give credit where it’s due and take negative conversations offline whenever possible.
Have a plan
You’ll get better results if you add social media to your overall marketing plan – instead of treating it as a ‘necessary evil’ – and look for ways to use it in synergy with other online platforms, such as your website and blog. To get the most bang for your buck, create some clear goals and performance KPIs that revolve around your social media activities so that you are continuously improving your social usage over time.
Social media can benefit the small to medium accounting practice in several ways. It can bring you more referrals and allow you to distribute content to a wider audience. It can even improve your ranking in online searches. And if you’re not comfortable with direct selling, it can be a very effective way to acquire new customers – and keep them coming back.
Is it time to develop a social media strategy that will work for your practice? To learn more about using social media and other online strategies to grow your business, download our e-book, Six steps to effective digital marketing for your accounting firm.