Social media has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, with the majority of the UK population logging on once a day to check their updates.
That is why social media for accountants has become so essential to firms digital marketing strategies in recent years.
With further growth expected in this important area and the constant changes to the way that people interact with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, firms need to be equipped with the right software, skills and knowledge to improve their impact online.
Looking ahead, the data shows that the the16-24-year-old age group are the biggest users of social media, but consumers in the 35-44 and 45-54 age categories are catching up.
Still not convinced? In 2021 the world has hit a new record for social media use with users around the world spending an incredible 3.7 trillion hours on various platforms.
Data from the year before shows that on average a person in the UK spent two hours, 25 minutes per day on social media, so firms cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to promote their services and communicate online with potential clients.
How is social media changing?
In the early days of social media, the focus was often about sharing updates about your life, loved ones or passions, now social media has evolved with people using various platforms to catch up on news, shop and entertain themselves.
This has made social media a powerful tool for disseminating information, building brands and advertising – as well as changing public perceptions of a business.
Accountants often ask why they need such an active presence on social media and how it benefits their commercial goals.
Partners and directors need to be able to see the value that social media can add to their marketing and this is often found in the new connections that they make, their growing presence online and importantly keeping ahead of the competition.
However, these goals are difficult to achieve without a succinct digital marketing strategy and a team behind you to manage your feeds effectively.
What is social media marketing for accountants?
Marketing continues to place an ever-greater emphasis on the digital activities of brands, this is especially true within the accountancy profession, as firms focus on building their presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as newer platforms such as Instagram.
Putting together a social media strategy for an accountancy firm can involve many different activities including the preparation of blogs, animations, posts, videos and a wide range of other content designed to engage with a firm’s target audience.
Firms also need to consider advertising and paid-for content on platforms, if they hope to reach potential clients. These two different approaches are commonly referred to as organic and paid social media.
What is organic social media for accountants?
Organic social media generally relates to all activity that hasn’t been ‘paid-for this could include posting a blog on a platform or engaging with existing content online through likes and shares.
To improve your organic online marketing requires careful management of your feeds and the production of well-curated social media content.
The best organic approves tend to tie into wider strategies and feed of growing trends on various platforms.
Content for organic campaigns much be discovered by your audience, it will not be promoted to them via the platform.
What is paid social media for accountants?
Paid-for social media campaigns can come in many different forms, from sponsored posts to more obvious digital adverts.
However, most forms of paid-for content are linked to pay-per-click (PPC) systems, which effectively charge a firm based on the interactions it receives from posts.
If you do not have an existing online following then paid-for posts can help you reach new audiences.
Getting started on social media
Whether you are new to social media marketing or you have some previous experience, the first step you should take is to prepare a social media marketing strategy for your accountancy practice.
This should set out:
• Your goals
By establishing a strategy early on you can prepare content that is focused on your goals and set budgets that will achieve the best outcomes for your practice.
Without an effective approach, your social media feed can become disjointed, outdated, confusing and unappealing to your followers.
What should accountants hope to achieve through social media?
Every firm’s goal will be different depending on what they hope to achieve. For some, the focus could be on building brand recognition, while for others the focus could be more sales-driven and aim to win new leads.
Whatever the goal, it is important that the content you create and the engagements you manage are aligned with your aspirations and have a purpose.
Who should my accountancy firm target on social media?
Like goals, your target audience is likely to differ from one firm to the next and may even change over time depending on your commercial targets.
However, to start with you should consider these factors:
The organic content you produce should be tailored to the different tastes and needs of each group for maximum impact.
If seeking out a paid-for social media campaign it is often possible to restrict posts to certain groups using the various advertising tools on social media sites to increase the effectiveness of your posts.
Our top tips for social media for accountants
We have worked with a wide range of accountancy firms for more than two decades, supporting them every step of the way with their social media strategy and the delivery of effective content.
During this time, we have created a social media marketing service that delivers results for our clients. To help get you started, we thought we would share some of our top tips with you.
Researching your goals and audience is possibly the most important step in creating a winning social media approach.
To begin with, you need to look into the keywords that your audience are searching for so that you can create content that they can easily find.
It may be worth looking at your competitors to see what they do well and where their weaknesses lie. This will help you to come up with content that your target audience value.
If building a greater presence online is one of your key goals, or even if it isn’t, it is important that your branding is consistent across social media.
If you have an existing set of brand guidelines then you must adhere to them at all times and if you don’t then now is the time to create some.
If you fail to be consistent then your content can look sporadic and disjointed, which may give potential clients the wrong impression.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. While there are certain trends you can follow online, sometimes it pays to take a risk to be your own trendsetter.
Make sure to use a mix of content, including blogs, GIFs, animations, videos and polls, that draw the eye and encourage engagement.
Not everything you do will be a success, but by being adventurous you may tap into something that makes you go viral.
Despite its name, too many firms forget the social aspect of social media. If you aren’t liking, sharing and engaging on other posts you may as well be shouting into a void.
Firms need to take the time to create and join in on conversations, whether it is congratulating a local community project or offering advice to a query posted online – these interactions count and can help you win new followers.
Monitor and measure
You won’t know how well your campaigns are doing unless you monitor and measure your success online. There are a number of tools that can be used to do this, which we would be happy to discuss with you.
What are the benefits of social media for accountants?
There are a number of ways that social media can help a practice to grow, including:
• Building an online presence
• Increasing brand awareness
• Enhancing communication with clients
• Directing business to you and your website
• Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise
• Showing your caring side
• Attracting talent to your team
• And much more
If you would like help building a social media strategy and managing your feeds then we are here and ready to help. To find out more about our social media services for accountants, please contact us.