The Essentials: Social Media Marketing for Accountants
By Patrick McLoughlin
Social media marketing for accountants has gone mainstream. Nowadays the majority of firms have some presence on Twitter, Linkedin or even Facebook.
When done well, social media can deliver accountants and professional service firms substantial benefits. But setting up, maintaining profiles and producing content takes a lot of time and energy, and results are far from instant.
The number one social media platform for marketing professional services is undoubtedly LinkedIn, supported by Twitter. Facebook plays a lesser role in the Business to Business world.
The following tips will help you to gain maximum benefit for minimum effort from all your social media marketing.
1) Help Don’t Sell
If your look on Twitter or LinkedIn it won’t take you long to find self promoting discussions or posts. Just like the office bores that talk endlessly about themselves, they don’t attract much attention.
Effective social media mirrors good communication skills: listening and asking responsive questions, helping not boasting. Social media can build credibility and trust amongst your ideal clients. But, remember your aim is to engage your prospects not sell to them.
Your impact will only be as powerful as the content you create. Remember that no one cares about you or your firm. They only care about what you can do for them. Make sure there is genuine value in the blogs, guides and white papers you produce. Target your content to the pain points of your ideal clients.
2) Communicate Clearly and Consistently
Social media works by building a relationship with those you interact with. So again, be nice and be reliable
Blog, post, tweet and anything else you do, with regularity. If you win a few clients don’t stop thinking you can pick it up later. You don’t have to go off the radar for long to be forgotten.
The tone you use in all your communications is crucial. Communicate how you speak. Jargon and big words just create a barrier between you and your audience. Be yourself and use your own language.
Try to keep a consistent tone across all your communications. That includes your website copy as well as well as your blogs reports and other content.
3) Focus Your efforts on your Ideal Client
The number of Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections you have only gives an impression of your activity. It is better to have 1 good quality contact that could become a client, than 100 not in the market for your services.
So don’t get caught up chasing the numbers. The objective of social media marketing is the same as all your other marketing: the best possible Return On Investment.
It’s a lot easier to reach out to your ideal clients if you can get inside their heads.
You can start this process by building detailed buyer personas or pen portraits. Think about the groups they might join in LinkedIn. Monitor and join their discussions to better understand their aspirations and obstacles.
Then write blogs, guides and white papers on their issues. Exchange content in return for their email address and permission to stay in touch. All your activity should focus on helping prospects travel through the buying process.
Focus your content on your ideal clients
4) Have a Social Media Plan
Jump into social media, without a plan, and you’ll likely lose momentum and grind to a halt.
It is far better to build a comprehensive social media plan that sets out your activity and goals.
You will get greater success developing content ideas for the keywords you target, in advance. Write an editorial schedule covering: Keywords targeted, subject matter, target reader and date to publish.
5) Host your blog on your Website
It is difficult to use social media effectively, think Return On Investment without a regular blog.
Hosting your blog on your website and blogging frequently, once a week, helps you by:
– Blogging around your keywords improves moves you up the Google rankings for the search terms our ideal clients use. (The blog you are reading now targets: social media marketing for accountants. Look at the heading and liberal use of the term throughout the blog.)
– Increases traffic to your website when promoted through LinkedIn and Twitter.
– Builds credibility and trust amongst your potential ideal clients.
– Positions you as the expert, removing fees as the only differentiator between you and your competitors.
If you have any questions or comments please do post them below.