Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, and for accounting professionals it can seem like a vast and confusing sea of platforms and tactics. That’s not surprising, considering how many ways there are to use and benefit from social media. If you’re among those who find the whole thing a bit intimidating, here’s a primer on how to get the best results from your social media presence and why it’s worth the hassle, from an information-packed infographic for accounting firms shared by Thomson Reuters.
First, why bother? You’re an accounting firm, not a pop band, so what’s the point of all those clicks, likes and retweets anyway? According to 83% of Chief Marketing Officers, the main reason to spend time on social media is to achieve social sharing. Other goals for social media include:
- Brand awareness (74%)
- Website traffic (53%)
- Lead generation (41%)
When you consider those outcomes, investing in social media begins to make more sense. Besides the benefits of social sharing, social media delivers powerful results when it comes to client retention – second only to digital marketing. The connection is obvious when you learn that:
- Positive comments and praise on social media influences 57% of consumers
- Before selecting a professional services provider, 60% check social media sites for reviews
- 84% of CEOs and VPs report their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media
There’s also the fact that social media increasingly controls access to people – including potential clients:
- Being connected to someone on LinkedIn increases the likelihood of scheduling an initial meeting by 500%!
- A recommendation on Twitter has driven a purchase for 47% of all consumers
- The daily news for 30% of Americans comes from Facebook
- Among B2B companies, 65% say they’ve gotten a new client through LinkedIn
The “why” is clear, so how do you make social media work for you? By sharing content, of course – valuable, interesting content of three basic types. In general, you’ll want to balance the content you share between:
- Thought leadership – content that’s topical, relevant and shows your depth of knowledge in an area your clients care about
- Engagement – content that lets you connect with followers and others on a personal or emotional level
- Promotional – content that showcases your firm and its offerings for clients
For all three types of content, it’s important to make it as visually appealing as possible. Use eye-catching photos and colorful graphics whenever you can and you’ll get more mileage and engagement from your content:
- Having color visuals to accompany your article increases willingness to read it by 80%
- Your content is 40 times as likely to be shared if it’s visual rather than text-based
- Three days after reading information, the retention rate is 10% if there is no image paired with the information but 65% if the information comes with an image
There are endless ways to use social media to help your accounting firm, and much of your strategy must be based on the unique aspects of your individual firm and its clients. But now that you’ve got a solid understanding of why you should do it and a few ideas about how, you’re ready to dive in. So go make a splash on your favorite platform – the water’s fine!