Social Media Use is Strong, but Full Integration Still Emerging

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Survey results indicate small businesses in particular have a long way to go in mastering social media for marketing.

Social media is a versatile and valuable tool for marketing, and most CPA firms are starting to recognize it as such. Even so, a lack of familiarity with the platforms and how best to utilize them for firm goals limits their use. InSites Consulting revealed their survey results last week, and your accounting firm can probably relate to the trends. MarketingProfs takes a look at some of the key findings in this online article.

Not surprisingly, big companies with plenty of time and man-power to invest are ahead of small and medium-sized ones when it comes to social media marketing (except on Twitter, where small businesses lead). This is unfortunate, because the survey showed that full integration brings greater success for marketing messages, more satisfied customers and clear financial rewards. Let these payoffs motivate your CPA firm to face the music and learn how the social media dance works. It’s worth it.

Another predictable pattern was that tech and media companies were ahead of other sectors in using social media for their marketing ends. Accounting firms had farther to go. This may tie into the survey data showing that while more than half of companies polled were using some social media in their marketing efforts, significantly fewer than half claimed to fully grasp the differing uses between platforms or to maintain an unambiguous social media policy. Only 29% offer specific social media training to their employees, but the clear benefits of using these channels for marketing should spur accounting firms to adopt them. It’s a time investment that leads to long-term benefits when many members of the team can add to the success of the brand through frequent social media messaging.

The survey results showed some interesting mismatches between belief and behavior, too. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed (66%) that employees were open to social media, and a similar majority (67%) reported including social media to marketing plans, but only 43% of  firms allowed their use at work and just 40% said top management were participating with social media.

These new methods of reaching and interacting with audiences may have seemed frivolous at first, toys for teenagers, but at this point most business leaders recognize both their benefits and their staying power. The goal of fully integrating social media marketing can be intimidating, especially for those over 35 and for the accounting industry as a whole, which has historically eschewed fads and trends. This time though, the evidence is clear. Social media is not a trend, it’s a solid presence that has to be taken into account when thinking about your firm and its future. Jump on the bandwagon and hold on tightly, because it’s going places.

Is your firm using social media? If so, how? Have you included firm members in the effort, or is it managed by one person?

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Sarah Warlick is responsible for making us and all of our clients sound professional and eloquent as the content director at bbr marketing. In this role, Sarah is in charge of ensuring that all copy is well-written, accurate and free of pesky typos before it heads out the door. Additionally, she is a prolific writer and a frequent contributor to bbr marketing’s blog sites. She spends a good deal of time writing copy for our clients and has a unique way of crawling into our clients’ heads to create ghostwritten copy that sounds as if it came directly from their pen.
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