You know social media is important in your accountancy firm, but you have no idea where to even start.
Do I need to do Facebook Ads?
Who do I follow on Twitter?
How can I make my accountancy firm look great on LinkedIn?
Is Instagram the right place for accountants?
So it’s no surprise that one of the most common challenges I get from accountancy firms interested in learning more about social media is “We don’t know where the heck to even start…” (yep, someone actually said those exact words to me on a strategy call recently).
Don’t worry. Although it can seem like a huge endeavour at first, with the right strategy, it can be easy to get started.
One of the worst things you can do if you’re not sure where to start, is to try do everything. It’s going to wear you out, confuse you even more and not get you anywhere.
So start small.
Focus on one thing and one step at a time.
Once you’re comfortable with that step, move on to the next one.
Here are the 6 steps we recommend you follow to get started with social media:
Step 1: Learn
To get the most from social media, you need clarity. Clarity on how social media works, why it’s important and how your accountancy firm can embrace it.
- Do I know what are the social media channels my potential clients are using?
- Do I know why posting regularly on social media is important?
- Do I know the best ways to promote my content that I create on social media?
- Do I know how to generate leads on social media?
- Do I know how to follow up and nurture leads from social media?
At The Profitable Firm, we strongly believe in education. That’s why we produce so much content (blogs, videos, webinars, etc) to explain how all of this stuff works. Much of it is free!
If you’re not sure about the answers to those questions, let us know and we will point you in the right direction.
Investing in training yourself and your team is a great way to answer these (and any other questions) you might have about social media.
Step 2: Plan
Once you know how social media works and why it’s important, it’s time to figure out how social media can specifically help your accountancy firm and how it fits in with the rest of your marketing.
A successful social media strategy actually involves more than just social media.
It involves your brand, content, website, email marketing and more.
To get the best results from social media, it’s best to plan how social media will help you with everything else you’re doing in your marketing.
For example, if you’re creating content, it will be good to use social media to promote that content.
If you’re organising an event (or a webinar), it would be good to get more people signing up to that event or webinar through social media.
If you’re looking to hire more people, it would be good to use social media to find the right candidates.
Whatever your goals are in your accountancy firm, your social media strategy needs to be aligned with them too.
In the social media workshops and strategy sessions we provide, we map out your goals and then create a specific plan of action to help you get there. You can take the plan and action it all yourself, or we can help you with it, if you prefer.
Step 3: Create content
If you’re already creating content regularly for your accountancy firm, then great! You can skip this step and move to step 4 (post regularly).
If you’re not yet creating content, ask yourself why?
This isn’t optional anymore.
To build trust with your prospects, attract the right type of clients and have interesting things to share and talk about on social media, you need to be creating your own content.
For help with content creation, a good place to start is our Free Marketing Masterclass for accountants.
Step 4: Post regularly
Now that you have clarity and direction, it’s time to build a strong foundation on your social media channels.
Top tip: If you haven’t yet created your social media channels, now would be a good time to do so. You only need to join the social media channels your potential (and existing) clients are on. You don’t need to be on every social media channel. It’s also worth making sure your branding on the social media channels are consistent with your website.
Once you’ve created your social media channels, before you start using social media to generate leads, you need to be active and post regularly.
Why is this important?
People are no longer just checking out your website to learn about you and your accountancy firm. They’re now checking you out on social media as well.
Imagine a prospect goes to your social media channels and:
- It hasn’t been updated in months (or years?)
- The branding/design doesn’t match up to your website
- You’re posting nothing relevant or interesting to those in your target audience
- It’s unclear what you do and how you help people
- Your potential clients can’t even find you on social media
Do you think that’s going to create a good first impression?
You want to do everything you can to build trust with your potential and existing clients. And posting regularly on social media allows you to build that trust.
What is the best content to post?
Content your clients and potential clients find interesting.
It doesn’t have to be “tax stuff” all the time. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t! We’ve found our most successful clients who post regularly on social media post a variety of content interesting to their target audience. This can include business tips, videos, and guides, as well as their own content from their website. It also includes some personal and “human” posts!
Step 5: Generate leads and grow your audience
By now, you have a clear plan, you’re creating content, and you’re posting content on social media regularly. You’ve built up a strong foundation!
Take a moment to celebrate getting this far!
Now, you’re in a good position to start growing your audience on social media and generating leads. (Please remember that if you try to leap into growing your audience, generating leads, and getting more business on social without doing any of the above steps, it will not work.)
How does this work?
The actual “how” part of this step differs slightly depending on which social media channel your prospects are primarily using. However, the principles are more or less the same.
In short, we take the content you’ve created and put it in front of those who are your potential clients using social media.
We then give them that free educational content in return for their contact details (usually their name and company email).
At the same time, we split test different audiences, adverts and types of content to see what produces the best results over time.
Top tip: Ads on social media are not the traditional ads where you try to sell someone something straight away. Those are not effective because people don’t trust you yet. Ads on social media work best when you give people in your target audience free educational content in return for their contact details.
Step 6: Nurture and follow up with leads via email marketing
To the surprise of some, the fifth step doesn’t actually involve social media. But it’s an integral part of a successful social media strategy.
Once you generate leads from social media, you’ll need a system and a way of following up with these leads on a regular basis.
Without this system and follow up, you could be wasting all your excellent effort that you’ve done thus far! Remember that your buyer takes time to make up their mind, and they want to decide when they are ready. Follow-up allows for that.
What kind of emails do you send your leads?
It’s important to note that when I say “follow up with your leads”, I don’t mean spam them with your services until they buy. What I mean is genuinely provide value, help and build a relationship with your leads.
The best way you can do this is by emailing your leads your latest and best content. By doing so, your content builds trust with your prospects and actually does a lot of the selling for you.
The last thing I want to mention is the importance of being consistent with these steps. Don’t just post on social media, generate leads or follow up with leads for a month or two. This is an ongoing process. And it’s something that builds up more value in your accountancy firm the longer you do it.
About the Author
Ashley Davis is the Social Media Director at The Profitable Firm and also works with small to medium sized businesses at Skyline Social.