How awesome would it be to be at an event filled with hundreds (or even thousands) of potential clients. That would be cool, wouldn’t it?
If you were at such an event, let me ask you… Would you stay in a small corner hiding from everyone or would you be out there mingling and speaking with as many people as possible?
As shy as some of us can sometimes be, most of us would likely take advantage of this opportunity to talk to as many people as possible.
Because we know those conversations can lead to new business.
But, what does this have to do with social media?
Using social media effectively is like being at an event filled with your potential clients.
True, you may not know how to find your potential clients at this “event” (yet) and you may not know what to say (yet) but that doesn’t change the fact that right now you have the opportunity to speak to hundreds, if not thousands, of your potential clients all at the click of a few buttons.
Finding your potential clients on social media
This might sound kinda obvious but the first thing you need to do to find your potential clients on social media is be clear and specific with who your ideal clients are.
Targeting “small business owners” or “people who use Xero” is helpful but it still isn’t specific enough.
When you really drill down and focus on a niche, then you’ll be able to find out which social media platforms these people use, how to get in front of them and what to actually say to them.
If you don’t have a niche yet, push yourself to be as specific as possible. What kind of business owners? What are they like? What are their interests, their hobbies, the software and systems they use? This will help you share about things relevant and interesting to them: rather like coming up with conversation that is interesting to the people at your imaginary “event”.
Finding out which platform your audience is on
Most people these days can be found on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Facebook and Instagram in particular are miles ahead of the other social media channels in terms of active users and in my experience, most of the time you can find your target audience on there.
But how can you know for certain?
Thankfully, Facebook has a nifty little free tool called “Audience Insights”. Here you can type in keywords related to your niche and see what data Facebook has on that audience.
Here’s how to get started:
- Sign up for a Facebook Business Manager account
- Click on “Audience Insights” (you’ll see this in the menu at the top of the page)
- Enter your niche’s demographic information (age, location, etc)
- Enter keywords related to your niche and what they’re interested in (e.g. if you’re targeting ‘charities’ you could type in ‘charity’ or if you’re targeting fitness business owners you could type in ‘fitness’ AND ‘facebook business page admin’).
Facebook will then display a number called “potential reach”. As long as this number is over 200,000 then there’s a good chance you can run a successful campaign on Facebook. Usually the higher the number the more potential there is.
Note: when using Facebook insights this includes data both on Facebook and Instagram users since they’re owned by the same company.
What if you can’t find your audience on Facebook?
The next best one to try would be LinkedIn. For LinkedIn you can use the search box and type in keywords (such as job titles, industry keywords, etc) and see how many results come up. On LinkedIn aim for over 100,000 search results.
Starting a conversation on social media
Now that you know which platform(s) your potential clients can be found on, I would focus on doing two things with that platform. And do these things regularly.
1. Post every day
It’s a good idea to stay in touch with people in your audience by posting on your social media channels often.
One way to keep things fresh with your audience is by posting new content that you’ve found and posting new content on your blog. Both of which should be unique, helpful and written for your target audience.
Ideally you’ll post every day – Monday to Friday, or even at the weekends as well. It seems like a lot, but social media is like whitewater rapids: it moves so fast, people miss it the first time (or second or third or tenth time) round.
Tip: when posting new content I would also promote it through ads to your existing leads and people who have visited your website in the past. Retargeting people with your content is very cost-effective and can get you some quick wins.
2. Run ads
This is one of the fastest and most powerful ways to grow your social media reach, engagement and leads in your accountancy firm each month.
When you run ads I’m not talking about salesy kind of ads or “special offers” and things like that.
I’m talking about ads that provide genuine value (by means of your content) to people who are your potential clients.
This is how you get the best results from your advertising campaign. Provide value first and then sell later on.
For example, one of our clients are currently running ads on Facebook targeting “people looking to buy a hotel or guesthouse” and the ad is giving away a free guide with a “checklist of what to look for before buying a hotel or guesthouse.”
Keep the conversation going
Unlike at a real event which sadly only lasts a few days, on social media you can keep having a conversation with your potential clients for as long as you like. You’re in complete control.
If you want more social media tips for your accountancy firm, sign up to Ashley’s Social Tips.
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.