There are so many social media channels to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest and Medium…and there’s always something new coming up as well!
But does your accounting firm need to be on every social media channel? And what are the best social media channels, specifically for accountants?
Ask yourself: What social media channels are your clients using?
The first step to figure out what are the best social media channels for your accounting firm is to think about what social media channels your clients and potential clients are already using. Remember, this isn’t what social media channels you use the most, or like the most, or find interesting. This is about your clients.
In my experience working with accountants, I’ve found there are four primary social media channels that would be good for accountants to have a presence on and chances are very high you can find your clients on one, if not all, of these social media channels.
The top four social media channels are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you’re looking to get started with social media, having a presence on a few or all of of those four social media channels is a great place to start.
Do you need to be on all the social media channels?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be on every social media platform – at least not right away. It’s better to focus on a few social media channels and do them really well, rather than spread yourself too thin, and be on every social media channel and not be very effective on them.
I recommend accountants start being active on the social media channels their clients and potential clients are using and get really good at those. Then, once you’ve built up a strong presence, you can add more social media channels as you go along.
Quick tip: Even if you’re not going to be active on all the social media channels right away, it’s still a good idea to at least setup an account for your accounting firm on the four primary social media channels and secure your accounting firm’s username – just in case someone else takes it in the future!
Keep the login details safe and then you can always come back to it and be active on that channel whenever you’re ready.
If you’re wondering,”how do I know how many social media channels I can effectively be active on?” the following principles should help guide you.
- Your time: How much time do you or your team have to dedicate to social media? Some of the activities will require responding to messages, posting social media updates, lead generation and so on. Do you have a marketing manager or assistant who can help you?
- Your skills: Do you or someone in your team know how to use social media effectively to generate leads and build a stronger presence? Do you know how all the different social media channels work or will you need some training?
- Your budget: To get the best results from social media, you will need to spend some money towards paid advertising and some kind of lead generation campaign. Do you have a monthly budget you can dedicate to spending on social media? If you’re starting out, we recommend a monthly budget of around $250 to 650.
How to find the social media channels your clients are active on
To ensure you spend your time and resources on the social media channels your clients and potential clients can be found on, it’s best to do some initial research and understand how these social media channels work.
1. Facebook and Instagram
Facebook owns Instagram, so when you do any advertising on Facebook, you can (at the same time) also advertise on Instagram. You can even advertise on Instagram using Facebook without needing to have an Instagram account.
Keep in mind, that on Facebook and Instagram, to get any leads and a much larger reach, you will need to do paid advertising. If you don’t have the budget for paid advertising at this stage, then it will be worth looking at spending more time and resources on LinkedIn & Twitter instead.
If you do have a monthly budget for paid advertising, then the next step would be to do some initial research to find the potential reach for your target audience.
To do this, on Facebook sign up for a “Business Manager” account. In your business manager, click on “audiences” and you can tell Facebook what type of people you want to target (location, demographics, industry, job title, etc) and then Facebook will tell you, in real-time, how many people you could potentially reach out to.
Facebook and Instagram combined are the largest social media channels (with over 2 billion active users) and usually offer the most reach and potential for accounting firms.
For more info on how to use Facebook to generate leads, be sure to check out our webinar.
Twitter is a very easy channel to do research on. You can use tools such as Followerwonk to find out how many people in your location and job title there are.
For example, you can use Followerwonk, and search for people in London who use Twitter with the job title “Managing director”:
The great thing about Twitter, is that since it is an open social media channel (most people have public/open accounts), you can easily find, engage and connect with both clients and potential clients without needing to spend any money on paid advertising. Your biggest investment on Twitter will be your time (or paying someone else to use their time to do it for you).
For more info on how to use Twitter to generate leads, be sure to check out our webinar.
You can use LinkedIn’s search feature to find clients and potential clients based on their job title, industry and location. You can also use paid advertising on LinkedIn to reach out to new potential clients – similar to Facebook and Instagram.
For almost all accountants, I’d say LinkedIn is essential to have a strong presence on. Even if you don’t use LinkedIn to generate new leads, your clients and potential clients, will be looking you up on LinkedIn to learn more about your accounting firm and your team.
So it’s important you make a good first impression by having the right text, images, and a fully optimized LinkedIn profile for yourself, your team and your accounting firm’s LinkedIn company page.
If you’d like to learn how to use optimize your LinkedIn profile and generate leads, then be sure to sign up to our upcoming LinkedIn webinar.
Look at what social media channels your clients are on
Finally, when deciding what social media channels to join, take a look at some of your clients websites and see what social media channels they are using. You’ll find most people will be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram.
When you find your clients on social media be sure to follow, connect and engage with them. It’s a great way to strengthen your relationship with your clients and show them that you care.
- Focus on the four primary social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram)
- Join the social media channels your clients and potential clients are active on
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on one or two social media channels at a time, get really good at them, and then add more.
- Invest in training for you and your team
- Outsource what you don’t have the time or skills to do in-house
Let me know how you get on – and please send me any specific questions about a social media channel you’re not sure of, or which one would be best for your accounting firm, with your audience.
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.