Accountants are particularly keen to “get leads” from any marketing efforts – and particularly from social media.
The positive news is that social media is one of the best means of seeing those leads drip in – partly because of the huge amount of people using social media, and partly because the tracking capabilities are so excellent with social.
So you want to know…
- How do I get my ideal clients to find me on social media?
- How do I get my ideal clients actually interested in learning more about me and my firm?
- How do I get my ideal clients to become leads?
(Actually you may only care about the third question, but the first two are important as well!)
Let’s start by clarify a few terms we’ll be discussing in this article:
What is a “lead”?
A lead is a potential client who gives you their contact details (usually their name and email) in return for something of value (usually a free piece of content).
Note that this is different from what you may consider to be a ‘lead’, such as “someone who wants a quote for accounting services”!
What is “lead generation”?
Lead generation is creating a system that delivers more potential clients giving you their contact information every month.
What is “lead conversion”?
Lead conversion is nurturing your leads and building trust with them through follow-up marketing.
Lead conversion involves creating a system to regularly follow-up with your leads so that they convert into a “new business opportunity”.
What is a “new business opportunity”?
A new business opportunity is someone who says they want to work with you.
Usually this is done through email or by contacting you through your website. Most new business opportunities are the result of multiple touch points (your website, content, emails, social media, etc).
So “a lead” the way you may be thinking of it now actually comprises four complete processes!
Now let’s dig in and teach you how you can generate leads on social media.
There are two main questions you need to ask yourself, before starting a successful social media lead generation campaign:
- Who are you targeting?
- What content will you use to attract them?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram. You need to be able to answer those questions clearly before starting.
Who are you targeting on social media?
Before you jump full steam ahead and start generating leads with anyone and everyone – it’s better to stop and think about who you really want to attract as clients.
At The Profitable Firm, we regularly speak about choosing a niche for your accountancy firm.
On social media, this is especially true. You will get much better results reaching out to a few thousand targeted people than reaching out to millions of generic people.
Once you’ve figured out who you want as clients, then you can start to think about what social media channels are these people using and what would be the best social media channel to target them on?
We talk to accountants every day who ask whether Facebook ads work, or how to use LinkedIn better. That’s not the first question. You have to begin with who your best client is, what they care about, what their issues and motivations are, before you leap into the channels.
Here is a quick summary of each of the four major social media channels and their advantages and disadvantages – to help you decide the best one for you:
- You can generate leads without spending a penny on paid ads
- Great way to build relationships with new people through one-on-one engagement
- Easy to find potential clients through Twitter search
- Great for finding leads if you’re targeting people in a big city or nationally
- Less people use Twitter compared to Facebook & Instagram (which means eventually you might run out of new leads)
- Targeting options are not as advanced as Facebook & Instagram
- You can use LinkedIn’s search feature to find new leads for free (however, it’s not very scalable)
- Email retargeting. You can upload your email database to LinkedIn and since most people use their work email for LinkedIn, it will usually find a lot more matches compared to retargeting your email list on Facebook.
- Easily allows you to target people based on “job titles”, “company size” and other business info (since LinkedIn has this data for almost all members)
- They are improving. Since being bought out by Microsoft, they’ve been making lots of changes and doing their best to become a big player in the social media space. I predict they will keep growing and this time next year have even more opportunities for accountants and businesses.
- It’s expensive. Paid advertising usually costs more on LinkedIn than on Facebook & Instagram.
- It’s clunky. LinkedIn’s advertising platform is still in it’s early days. Right now, it’s a little bit buggy and still doesn’t have as many features as Facebook & Instagram.
- Not as many active users. Although LinkedIn has a lot of members, not as many people are active on LinkedIn as they are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (although I’m noticing a trend where this is changing and LinkedIn’s active user base is growing)
I’m putting Facebook and Instagram together since they are owned by the same company and you can do advertising on one or both channels using the same platform.
- Facebook’s algorithm is very smart. They automatically help you optimise your adverts and show them to people who are more likely to engage and convert.
- Largest social media channel. Both Instagram and Facebook have the largest amount of active members. This means you can really scale up your campaign if needed.
- Best targeting features. Without a doubt, Facebook’s advertising platform has the most advanced and powerful targeting features. It’s sometimes scary how much information they have on people!
- Cost effective. You can start with a small budget and work your way up.
- It’s not free. You do have to spend some money to get results. The more you pay, the more people Facebook will get you in front of.
- Can be complicated to learn. Facebook is always changing and does have a bit of a learning curve.
So what social media channel is best for you?
In our experience, we have got the best results for accountants on Facebook & Instagram, with Twitter coming in at a close second. Again though – it does depend on your budget and your target audience.
If you’re not sure – reach out to me and let me know who you’re looking to target – and I’ll point you in the right direction.
How to get your ideal clients to find you on social media
Now that you’ve chosen your lead generation channel based on who you want to target, it’s time to choose the right message to get in front of these people.
The best way to attract people to you and your accountancy firm is with content.
- What problems do my ideal clients face on a regular basis?
- What solutions are my ideal clients looking for?
- What questions do my ideal clients always ask me?
Try to really get into the minds of your ideal clients and create content that they will find interesting and valuable.
It doesn’t matter how much money you spend or how many people you get in front of. If your content doesn’t resonate with your target audience, you won’t get any results.
Top tip: If you’re not yet sure what content would resonate best with your target audience, then you can actually use social media to test different pieces of content. For example, for some clients, we’ve created a message saying “we are working on a guide on [topic you think will be interesting to your target audience]” is this something you would be interested in? If so, click here…”
Finally, once you’re clear about your message, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and actually do the tactical part of running a lead generation campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or LinkedIn.
Fortunately, we have some free social media training webinars to help you start generating leads on the social media channel of your choice:
What happens next after generating leads?
Once you start to generate leads on social media, make sure you follow up with them!
In our experience, this is the number one area in which accountants drop the ball. When someone gets in touch and they’re not ready to do business or get a quote, you can be tempted to ignore them. But this is relationship building time!
As a minimum, ensure you send an email out to all your leads at least once a month, with your best and latest content.
For even better results, create even more content, and send it to your leads on a more regular basis via email, retarget your leads through social media and follow up personally to those who are most engaged with you (the people that open all your emails, read all your content, etc).
The goal after generating leads is to keep following up with your leads until they are ready, willing and able to buy.
Ready = This is the right time for them in their business and life
Willing = They trust you enough to buy from you
Able = They have the money necessary to make a purchase
To get help with lead generation for your accountancy firm (either through one-on-one training, or done for you services) then arrange a free call with me now.
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.