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How much is outsourced social media and what will I get?

As an accountant, you care about the numbers and so naturally that’s where your focus is. When it comes to outsourcing your social media, you want to know how much it’s going to cost and how it’s worth it for your firm.

As a business owner, you recognise the importance of social media in connecting you with your ideal clients: it’s the perfect opportunity to be authentic and show your ideal clients what makes your accounting firm different from others. After all, social media is all about humans connecting with humans. It’s a great way to build connections with ideal clients and demonstrate your value.

When prospects are referred to you, your social media accounts are one of the first places they will look. If you’re finding you’re struggling to commit time to your social media and show up consistently, you can outsource it , so you stay present and keep building your online connections.

You’re struggling with having time to consistently post on social media

We know from our experience of working with accountants time isn’t on your side. You’re already juggling your time between serving your clients as best you can, supporting and growing your team, improving your systems and processes…the list goes on. Marketing, and more specifically social media, gets pushed further and further down your list of priorities.

One of our favourite pieces of advice to give is: “Start small, start safe”. This goes across the board when starting out with anything new in marketing. It’s easy to focus on all the things you feel like you could be doing but instead you need to try to concentrate on one thing at a time. Posting consistently on social media can take a lot of time and attention, so when you’re first starting out, focus on spending 5-10 minutes a day interacting with other people’s posts and in particular with potential ideal clients. Here’s a blog to explain how this works.

We understand you want to provide value to your clients in all the content you share. You want your posts to be created with your ideal audience in mind and for them to sound like you so you can build trust and a relationship with them, both online and offline.. We want that for you too but understand that takes a lot of time and effort. If you have the time to do it, great! We also recognise you likely want to focus your energy on what you do best: helping your clients.

We know that the idea of handling your own social media can be overwhelming and stressful. PF is always here to provide a guiding hand. However, we don’t “just do your socials”. In order for you to give the best value to your clients through your content, it needs to be a collaborative effort on strategy and making sure the posts sound like you and your brand. The most creative and effective ideas come from us working together on your social media strategy.

I’m interested in outsourcing my social media. How much do I need to budget for?

Outsourcing your social media is an investment, there’s no way to beat around the bush. Like most things in marketing it’s a case of either investing your own time to strategise, come up with content to post, and do the actual posting on various platforms or pay someone else to do it.

Our monthly social media package is £595 a month and includes:

  • 20-25 posts per month for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (we can also post to your Instagram account for an additional £195/mo and you would provide the images)
  • Monthly social media strategy meeting with your Client Marketing Manager
  • Research into what content your ideal client would find useful and engaging based on your niche. For example: if your niche is working parents, we will find articles on work-life balance and how to juggle family life with work.
  • Content for the posts
  • Sourced images to accompany the content/links
  • A list of the socials a week in advance for your review
  • All scheduling of posts

If you are questioning whether you need as many as 20 posts per month you can discuss with your Client Marketing Manager about creating a smaller package with marketing credits which cost £95 a month for each credit used. It would take about 4/5 credits for 10 posts. Marketing credits are the currency we use at PF to estimate the content or design work we do with you. Whether you’re on a monthly retainer with us or just need a quote for one thing, we use credits to estimate this. Here’s a blog to explain how they work.

We know we’re not the cheapest outsourced social media option out there. When it comes to a good service of any kind, you can only ever have 2 of these 3 at a time: “good; fast; cheap”.

Your social media posts can be good and fast, but it won’t be cheap. Or fast and cheap, but won’t be good. Or good and cheap, but won’t be fast. At PF, we understand accountants and the industries you serve and what makes you so amazing at what you do, we also take your branding very seriously. Part of how we do that is to get a deep understanding of your brand, your goals and who you are as a firm. Social isn’t something someone can simply “start doing” for you: it needs to reflect who you truly are.

That’s why you don’t start social media services until you complete Foundations in which we help you to dive deep into your goals, brand, website and what actions you need to take moving forward. Here’s exactly what’s covered:

Outsourcing social gives peace of mind that you’re showing up consistently for your ideal clients

It’s so important every single post that is put out is a true reflection of who you are as a firm and the type of audience you want to attract.

The PF team knows the various specifications for each platform, and we keep ourselves updated on any changes on all social platforms. Trust us, it is hard to keep up sometimes as they are constantly changing and evolving. As an example, we recently had a query from a client on why his circular logo had to have a border around it on his firm’s profile image on LinkedIn but not on other social platforms. We explained to him that because LinkedIn requires a square profile image for business pages, it automatically puts a border around it if the logo is circular. There’s no way to change that unless you were to make a specific icon for LinkedIn. PF has the same issue with our logo on all social platforms because it’s a hexagon instead of a circle or square. Here’s an example of what I mean:

PF’s profile on LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

PF’s profile on Instagram

We regularly run Instagram training sessions to update our clients of any new features in the app. We’re planning on running a similar TikTok training session in the future, which would be great for accountants who are trying to reach younger, creative audiences. We pay attention to the nitty gritty details of the exact specs needed for videos and images for all social platforms. Here’s a handy graphic with all those specs:

We use the TAYA (They Ask, You Answer) concept when sourcing social content for your firm, which is exactly how it sounds. We take into consideration the clients you want more of, their pain points and what questions they are asking. We then link back to why your firm is the best solution for their problems, the approach you have to best serve your clients, and the brand style you use.

The main thing you will get is peace of mind knowing your firm is being represented the way you want it to and that you don’t have to worry about organising, researching, scheduling etc. because we take care of it.

However, even outsourced social media will require some effort on your part. One of our values at PF is collaboration (you can read more about this here). In order to ensure you are getting the most value for your money and the full benefit of the PF team, collaboration is exactly what is required for monthly socials. Here are some of the things you will be asked to do:

  • Fill out a social media diagnostic at the start of your services – here is the form to give you an idea of the types of questions you will be asked
  • Provide sources you would like to use/that apply to your ideal audience (Ex: Forbes, Wired, Independent, Guardian)
    Inform us of upcoming events, specific information you’d like to share that month
  • Review your socials and inform us of any changes ahead of posting.
  • We won’t always get it right the first time around because you understand your clients best, but with a few tweaks and edits we’ll have it spot on.
  • We recommend topping up what we already post for you with more personal posts directly from you. We’ve found that our clients that do this have had the best results.

Cheryl Sharp from Pink Pig Financials has improved her visibility so much over the years just by being more active on social media and engaging with her clients, as well as having the consistent posting from PF. She’s focused a lot of her energy on Instagram and has been posting a lot more videos, getting great feedback and new clients from it. She also posts one or more blogs a week on her website which gives her more stackable content she can then use for social media.

Karen Kennedy, from Kennedy Accountancy took part in the 100 day video challenge this year and has become a star at Instagram stories. Her stories are addictive to watch and the PF team love seeing her face while browsing through stories. Karen now consistently posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and is always engaging with businesses in her local community.

Tracking your numbers helps you to better plan your social media strategy

Social media, like many elements of marketing, isn’t something you are going to see results from right away. Unless you’re the Beyoncé of accountants, you are not going to get hundreds of likes and follows the first couple of times you post something, maybe not even in the first couple of months. It is a long process and takes a lot of effort to figure out what works for your firm. Be patient.

You can keep track of your social numbers by taking note of specific things you want to track from your social media in Google Sheets or Excel.

Here’s an example of the kinds of things we track for social in our monthly Co-pilot Reports:

This allows you to see how your followers are varying month to month. We recommend having more focus on one specific platform where you know your ideal audience is hanging out. Most social platforms have specific insights and you can track as many things as you want but we recommend just starting with followers and then building off of that.

If you need help with tracking for your socials and your website you can always check out the PF Co-pilot which provides you with specific insights on your marketing numbers and what actions you can take next. Take a look at our “A year in numbers blog” from earlier this year. It truly reflects the value of tracking your numbers and shows how everything you do with marketing is all connected!

You need to know your numbers to build your overall monthly marketing strategy but it is also essential not to get too caught up in them. Try not to get too disheartened by any initial lack of engagement because social media is a lot of trial and error to see what sticks. Even if someone doesn’t like or comment on your posts doesn’t mean they won’t reach out. People could be following your content, watching, reading, taking it all in and then one day they get in touch with you. Putting content out there and demonstrating your value will encourage prospects to move faster even if they aren’t visibly interacting with your posts.

Results don’t come overnight with social media and it usually plays more of a role than you realise. One of our clients, who is taking part in the PF 100 days video challenge, recently shared with us that he had a prospect reach out to him regarding something he had specifically talked about in one of his videos. They had never liked or commented on the post, but had been watching and following his videos and that’s part of what caused them to get in touch. Even if you don’t see it working in the likes and post interactions, it’s still making a difference.

I can’t afford to outsource my social media right now. What can I do to get started?

We understand outsourcing social media for your firm can be a big financial investment. If you are willing to invest your time instead to get started we salute you! Starting out with social media with little to no experience can be daunting but it’s important to not put too much pressure on yourself. Remember, “start small, start safe”.

Here are steps to help you get started:

1. Although it is ideal to get content out there on all the platforms to get as much visibility as possible, start small. Start out by just engaging with people and interacting with other people’s posts – it makes more of a difference than you might think. Engaging as well as posting consistently can make a huge impact.

2. Post on one platform a week. The ideal place would be platforms your favourite clients use the most. This will give you an idea of where more of these kinds of people are hanging out.

3. You don’t have to post every day but try to keep posting on a consistent schedule. For example if you’re posting for three days, post on the same days every week, maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Put it in your calendar and start making it part of your weekly routine. Start small and when you’re comfortable start posting more often.

4. Split your posts up into categories to make it easier to source material. For example at PF we split our clients posts up into:

  • Personal: Quotes, fun personal things that are happening, new things happening in your firm. People love to see your human side and we find these are the posts people engage with the most.

  • Local: If you are focused on one specific geographic area post about local news or things that are happening in your area – keep it positive
  • Articles: post articles that you think your audience will find helpful or interesting.
  • Partnerships: Posts about different types of tech you use and recommend to clients for example: Xero, Dext etc. These companies usually have their own blog section that you can share articles from

  • Clients: create posts based on some of the work your clients are doing. People love seeing the types of clients you work with; not to mention it will help highlight your niche if you have one!
  • Promo: These are posts highlighting how you help clients and what you do for them. You can use content from your website and even share blogs that you’ve written to help clients. Keep in mind that these are only 20% of your overall posts and 80% will then be about building a connection by sharing other non-promotional content. We call this the 80/20 rule.

5. When sourcing all of your content for social media keep the They Ask, You Answer concept in mind. Always be looking to answer your ideal client’s questions. This will build credibility and attract more of the people you want to work with.

6. BE AUTHENTIC & HUMAN. You want people to see consistency in the way you show up on social media and how you are in person. You’re not just a robot there to answer people’s questions. You’re unique and your firm is unique and people love to see that and it builds trust.

7. Come up with posts and content ahead of time. This will take the pressure off of being consistent with posting because they’ll be ready to go. Set time aside at the end of each month to come up with social content for the entire month or you could do this weekly if you don’t want to spend all of that time all at once. Use a spreadsheet to do this like the one below to keep track and stay organised.

8. Use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Sendible. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that the content you have put together for that month or week will be going out automatically. Here’s a great marketing tip on “What’s the best app to post to the majority of socials in one go”.

Show up on social like you would in person and just start

Social media is a wonderful tool to instantly connect you and your business to others and can be extremely powerful when used in the right way. As accountants you know the importance of building relationships with your clients and in 2021 one of the first impressions people could have of your firm is on social media. You want to make sure that what you are putting out there is a true reflection of how you want to be perceived by your ideal prospects and why you are the best accountancy firm to help them.

Being successful with social media isn’t something that happens overnight, like everything else in marketing it is a long game and there is no instant solution. It’s constantly changing and evolving and all you can do is try your best to keep up and find out what methods work best for your firm. Everyone is different and social media strategy isn’t a one-size fits all. Focus less on the numbers and more on the value of the content you are providing through social media.

We understand that this can feel like a lot of pressure so take a deep breath. There are ways to start building your social media presence without diving in at the deep end and trying everything. Starting small and being consistent is the most important thing to focus on, If you’d like to connect with us on any of the socials, you can find us here:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

If you want help and direction with your social media, sign up for PF Lab where you have access to monthly coaching sessions, a dedicated Slack community and you can join the monthly group coaching calls led by two PF team members. We’ll see you there soon!