Aug 8th 2012
By Anne Rosivach
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Freed Maxick CPAs, one of the 100 largest accounting firms in the United States with offices in western New York State, has been chosen by Twitter, Inc. to appear in a case study being promoted on Twitter's website for advertisers. The Twitter case study shows how Freed Maxick was able to offer a free download of valuable thought leadership materials in a "Promoted Tweet" to communities who were conducting real-time conversations about tax reform. When a Promoted Tweet is inserted into a relevant conversation, it has a higher visibility because it hovers above the beginning of the timeline of the conversation.
Freed Maxick increased revenue by 110 percent from Twitter-generated leads from the paid platform. Of this revenue, 95 percent came from new geographic markets. The firm also grew its follower base of the @FreedMaxickCPAs handle to over 24,000 Twitter users.
The case study explains how Freed Maxick used Twitter's business platform to join a real-time conversation about President Obama's corporate tax reform proposal. The firm used "Promoted Tweets in Search" by placing the hashtags #tax and #Obama in the title of the downloadable material they were offering to interested Twitter users. The Promoted Tweet helped establish @FreedMaxickCPAs as an industry expert.
When Twitter users click on a Promoted Tweet in one of Freed Maxick's campaigns, they're directed the firm's site. There, they're asked for contact information in return for the document, whitepaper, survey results, or other tangible item of value offered in the tweet.
"We offer access to content in our campaigns, something of value, like a document that lists the threshold test for tax credits," Emily Burns-Perryman, e-marketing communications specialist at Freed Maxick, told AccountingWEB. "Users who connect with us are expected to give something back - their contact information. We re-create online something that's very similar to traditional direct mail advertising when a potential client mails back a postcard.
"Like most firms, we have the technology to monitor responses, a website analytics platform that measures responses, and other tools. Freed Maxick monitors downloads from its website and offers complimentary phone consultations or tax situation reviews," Burns-Perryman said. "We set up the expectation in our responses that anyone asking for help can expect a call from a partner. We now have 24,000 followers engaging with us on Twitter."
Freed Maxick's goals for using Promoted Tweets are much broader than lead generation. The firm uses Twitter to:
- Enhance community relations
- Promote the firm as thought leaders
- Differentiate the firm and represent our key firm values online
- Gain lead generation
- Serve existing clients
Burns-Perryman explained, "Community engagement is a key part of our strategy. Our presence on Twitter adds value to what we offer our clients - we can help them with their fund-raising efforts and their awareness initiatives by spreading the message to our Twitter community.
"Because of its real-time capabilities, business owners and individuals like to use Twitter as a tool to accomplish their goals. We can help our business and professional clients with referrals when we see that a Twitter user is searching for a product or a service.
"It's immediate. It gives real-time information about who may need our help. The typical clients we generate using Twitter are entrepreneurial business owners, small businesses, and/or individuals who have complex tax situations. We know this because they tweet about it. Twitter helps us find business owners at the point of need.
"Our clients like it. They don't see it as about us. We make it about the community, which increasingly is expanding its geographical footprint.
"We are building credibility, trust, and our professional reputation. It's about dialog and relationships. Social media at its core is the perfect medium for a professional firm. It's a trust medium that goes two ways. It's about being authentic and transparent - really transparent," said Burns-Perryman.