Fixed Rules for Accountants' Social Media Successby
Despite the ever-evolving world of social media, there are two fundamental rules of human interaction that guide every successful B2B social media strategy and that never seem to change: be human and be helpful.
What’s hot right now in social media platforms can frustrate your attempts to keep pace, it can also be a major stumbling block for an accounting firm that is depending upon digital marketing to build its brand, develop new business and fuel growth.
Here are two immutable rules that your firm needs to follow for social media success:
Rule 1: Add a Human Touch to Everything You Do
Social media is all about connecting and engaging with people. That’s why it’s called “social.” Social media is so effective because we, as humans, are always curious about what others are doing, experiencing, learning, and accomplishing.
This is especially true when we're interested in a specific individual or group of individuals. It’s the powerful incentive that drives people to connect with others on social media and what makes social platforms so attractive.
Because social media is so personal, it’s important to humanize every piece of content you post online. Business professionals like to read what experts have to say about a topic, so be sure that you identify the author of any pieces you publish, highlight their expertise, and tag them to make them searchable.
The same holds true for any firm news announcements. Make sure that individuals are identified, their achievements highlighted, and photos of them in action included, if possible. Again, people like reading about other people.
Don’t forget to respond to individuals engaging with you on social media. If they post comments, “like” your posts, or respond in any other way, be sure to respond back quickly and appropriately. Make positive suggestions. Provide more information. Reinforce your firm’s expertise and become a reliable resource for them.
And that leads us to the second fundamental rule…
Rule 2: Be Helpful in as Many Ways as You Can
When you consider sharing content on social media always ask, “Can this piece help my audience?” Sharing helpful, relevant, and inspirational content makes you a trusted voice to your audience and helps you develop a reputation as a leader in the digital space. Instead of being self-promotional, pushy, or boring, become the trusted resource your client is looking for.
Look for ways to get prospects and clients to say “yes.” Ask them what they need, what other information would help them, how you can make things easier for them. Being helpful goes a long way toward making a prospect want to work with you and a current client want to stay with your firm.
There is nothing worse on social media then a steady stream of self-promotional messages and unwanted information about your services. Nothing leads to fewer impressions, less engagement, and fewer shares than endless, irritating, self-referencing posts about your business.
The rules for social networking aren’t that different from those for in-person networking. Would you ever walk up to someone and ask: “Need an auditor?”
Social Media Do’s:
- Post content you’ve produced that’s useful to your audience
- Share relevant, valuable third-party content your audience would find helpful
- Engage your audience with polls and insights into topics that matter to them
Social Media Don’ts:
- Repetitively posting about your service offerings and accomplishments
- Directly messaging new connections with your elevator pitch – they’re not interested right now
- Only sharing your firm’s content
In Conclusion, Keep it Simple
Don’t kill yourself trying to keep up with the latest platform updates or this week’s popular social media channel. Instead, focus on putting a human face on every social media touchpoint with which you choose to engage.
Humanize your brand by promoting the thought leaders behind the content that makes your firm so excellent and a sought-after accounting services partner. And be relentlessly helpful to an audience that is searching for a trusted and reliable source of expert information in the wilderness of questionable content that is the Web.
Being human and helpful is a short piece of advice that will go a long way in helping you successfully build your accounting business through social media.
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is managing partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to...