Managing Partner Hinge Marketing
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3 Fundamental Evergreen Rules for B2B Social Media Use

Today, online audiences are more fickle and opportunities to reach them are almost endless. The world of B2B social media can be particularly challenging as digital platforms continue to evolve, more ways to analyze data become available, and audience preferences change. So, what’s a B2B accounting firm marketer to do?

Mar 13th 2020
Managing Partner Hinge Marketing
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If there is one thing that never changes in social media, it’s how often it changes. This can be especially frustrating for B2B accounting marketers who traditionally have sought stability in their marketing strategies. Back in the day, it was easy to identify a couple of tried-and-true channels preferred by their target audience and pay to have a presence in them every year. Many accounting firms could simply apply the same old marketing plan year after year and just change the dates.

The Web has changed all of that.

Today, online audiences are more fickle and opportunities to reach them are almost endless. The world of B2B social media can be particularly challenging as digital platforms continue to evolve, more ways to analyze data become available, and audience preferences change. So, what’s a B2B accounting firm marketer to do?

Fortunately, there are three fundamental “evergreen” rules for B2B social media use that can help provide stability to your efforts, even in today’s constantly evolving social media environment:

1. Be Human

“Social” is the first word in social media for good reason: it’s all about people connecting with people. Individuals – business professionals included – spend time on social media to connect with people they know or would like to know. In a B2B environment that may be for a variety of reasons, such as researching competitors, partners, and prospects; recruiting new employees; and engaging with clients. So, if connecting with people is a primary purpose, why is it that so many firms do it in a cold, impersonal way?

To successfully connect on a personal level and establish a one-on-one dialog, it’s critical that you do so in a very human way. Be conversational. Be personal. Be friendly. Share a bit of advice. Offer a helpful suggestion. Bring some value to the conversation.

Show some faces. Has your firm been “caught doing good” for your community? Do you have company news to share about your clients, employees, and leadership? Be sure to include a photo of them, especially ones that are less formal. Showcase your team’s expertise as well as their personal interests. Add some personality.

Humanizing your brand on social media means bringing the human touch to every piece of content you share. Highlight the humanity behind your brand. Allow the voices behind your content to be heard and bring visibility to the individuals at your firm doing excellent work for your clients. And don’t forget to tag them.

2. Be Helpful

When you share content on social media always ask, “Could this piece help my audience?” Sharing helpful, relevant, and inspirational content makes you a trusted voice to your audience. Instead of being overly self-promotional, aggressive, or boring, provide information and advice that will help you develop a reputation as a leader in your industry and area of expertise. It’s important to note that being helpful does NOT mean you should give specific, personalized advice to prospects. It’s not about giving away your time and services. Instead, it’s about providing generalized but valuable information or advice that any business professional could use, such as how changes in tax laws or recent rulings on regulatory compliance issues might affect them.

Avoid posting endless announcements of your firm’s accomplishments. Nothing will lose an audience quicker than being a self-centered firm using social media solely for congratulatory and self-promotional posts or repetitive, dated content that provides little value or interest to your audience. Instead, post helpful content you’ve written especially for your audience and relevant content written by other experts outside of your firm. Engage your audience with polls and comments about topics that will interest them and build your own brand value.

3. Be Consistent  

No social media strategy or campaign will be successful without consistency. There is nothing as unproductive as posting the occasional, random article with no consistent messaging, no follow up, and no further action. The key is to establish a rhythm and stick with it, building up a repository of valuable, helpful content that is optimized for search and highly visible to an audience interested in finding it.

Consistency also applies to the tone and voice of your messaging – how it looks and sounds. Your content is a critical element of your brand identity and as such it should reinforce and help build your firm’s image. As you continue to post a growing body of consistent content, your target audience will come to expect from your firm a certain type of message delivered in a certain way, creating thought leadership and brand loyalty. Your audience will come to trust what you say and turn to your firm when they have a need.

This approach applies to curated, third-party content as well. You can share funny, interesting, and informational content created by others that you’re sure your followers will respond to, just remember to keep that outside content consistent with your firm’s overall mission and strategy.

You can further strengthen your brand message by linking your presence across different social media platforms, keeping your messaging consistent, but specifically tailored to each platform’s audience. A LinkedIn message will be different than ones for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but they should all be recognizable as uniquely yours.

It’s all too easy to get drawn into the mechanics of social media and miss its larger purpose. Remember to build those all-important connections with clients and prospects while keeping your presence and messaging human, helpful, and consistent. 

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