I feel very strongly about this subject, mainly because so much advice out there is wrong. When it comes to deciding which social media platforms you should be marketing your accounting firm on, it isn’t down to your preference.
Contrary to many suggestions, you do not necessarily need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube, Quora, Google + etc.
In fact, when it comes to planning your marketing strategy you need to take one thing into consideration only.
Where Are Your Ideal Clients Hanging Out?
Most accounting practices have two major challenges – limited marketing expertise and limited manpower. Whilst us marketers are shouting that you need to be marketing your accounting practice, many of you are sitting there scratching your head wondering where to start, and how you will find the time to implement it.
Whilst it is important to grab your brand name (accounting practice name) across all the social media channels you can think of, you should not try to regularly post to all of them. Trying to stay current across all channels will waste your valuable time and ultimately cost you sales.
The role of marketing is to get your prospect to see what problems they are having, and why they are having them. Then your job is to showcase why you are the solution to their problems. Initial engagement with your prospects is key, which is why you need to be where they are, and not worry about where they are not.
If you have read my other blogs you will know the customer journey begins the moment a prospect becomes aware that they have a problem. Social media enables you to meet the prospect at the start of their customer journey.
ASK THEM IN A SURVEY
The key to knowing where your ideal clients are hanging out is to ask them. If you already have ideal clients on your books then I would suggest sending them a survey asking them which platforms they are using. A simple survey along the lines of:
- Do you use social media? Yes/No
- Which platforms do you use for work? (list platforms)
- Which platforms do you use out of business hours (list platforms)
And as an added bonus:
What is your favourite mode of communication?
- Telephone call
- Other: (please list)
This email will enable you to get real information, and not just what you might think will be the answer to the questions.
If you do not have ideal clients on your books, then you can do your market research the old fashioned way. You can pick up the phone, or you can send emails or messages through LinkedIn (if prospects have a LinkedIn profile).
Why Do You Want To Use Social Media?
Once you know which social media channels your ideal clients are on, then you need to decide what you want to use social media for.
- Is it brand awareness?
- Is it list building?
- Are you hoping to sell on social media?
One thing to keep in mind is that social media platforms are a “see” form of marketing. People use them to “see” what is going on and research for information. Social media is only there to help move your prospect along the buyers’ journey.
There are the Big Four social media platforms which will probably stand out once you have done your research.
Understanding which social media platforms to be on will save you time. It will also help eliminate the overwhelm you feel, and focus your learnings. If you know your ideal client hangs out on Instagram then that is the channel you need to understand deeply.
If you decide that a LinkedIn strategy is needed then that is the channel you need to learn and focus your marketing efforts on.
And the same goes for Facebook and Twitter.
Whichever social media platform/s are right for your accounting practice, the number one thing you need to remember is that the aim is to drive prospects along the customer journey, and build relationships with them as they go.
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