It’s every marketer’s dream: What could be better than having viewers voluntarily share your branded content with friends (or “friends”) and say, “You’ve gotta see this!” Chasing that goal, successful tax and accounting practices today are moving more and more of their media efforts to social channels. It’s a natural evolution — business goes where the buyers are, and nowadays you can (and will) find them on social media. 45% of the total world population are using social networks, with over a million new people joining social media every single day. Whether you’ve embraced it yet or not, the truth is that social media is one of the most powerful business tools out there, not only for marketing but for lead generation, public relations, thought leadership, relationship building, and much more. The technological disruption in tax and accounting has taken hold, and social media is a vital piece of that movement. In case you’re not convinced, here are five reasons why your practice should be maintaining an active and engaging social media presence.
1. Your target audience is already using the platforms. Just because you personally (or as a business) have not jumped on the social media train does not mean your prospects and clients haven’t. It is highly likely that the vast majority of your current clients and ideal prospects are using a social network—in fact, 69% of American adults use at least one social media site, and 88% of Americans aged 18 – 29 use social media platforms. Rather than spending all of your marketing budget (and time) on expensive advertising channels with low ROI and minimal reach, why not go directly to the source and get in front of prospects where they’re already spending time? The average digital consumer spends nearly 2.5 hours on social networks and social messaging every day. Adding your voice to their feed—right next to the voices of their family, friends, and favorite brands—is the ideal way to get easy, high-value exposure.
2. People will notice your absence. More than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. Your clients and prospects are asking for referrals online on a daily basis. If you do not have an active social presence, you are being left out of this conversation—plain and simple. Let’s break this down into three hypothetical scenarios.
Jane needs accounting help for her small business in Los Angeles, so she decides to do some internet research to find the ideal professional for her industry. When she Googles “accountant Los Angeles,” the results show four accounting practices. Firm A stands a head above the rest, as they have a professional website but also active Facebook and Twitter profiles where they showcase their expertise. Clearly, they’re very qualified. She chooses Firm A (not yours).
Bill needs a tax preparer for his 2019 tax return and asks friends and family for recommendations. Someone who has been working with you for 15+ years gives him your name, so he goes online to do some research before contacting you. When he Googles you, he has a hard time finding much information. He sees your website, but there are no social profiles or reviews to prove your legitimacy. He decides to go with a different pro.
Anne is looking to hire a cloud accountant to help with her bookkeeping. She uses the CountingWorks MatchMe service to find a qualified professional and gets matched with you. She likes your website but is even more impressed by the thought leadership you showcase through your content on social media and how actively you engage with followers. She hires you immediately.
Obviously, scenario three is the goal. Whether people are comparing you to other pros when they search in your area, start out looking for your practice specifically, or just want to see social proof before hiring, they need to see your presence, or you are unlikely to win their business.
3. Your competitors are using social, whether you decide to or not. You may not have hopped on the bandwagon yet, but your competitors probably have. Did you know that 90% of brands use social media to increase brand awareness? It’s important to be on a level playing field with the professionals you’re competing against. Better yet, get your practice out ahead of them and really dive into the social movement! When it comes down to choosing between two accounting or tax practices, consumers may go with whichever one they can find the most information on. It is all about building trust and credibility. If you do not have a strong digital footprint, it will be much harder for prospects to find you. The more active you are on social media, the more likely it is that you would be the winner over competitors in that situation.
4. You can take the free route or choose to invest in highly lucrative social advertising. One of the best parts about social media platforms is that they are generally free to use. You can set up a business profile, post to your page, engage with followers, and search for new leads—all for free. If you have little to no marketing budget, you can use free profiles to build up social proof and start reaching your target audience without spending a single dollar. That being said, social advertising—from boosting posts to creating ads on a certain platform—has been booming in recent years and can be a great place to start investing resources if you have money to spend. 53% of businesses use social advertising, and global social media advertising spend is predicted to grow an additional 73% in the next five years. Plus, social ads are effective: Half of Generation Z and 42% of Millennials say social media is the most relevant ad channel, and a typical American Facebook user clicks on 8 Facebook ads per month. That’s huge.
5. You can control the conversation about your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader. When you create social media profiles for your brand, you retain complete control over what you post. You can steer the conversation and be as picky as you want to be about what is being broadcast to your followers and the public. That’s a public relations gold mine. On top of that, you get to use your platform to showcase your expertise. Take advantage of the opportunity and produce valuable, relevant content for your viewers. Prove that you are the best professional within your niche. Talk about topics that are important to your prospects and engage with them directly to stimulate the conversation. When you put in the effort, your target audience is sure to take notice. There are endless opportunities to use social networks to establish and grow your practice—all you have to do is start. Whether you’re a brand new firm or have been around for decades, social media is one disruptor that is absolutely not optional. Meet your target audience where they are, begin building new connections, and have fun with it.
If you have questions about how to build your social media presence or don’t have the time and want someone to do it for you, we're here to help! Contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.
See the main points of this article summarized in a Quick Hit video with CEO Lee Reams II: