Monthly Archives: August 2019
Monthly Archives: August 2019
In our experience, when it comes to using social media in marketing there are usually two types of accountants or small accounting firms, let's call them Accountant A, "The Ostrich", and Accountant B, "The Peacock".
The Ostrich has their head in the sand, so to speak. They don’t have any presence on social media. They say that they can’t be bothered with social media, but this lack of presence is actually hurting their online presence and in return is hindering their marketing efforts.
The Peacock has accounts on every social media platform. They post regularly about topics related to their business, and they post often. Probably so often that they also post on any topic they can, including food, travel, workouts, etc. They can point to how many social media followers they grew by last month, or how many people liked their last post.
But all this peacocking takes time and effort, and they have little to show for it in terms of new customers and more business. Their social media presence is taking up too much time and effort, and in return it’s generating minimal tangible value for the business.
Both of these individuals are at different ends of a spectrum. One doesn’t use social media enough, and the other uses social media too much. So what’s the right balance? Every firm and every individual is going to be different and have different needs and strategies for going to market. While there’s no single right answer, let’s also consider a third accountant.
Let’s call Accountant C, “The Eagle”. This accountant, like their namesake, has mastered efficiency. The eagle is able to glide on currents for long periods of time with minimal effort. They are so efficient that they need to flap their wings only rarely to stay airborne. They glide along and when they see an opportunity they are ready to swoop down.
Let’s take a look at each of these accountants and what they can do to improve their use of social media.
Accountant A needs to get their head out of the sand. They need to accept that having a professional, business presence on social media will be to their benefit. When a prospective client searches their name on Google or Bing and no information, limited information, or wrong information (the worst case) comes up, they have missed an opportunity. Someone searching for them online wants to learn more, and is looking for proof points like social media accounts and reviews to verify their identity. If a professional profile does not come up in the search results then they are not presenting their best self.
For the ostrich, actually starting is the hardest thing. They may not be sure where to start, or be unsure of what they need to. Here are some easy steps to establish a simple, but effective social media presence.
Accountant A’s goal is to make sure they have a professional presence that can be found when people search for them online. Goal achieved.
Accountant B spends too much time on social media, and more importantly their efforts are not translating into tangible results like more customers and more business.
Accountant B needs to find out where they’re spending their time and what they can cut back without impacting their online presence. What should “The Peacock” do?
Accountant B needs to make sure they are using their time effectively. Very few businesses are able to generate good ROI from social media marketing. Make this your objective and be clear that if you’re not able to increase ROI, that you should at least reduce costs - including the opportunity cost of time spent.
Lastly, let’s look at Accountant C, “The Eagle”. Accountant C has a strong presence, but spends minimal effort. They only expend effort when they see an opportunity, and if not they keep to the minimal required to maintain their presence.
So what is Accountant C able to do that they are able to be so efficient?
Ideally, every small business should strive to be more like “The Eagle”. Efficiency and effectiveness are the name game, as is always keeping an eye on the big picture and not getting lost in the details of executing tactics.
Social media does have value for the independent accountant or bookkeeper or small to mid-sized professional services firm by acting as another proof point that verifies you are who you say you are, and why you should be trusted. But social media is not the most important thing you can do. Far from it.
The challenge is to be able to maintain an online presence that demonstrates your knowledge and experience, and why a potential client would want to work with you, but without spending hours to do so. Create a professional presence, but then minimize the effort required to maintain it.
P.S. Profuse apologies for all of the bird clichés. Also disclaimer that in real life, all three species are majestic in their own right.