Now more than ever, professional services firms, including CPA firms, are embracing social media marketing techniques — and not only to connect and network, but also to position their experts as thought leaders, and generate leads and income. Having a social media presence these days is key.
For many of us, social media has become yet another activity that competes for our time, and with the busy tax season underway, you might be thinking, “I have too many demands to make the time for social media.” We know this time of year can be particularly “taxing”, but engaging on social media doesn’t have to eat up a large chunk of your day. In fact, there are some easy ways and time-saving tricks to help you stay engaged and maintain that presence — which is also important for improving your SEO (i.e., increasing traffic to your firm’s website.)
Don’t have a lot of time to invest? Here are some tips for easy social media engagement:
- Stockpile Content. Create a matrix of topics that you can draw from when you’re pressed for time. With a go-to hub of information — blog posts, articles and photos – you’ll have access to content to make posting quick and easy. Examples include: posting FAQs from clients, offering tax preparation tips and comments on tax implications, as well as advice for trust funds, succession and estate planning. People love a good checklist, so consider turning your ideas and simple tips into a checklist format that clients and prospects can easily refer to.
- Make a Schedule. It’s wise to set up a basic editorial calendar with a schedule of deadlines to impose upon yourself to ensure that you are posting regularly. Having this in place will help you to coordinate your posts and make scheduling easier in the long run.
- Automate Social Media Activities. There are a number of free social media management tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite that can be used to schedule your postings across multiple platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Set aside 15 minutes on the weekend or a Monday morning to schedule your content to publish throughout the week. Making use of these tools will ensure that you have a steady stream of content going out to your followers and fans on days when you cannot actively engage on your social media networks.
- Share Others’ Content. When you just don’t have time to think of your own tips, follow and connect with other industry thought leaders, associations and publications, and repost their blogs and articles. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your favorite stories, and passing along interesting and valuable information from the sources you trust. It shows your interests and opinions and keeps you active in the social sphere. And, when others notice you sharing their content, they may be more likely to share yours as well.
Remember that authenticity is important in social media, so when you’re scheduling posts, make sure that your content is genuine and brings value to your audience. Be real — people want to know what you’re interested in and what you’re working on. Carefully craft your posts so that they aren’t coming across as impersonal or “spam-like.”
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So, what’s the big picture, and why is this important?
The more someone “likes” your content, comments on your posts, or mentions it on their social media platforms, the more traffic search engines will bring in related to you and your firm. And, if you’re linking to valuable information in your publications, newsletters and thought leadership, you’ll also be increasing your firm’s brand awareness. It’s a win-win, and a no-brainer! Engaging on social media will increase your presence and may lead to new business.
Don’t miss out. Take advantage of these free and simple social media platforms and tools – they’re there to help you connect with clients and prospects, and share your advice and opinions. Accounting firms are growing at a rapid rate, and competition for new clients is fierce. If you’re not actively engaging in social media, you may be losing out on an opportunity to nurture your current clients and prospects, and gain additional leads. It’s time to get a game plan. What are you waiting for?
Does your CPA firm engage on social media? Which tools have been most helpful to your professionals? I’d love to hear about any business success stories related to social media engagement. Share your experiences in the comments section below!