OK CPAs I’ll give you this, tax season for you is rough, your grinding “regular season” where most of the work is done, you get beaten up, and your condition deteriorates as the season goes on.  So why am I, the “Marketing Coordinator,” nagging you to follow my plan of a good social media and content offensive during this most ridiculously busy time?  Because YOU WANT TO GO TO THE SUPER BOWL!

How Do You Benefit from Marketing During the Busy Season?

Well, perhaps I’m being dramatic, but you do want to fill that accounting firm pipeline with work for the entire year, so you’re not just riding the bench for the rest of the season.  Maintaining an active and useful social media presence even during tax season is one way to do, but I promise you won’t have to spend your time learning a whole lot of new plays.

For one thing, your clients aren’t necessarily in the midst of their busy season, and with accounting being top-of-mind for everyone this time of year more than any other, there are business development opportunities that other accounting firms aren’t taking advantage of – for the same reason you aren’t.  It’s your time to shine while you’re in front of so many of your clients, even being so bold as to ask them for referrals while you’re protecting their blindside (or at least helping them meet the deadline they were so woefully unprepared for).  So why not pull the old “CPA Sneak” and put some unanswered points on the board?

Let Your Content Rock While You’re on the Clock

To do any social media posting, you first need content to post.  Marketri discussed some ideas for acquiring and distributing good content during tax season in a previous post; and while many of the strategies are still good and worth reviewing, we’ve come up with more ways to do this, while reminding you of the tried-and-true.

It’s still highly recommended to make a content matrix, where useful topics and sources of content are listed, making coming up with ideas during tax season unnecessary – they’re already there.  More specifically, it’s the concept of “evergreen” blog posts and other content that will help you pull out another play.  Your firm likely does much more than handle taxes; there are many non-time specific topics that will always be of use to your clients.  A blog post about succession plans in family businesses or how to uncover fraud in the workplace are always fan favorites.  During the “off-season” the lion’s share of these evergreen posts can be written or repurposed with a fresh perspective to keep your blog loaded with attention-getting content year-round.

Getting Your Content to Play More Than One Position

A super way to get and use content when busy is to repurpose existing material.  You likely already did a seminar recently using PowerPoint – why not get it on SlideShare and post onto your LinkedIn page for a new audience?  Or with some reworking, you can use the material and write a brief pitch to an industry publication or business journal to write an article on the topic?  You already know the information and have it in one medium; you can garner attention online for this work while you’re working away on that shoebox of receipts.

Filling the Stands by Using Social Media

You have the rockin’ content, now you need to reach the fans.  I really hope you and your firm are already on LinkedIn, and shame on you if you’re not (and trot yourself back to Training Camp and review this webinar on Beginner LinkedIn: Shoot Your LinkedIn Profile to Stardom).  Year-round you should be working on getting new “fans” and adding your clients as connections if they aren’t already there – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel when you’re meeting them to prep their taxes (and don’t forget LinkedIn has a mobile app for you CPAs on-the-go!).   You’ll find more advanced ways to improve your LinkedIn profile here.

Don’t Bench Your Other Team Members – Everyone Gets to Play!

At the risk of incurring the wrath of accounting firm administrative assistants and marketing coordinators everywhere (and I’ve played in your position myself), don’t forget that you don’t have to be the one using all of these time-saving social media tools.  Instead of ten CPAs each signing into LinkedIn every morning to post a piece of content, why not take your Special Teams and let them do it once a week for everyone, using tools such as Hootsuite, or the newer Buffer, to fill with content and schedule the release during the week?  Your marketing person can also sign in to your LinkedIn account and request recommendations from clients that you select – it’s a fast process to request, and these written testimonials from actual clients will really make you stand out when others look at your profile for the first time.

Buffer came out in 2013, and has a great free version that you can test on an individual level across different social media (like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook).  If your firm discovers it’s indeed both a timesaver and more efficient at spacing out your content onto social media, you may want to get the paid “Awesome” version (yes that’s the name of it!).  Buffer can even advise how many people are clicking on all of your links, thus tracking your hits and misses.

And since you CPAs will all be too busy to send me your comments, ask your marketer to let me know if they find any of these ideas helpful in keeping the momentum during this crucial season, and if they’ve found other ways to keep you on the field.