Leveraging Social Media to Attract New Accounting Clients
With so many businesses competing for online real estate, it can be challenging to make your accounting firm stand out online. Which raises the question: how do clients choose one business over the other? A key factor is what they find on your social media. While clients can be sold through social media ads, there are different ways to leverage social media to your company’s advantage. A successful social media strategy builds trust and connection through content and community, helps prospective clients see you as the expert, and uses video to gain visibility. When clients discover you on social media, choosing your firm will be a no-brainer.
How your clients use social media
Before your firm can start marketing on social media, it’s important to know the generation of your target market. Millennial clients tend to use Instagram or LinkedIn. Generation Z is more likely found on Tik Tok or YouTube. Generation X and the Baby Boomers typically spend their time on Facebook or Yelp. Your firm’s job is to show up where your clients are, so be sure to hone in on this.
Your online presence is your storefront. Prospective clients should be able to google your firm and, at minimum, find a website, a Google business page, and a YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, depending on your target client. Though posting on all platforms consistently may not be an option, having a few different platforms will confirm to them that you are, in fact, a legitimate and relevant business. Across all platforms, your message and feel should be cohesive so that people can go from one platform to the other and see that you are organized, consistent, and professional. The last thing you want is to have an online presence that says your firm is disorganized, not good with technology, or doesn’t know how to use social media.
The two categories of social media content
Once you’re ready to begin marketing, start with answering the question, ‘What is the message we’re trying to communicate?” Use this to back into your content, focusing on two categories:
- Get to know us content
- Value-adding content
Social media ads, should you choose to use them, are only beneficial if people actually like and connect with what they find when they click on the link to your page.
Get to know us content
Whether your company is a large firm, or you are working as a solo-preneur, building trust and connection is key to winning on social media. Build rapport with your followers using ‘get to know us’ content. This content is an opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. Your followers should know so much about you and your firm that they feel like they know you. Share your story. Share your company’s purpose and ‘why’. The reason the pizza shop has grandpa’s story on the back of the menu is the same reason you should post your company’s story: it’s authentic, it’s relatable, and it pulls on people’s heartstrings to create connection. Find things in common with your clients, whether it’s a story, a purpose, a belief, core values or even a demographic, and then TELL THEM that you have that thing in common, because when you’ve made a connection with them, they, consciously or subconsciously, will trust you more.
The second category, ‘value-adding’ content, focuses on creating content that your firm’s prospective clients will find useful or shareable. Value-adding content includes tidbits of information that will help your followers see you as the expert and help them in their business endeavors without signing a contract. Options include posts with how-to videos, checklists, or a ‘tip of the day.’ Create ‘announcement posts’ where you share about tax law change or other updates (covid created many opportunities for this), especially updates that affect your target niche. Post links to your blog or other articles you’ve written for clients or the accounting industry, again presenting you as the expert. Since sharing is an integral aspect of social media, as your followers find value in your posts, they will share them with others. Value-adding, sharable content is the best and easiest way to get client referrals. With your client’s permission, tag them in your posts and stories, as it makes it easier for them to share your content.
Another form of value-adding content is downloadable products. Instruction articles, sample documents, spreadsheets, or downloadable templates can all be given away or sold through social media. Again, tailor the documents to the services you’re offering and the niche you’re serving. For example, if you work with retail clients, consider building an educational document on retail math, how to take a physical inventory, or the best payment processors for online boutiques. These types of products give the clients a feel for how you think and operate and open a door for them to connect with you without a full-on commitment to your services.
Download our free white-paper Adopting a Transformative Practice Management Mindset to learn more strategies on how to become an innovate, future-proof firm.
How your accounting firm can leverage video content
While graphics and posts are great, the hottest social media trend right now is video content.
The newest social media platform, Tik Tok, has over 500 million users and is available in more than 150 global markets. Video platforms like this allow you to weave services and brand content into clients’ feeds more naturally. An uptick in video has been seen across all platforms, with experts seeing even Instagram users move from static posts to Reels (Tik Tok-like videos on Instagram).
The best thing about video content for you and your firm is that authenticity trumps production quality. Social media users are not looking for beautifully shot or professionally produced videos. Firms can gain attention through trends like hashtag challenges, short and 24-hour stories. An extension of this trend is social live streaming on platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Live streams have gained popularity for their ability to create a place for firms or brands to engage with their followers in real-time. So if you have not tried social media video content, now is the time.
Foster Community within Your Niche
Social media is a great place to create and foster community within your niche. Your firm can foster an online community by creating your own groups or by joining other communities within your niche to build trust and connection. Additionally, you can partner with micro-influencers, influencers within a specific niche to reduce competition. Whether collaborating, hosting live videos, or simply sharing your content, working with a micro-influencer is a proven way to get client referrals within your specific target market. For example, during the pandemic, influencers’ impact on sales were amplified, as in-person meetings were limited and social media shopping increased.
When leveraging social media to attract new clients, it’s critical to add something to your followers’ lives, either professional value or a common denominator. As you consistently build trust through connection and speak to their business needs through value-adding content, prospective clients will see your firm as the experts and want to work with you. You won’t even have to sell them.