But the rise of social media as a way to generate business opportunities has made effective use of sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google Plus a strategic priority for Los Angeles Certified Public Accountants.
Whether (or not) your firm has the luxury of having a dedicated marketing division to manage your social media activity, there are effective ways to demonstrate your accounting expertise and become as adept at social media account management as you are at managing your client’s financial matters.
Here are three recommendations to help your LA CPA firm succeed at social media.
1. Balance Posting, Listening, and Responding
Just like in the real business world, if you are only talking at people, and not having a conversation, eventually your audience may tune you out entirely. Don’t feel like you have to respond to every follow or mention of your messages.
If however there is a potential client, partner, or industry influencer who amplifies your message, make sure to react positively. Take opportunities to retweet, +1 or comment on the activity of your clients and prospects.
Proactively engaging with your community on social media is important. You don’t have to stick exclusively to business topics online. If you are finding it difficult to listen and react on multiple social media streams, try using listening tools like HootSuite, Google Alerts, or IceRocket.
If you find someone mentions you in a positive or negative light, make sure you respond in a professional and productive way. If you are seen to be invested in resolving an issue which is called out online, it will speak volumes about your character and client commitment in the real world.
2. Find Ways to Schedule and Automate Your Social Signals
Especially with smaller firms with limited time and resources to be active on social media, finding ways to pre-schedule your social media posts is a great way to balance your client commitments and keep up your social media activity. HootSuite, again, is a great tool to allow you to bulk load and build a schedule of posts to go out in the future.
Check out IFTTT (If This Then That) as a way to set up an “echo” effect of your posts on social media channels where you aren’t as active, but still have a following. CoSchedule is a tool to help you schedule the release of your blog posts should you have a WordPress site.
It can also promote your posts on your social media accounts the moment your blog is published. Buffer is another effective way to schedule blog posts. As content marketing expert Jay Baer said, “Content is Fire, Social Media is Gasoline.”
3. You Don’t Have to Be All Business – You Do Have to Be Likeable
In business as in life, people gravitate to others they admire and like. Being positive on social media, being human (including admitting your mistakes), and being supportive tends to win B2B companies the most points on social media channels.
Try to tone down the corporate speak on social media and let a little of your sense of humor shine through. Show the warm, human side of yourself, but don’t overdo it. Strike a balance between giving snippets of advice online where you find opportunities, and then invite prospective clients to contact you offline for additional discussions.
If you have built a decent following, consider hosting events like Twitter Chats or Google Hangouts on topics like “How to Survive an IRS Tax Audit” or “Bookkeeping Strategies for Startups”. These can be captured on YouTube or Storify and shared as valuable content to repurpose later.
If you find yourself struggling to be an active, consistent member of targeted social media channels, there are many tools and strategies to make the best use of the limited time you have to dedicate to engaging.
Social media account management is most effective if you choose a few channels you find effective and comfortable. Don’t try to be active on every channel or you risk burning yourself out.
Have you found effective ways to build a vibrant, targeted following on social media? Let us know about it in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.