An effective social media strategy for an accountant – is there such a thing?
The short answer is yes. But companies in the financial industry often make a common social media mistake. They use the same strategies clothing boutiques, restaurants, or influencers use. In other words, they don’t adjust their approach for their unique industry and the results are less than impressive.
If you’re an accountant wondering how to build a social media strategy, keep reading to learn the exact steps you need to take to conquer social media once and for all.
Step 1 – Research
Before you write a single post, you’ll need to conduct research. During this process, you’ll figure out what you need to create, who you’re creating it for, where you’re going to put it, when you’re going to do it, and how you’re going to make it all work.
The first chunk of research should be on social media platforms and which is best for your business and social media goals. Options include:
- Facebook – Every business needs a Facebook page. With a business page, you’ll have access to powerful advertising tools and in-depth analytics.
- Instagram – Instagram has similar marketing tools and advantages to Facebook, but it’s all about visual advertising. If you have some creative marketing ideas, Instagram can work for accountants.
- Twitter – Twitter can be tricky for accountants, but it’s a great platform for developing your brand voice and engaging with leads and customers through short updates and link sharing.
- LinkedIn – This platform is geared strictly towards professionals. If you want to network with CEOs who prioritize business acumen, this is your ideal platform.
For accountants, Facebook is a must. If you’re just starting out on your social media journey, choose one other platform for now. As your online marketing grows, you can branch out to other platforms if desired.
Now that you know which platform(s) you want to focus on, it’s time to research your ideal social media fan. We do this for two reasons. First, you need to know who you’re writing for so you can create content they’ll enjoy. Second, you need to make sure your target audience is on the platform you’re planning on using.
Take a few minutes to write down every attribute your ideal audience has. This should include:
- Financial status
- Marital status
- Personality characteristics
Study your description. What type of posts will this audience engage the most with? Creating content for married female business owners will be different than creating content for seniors who enjoy traveling. While you’ll always want a variety of content so you can engage with as many people as possible, it helps to have a clear picture of who you’re reaching out to.
Next, follow other accountants on your chosen platforms. Study their posts, their followers, and exchanges. Take notes of anything that sticks out to you. Is there a certain day of the week or time where there’s more engagement? Does their audience respond more to infographics, blog links, or company updates? What can be improved upon?
Don’t rush your research. Putting together a social media strategy takes work and to make sure you get the best return on your investment, taking the time to research your options, audience, and methods is crucial.
Step 2 – Plan
The next step is the planning stage. Ideally, you’ll be posting on a daily basis, so you’ll need to spend plenty of time brainstorming content ideas. After writing down as many ideas as possible, keep a running list that you can add to as ideas pop into your head. Next, decide where you want to plan your content.
There are several online options that make planning content for weeks or even months in advance incredibly simple. HootSuite and Sprout Social are popular options. SEMRush is another great social tool. Some marketing software offers Automation, like SharpSpring. The tool you end up using will depend on what you need it to deliver and your budget.
Now it’s time to start filling out dates with your content ideas. You don’t need to have a unique idea for every post and remember, there’s a variety of content you can choose from, including blog posts, landing pages, photos, infographics, videos, news announcements, and customer testimonials. Have you heard of the 5:3:2 rule? It’s great for accountants and simple to follow. For every 10 posts, make sure:
- Five are from other sources that your audience will resonate with
- Three are your own original content
- Two are fun and personal pieces that humanize your brand
Start by planning out one month. As you get better, it will be easier to plan out several months at a time. As you become a social media expert, you’ll find you can plan out your online content for the entire year with minimal effort.
Step 3 – Create
You’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to bring it all together by creating the perfect content for your audience and platform. But let us warn you first. Unless you love writing and designing, it’s easy to burn out when creating content.
On average, a blog post takes over three hours to write and an infographic can take a month to research and design. You’ll also need to have strong research, writing, editing, and design skills. If this all sounds overwhelming, you have a couple options. You can either find team members with the right skills and bandwidth to tackle your content needs or you can outsource the work to several freelancers or an agency.
Remember, whether you invest your time or part of your marketing budget into creating content, the right social media strategy will generate an impressive return.
Step 4 – Implement
You’re almost there! It’s time to finally get your content in front of your audience. Whether you decide to manually post or schedule your content in advance, make sure you routinely check in for engagement, including shares, likes, and comments. Set up notifications whenever possible. Over 40% of consumers expect brands to respond to social media complaints in under an hour.
As you check off days on your content calendar, keep in mind that a few posts might fall short. That’s okay. Learn with each misstep and remember that remaining active on your chosen social media platform is always the right choice.
Step 5 – Adjust
After several weeks of consistent posting, there are two things you should do. First, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re officially an accountant with an active social media presence!
The second thing you should do is study your results and adjust your social media strategy as needed. If you’re happy with how your marketing is going, keep at it! But if you want to continue to boost engagement, page likes, comments, or shares, study your posts and their results.
While platform-provided analytics will always help, getting your hands dirty with your own data often provides the best insights. Continue to study and adjust your content until you’re happy with your results.
Bonus Social Media Tips
As a marketing agency for companies within the finance industry, we’ve helped develop countless social media strategies for accountants. Here are some of our favorite tips to keep in mind.
Let clients generate content
UGC, or user generated content, is an affordable and effective marketing method. Instead of curating content from scratch, let your clients do it for you in the form of interviews, testimonials, questions, and photos. You’ll humanize your brand while posting content you know your audience can relate to.
You can get social followers to get involved through contests or just by asking how your services have made a difference in their lives.
Always have goals
Your social media marketing strategy should always revolve around set goals. Be as specific as possible. If you want to boost engagement, how many comments do you want your top posts to have? If you want to increase page likes, what number do you want to hit by the end of the month?
Make sure each goal is obtainable yet challenging. As you achieve your goals, continue to set more to keep you moving forward.
Schedule posts but be spontaneous
Scheduling your content in advance will guarantee you don’t fall behind on your posting schedule. Many platforms have a built-in feature for this, including Facebook, but you can also take advantage of scheduling software.
However, don’t be afraid to add an impromptu post. Maybe you have exciting news to share with fans or you came across an article that makes an important industry point. While schedules are great for making sure you always have something to post, spontaneous posts can often generate more buzz.
Develop a social media guide
Planning content is one thing, but you also need a plan on how to manage it. Whether you alone oversee your content, or you have several team members creating a social media presence, putting together a one-page guide on your company’s social media protocol will make the job easier.
Your guide should be detailed enough so that, if needed, another team member could come in and take over your social media responsibilities. Include information on target response times, your brand’s voice and tone, and how to handle negative comments.
As an accountant, knowing how to build a social media strategy can draw in new leads, boost engagement, and help you become a trusted source of information in your area or niche. For help with developing a winning social media strategy for accountants or other finance-based companies, reach out to NYB Creative today.