EasyBiz Technologies: Business + Social Media = Business²
Why do you need social media to market your accounting business? What’s wrong with sticking pamphlets on car windows or popping business cards through post box slots? Nothing! Except that it’s a completely hit-and-miss exercise … mostly miss, especially with your move to online with QuickBooks Online. Clutching onto the old methods won’t serve you – soon, instead of putting a sign on your door saying ‘Gone fishing’, your sign will read ‘Gone extinct’. Gary Epstein, Managing Director of EasyBiz Technologies, says social media marketing will help you identify, target and attract the clients you seek. So, no need to club them over the head and drag them back to your cave.
Studies show that many small businesses do not use social media to market their enterprise – some don’t see the benefit of it and others struggle to get started. Many business-owners argue that word-of-mouth is the best way to market a business – and this is true (unless someone is bad-mouthing you). But if you can imagine word-of-mouth marketing multiplied by a thousand, that’s the power of social media marketing.
Having a social media presence can mean the difference between running a sort-of-okay business and creating a super-successful one. It also allows accounting professionals to expand their role to become financial advisors, to offer seminars or workshops, to become the go-to authority on all things financial, and obviously to extend their client base significantly. Done correctly, you’ll still have time to go a few rounds on the golf course with your loyal clients, or treat them to a slap-up brekkie. There are many benefits to having an online presence to market your business, but here are just 10:
- You get to talk about your business. We know you want to share how you started out, built up your business, and faced and conquered challenges. You can use this story to inspire your followers, and it adds more meaning to what you offer. Learn how to tell stories that relate to your service, and these stories will help your customers relate to you. Also, let your followers know about new services, products, updates and new appointments. You don’t need a loudhailer for this; just the tap of a few buttons on your computer.
- Marketing on the cheap. You don’t have to use paid-for advertising – you can grow your following just by being consistent and posting valuable and relatable content. USE SEO (trending keywords) to enhance your rankings. This increases traffic to your profile, which leads people to your website. Don’t get overexcited about using hashtags, though. Yes, we know how you get with a new toy. Choose words which people will most likelysearch for, for example #2021budgetspeech or #2021taxreturns.”If you do have a budget for advertising, though, paid-for ads increase your marketing and digital growth quicker, and allow you to target your audience more precisely. Then build a landing page that you can direct social media traffic to. This will help you increase conversions by way of a call to action. You can also include buttons on your blog and website to show how many shares your content has achieved. These buttons allow for quick sharing, and you’ll get a kick out of seeing the likes and shares you get – it’s like hearing that ‘ka-ching’ sound from an old cash register.
- Be number one. You can build your image so that it becomes the first business on people’s minds when they think of accounting services. Staying connected with your followers and creating a bond is key to converting followers into potential buyers and then loyal customers. Why not build your own Facebook or LinkedIn group about accounting? You can monitor conversations about the industry as a whole that can help market your services. Show people that you’re not just a pretty face, by contributing articles of authority on accounting, for example, the benefits of online accounting software versus desktop programs.”
- Spy on your competitors. See what they post and which posts do well. Read the questions and their answers and see if your business could do better. Analyse their customer service so you can always top it.
- Do some social listening. No, this is not another term for eavesdropping. The tools on social media platforms allow you to see how many visitors were interested in the content you shared, how many clicked on a call to action, and how many actually want your services. With this info, you can target your message to a specific audience. Social listening is a way to find out whether people think your business is hot or not.
- Go on a recce mission. Find out what your potential clients are interested in to help you target their likes, dislikes and interests. They may be interested in consulting an accountant, but you can attract their attention through their personal interests or financial topics relevant to them. Always keep your loyal audience engaged and happy. Offer promos and discounts, add-on services or a free workshop, and give away inexpensive gifts relating to your business. Obviously, bribery and corruption are not cool, though.
- Content is not an advert. You can reach thousands of people by simply targeting ads. The time that users spend on social media increases the possibility of their seeing your ad or your profile, visiting your profile, and eventually becoming buyers. If it looks like an ad and sounds like an ad, it must be an ad – don’t confuse content with advertising. If you want to place an ad, pay for it and make it look professional. Use content to advise, inform, engage, entertain and remain relevant. Trying to peddle your wares disguised as content will just make you look like a desperate Dan/Doris.
- Be nice. A business that connects the most, grows the most, because customers get to know and trust you. Be friendly, answer queries, and offer help. Customers want to be heard. This is one of the best ways to get to know your audience better, to hone your marketing strategy, and to turn potential buyers into customers.
- Start with what you already have first. Keep your current clients happy, and then create visually appealing and engaging content to attract potential new clients. Creating awareness will help clients relate to your business or the content you create.
- Bragging is allowed. On social media, you can put up professional images and details of your services for people to engage with. There are many platforms and groups within those platforms where you can market your business. If existing clients give you a pat on the back, share this on your platforms. It’ll spread the message that your business is good enough for someone to give you positive feedback.” Using this information can help you target specific age groups, shape your marketing strategy to appeal to them, and determine which platforms are best for marketing your services. So, don’t say we never give you anything.
Using this information can help you target specific age groups, shape your marketing strategy to appeal to them, and determine which platforms are best for marketing your services. So, don’t say we never give you anything.