If you want to know why using Facebook can help your accounting business, consider that over 2.8 billion people use it every month and two-thirds of these visit a business page every day – that means a lot of potential clients eyeballing your business offering. However, it’s not as simple as just randomly posting stuff; you need to know how to plan an effective marketing strategy.
There are so many ways to use Facebook to boost your business; but where do you start? By first setting up your business page, which is easy to do and it’s free.
First, log in to your personal profile and follow these steps:
- Click on the three vertical lines near the top right-hand corner, and click on ‘Create New Page’.
- Choose the type of page you want, i.e. ‘Business/brand’ or ‘Community/public figure’.
- Enter your business information.
- Upload your profile and cover photos.
- Click on ‘Edit Page Info’ and fill in your description, contact information, operating hours, etc.
- Click on ‘Create Page’ @Username to create your personal URL to help people find you on Facebook.
- Click ‘Add a Button’ under your cover photo to set up a call to action like ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Get a Quote’.
Voila! You have a business page. Congratulations! Now what? Do you just start posting any old thing and see what happens? Well, you could do that, but it wouldn’t help much. Let’s first check out the types of posts and how each one has a different purpose.
Status posts (no, not whether you’re married or single)
This is a text post without photos, videos or links. It’s quick and to the point, but if you want to drive traffic to your website or acquire new clients, it’s not the best option. Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t really dig these kinds of posts, so they don’t get much reach in the news feed. Facebook’s algorithm controls the order and presentation of posts – instead of publishing content chronologically, posts and ads are presented based on what Facebook sees as relevant to you. Text posts are good for starting a conversation, asking questions, calling for feedback, or sharing important info like operating hours.
Photo posts (no compromising shots, please!)
An appealing photo will achieve higher engagement. And don’t worry if you’re the point-and-shoot kind of photographer – there are many free stock photo websites to help. Choose an engaging shot that represents your business, and a short status post to go with it. For example, show a picture of lots of bills and someone calculating it and holding their head in exasperation, coupled with text saying ‘Leave the headache of your tax returns to us.’
These garner even higher engagement rates. They can be short and sweet to make an announcement, or longer but carefully crafted and beautifully shot, coupled with a story. On Facebook, videos play automatically in the news feed, so you’re sure to catch people’s attention.
Live video posts
These increased viewership by 50% in 2020 – no prizes for guessing that COVID-19 lockdowns had something to do with it. Live videos are an intimate personal way to connect with followers. They can be used for Q&As, behind-the-scenes tours, team introductions, and more. Just remember to turn off the video at the end so you don’t say anything rude while your audience is still listening.
For these, you share a URL with your followers and it brings up a preview of that site. You could share a link to your own website or an interesting link from another website that is related to the accounting field. Include a few words of your own to give context and make it personal.
These are photo or short video posts in a vertical format that disappears after 24 hours. Photos appear for five seconds, and videos can be up to 20 seconds long. They sit at the top of the News Feed, so they are not affected by the Facebook algorithm, which is why more than half a billion people view Stories every day.
This is a regular post (whether text, photo, poll or video) that stays put at the top of your page, and it’s the first thing people see when they visit your page. To create one, just click on the three dots in the right-hand corner of the post and choose ‘Pin post’. It’s a great way to make sure that your post doesn’t get lost in all the kerfuffle.
Facebook Watch Party
With these, you can screen videos to the public and for your followers, in real time. You can also promote Watch Parties by creating an Event. This is a great way to create a buzz about a new opening, winning awards, launching a new service, and more. It’s not for having wild, drunken parties at the office – but we know you don’t do that anyway.
Keep an eye on the ball and an ear to the ground
Whichever posts or mixes of posts you choose to use, keep an eye on your Facebook analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. If you find that certain posts have worked well on other channels, for example on your website, blog, Instagram or Twitter, then try those out on Facebook.
Social Listening is something you should do regularly – that’s not listening to other people’s conversations at your local coffee shop. This is where you learn about what people love about your company or what they’d like you to address. You can eavesdrop on what people are saying about your competitors, too. It’s allowed, and it’s useful.
YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
To craft a successful Facebook marketing strategy, first get a sense of the demographics of users of the platform and how that connects to your target customer. Facebook’s built-in Audience Insights tool will help you drill down into the nitty-gritty about potential customers. You can use it to find information on their age, gender, education, relationship status, location, language, Facebook usage, and past purchase activity. This is not an opportunity to spy on people; it’s about gaining insight into potential clients to target.
Now it’s time to set strong goals that are tied to your business objectives. These could include generating leads, increasing conversions on your website, and improving customer service. Then map out specific, measurable ways to get there. You could use the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based). Every post, every comment, every ad you create should service these goals. You could also create a Mission Statement and Facebook style Guide so that everything you post has a consistent look and feel.
Mix and match
Your mix of content takes trial and error, but try the 80-20 Rule, so, 80% of your posts should inform, educate and entertain, and the other 20% can promote your brand. It’s more important to build a relationship with clients than simply punt products and services. Give them content they’ll enjoy, and they’ll be more likely to read about your business. You could also use the social media rule of thirds: one-third of your content should share ideas and stories, one-third should involve personal interactions with your followers, and the rest can promote your business.
When to post
You can get an idea from Page Insights – it will give you preferred times to post, according to research. When you have the times, be consistent. You can create a Content Calendar to keep your content frequency organised. For this, you can use Hootsuite Planner, Zoho Social, eClincher, and others. They’re simple to use and very useful.
Create an extra-special cover image on your page. Then link your page to your website, newsletter and blog, and any other platforms you use, and make sure you create a link to your page in your email signature. You can also create ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons on your website, blog or newsletter. The key to getting likes is to always create valuable, memorable and entertaining content.
You need to be engaged, too, if you expect your followers to be. Come one, we know you have a sharp wit behind that calm exterior! Being responsive is rated as highly important to users. Reply to every message and comment, answer questions, and keep content up to date. Remove old content regularly if it no longer applies.
So, now that you know what to do, you can plan how to use all these lekker tools to really boost your accounting business, get new clients, and present a super-professional image. Once you see the results, we just know it’s going to become your next favourite thing.