Social media is quickly becoming an important branding and sales tool for accountants. No clue how to get started? Not sure how to take your social media strategy to the next level? No problem! I find it’s easiest for both beginners and more advanced social media users to study those that have already proven their methods by achieving success on the various social networks. Here are 6 accountants who are killing it on social media for you to learn from!
There may not be a more successful, helpful and engaged accountant community than Seth David’s (School of Bookkeeping) ABBO Facebook group. ABBO stands for Accountants, Bookkeepers and Business Owners, a group of people that’s invited to ask and answer questions in this friendly forum. It’s grown incredibly fast, and maintains a high level of activity throughout the day. I’ve seen this group frequently suggested to business owners who are still trying to do their finances themselves (how cute right?). This creates the perfect opportunity to be the brilliant accountant who comes to their rescue with an answer! Strategy tip? Give them a short response, and then let them know they can find more details on your blog/resource section (you’ve got one, right?).
Tweetchats are incredible valuable to brands, especially accounting and bookkeeping brands! Participating increases your exposure, demonstrates your expertise and even affords you to opportunities to learn. Cathy Iconis (Iconis Group) took things one step further by starting her own accounting Tweet chat. She now runs the most popular QuickBooks Tweetchat, #QBOChat, and even created a branded QBOChat web site to host the weekly live chat. Why is this a genius move? She now benefits from, and “owns” all of the traffic from Twitter and the Tweet chat — genius! All accountants should get involved not only in accounting-focused Tweet chats, but also ones specific to their industry like the ##AECSM TweetChat on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. EST for Architecture, Engineering and Construction professionals, or #constchat Thursdays at 12 p.m. EST for construction professionals.
As an expert in small business and accountant marketing, I am surprised, and baffled, by how few accountants utilize Google Plus. Between 4 to 6 million people frequently engage, interact and post publicly on Google+ (read: active accounts). W Cotton Mather CPA gets props for following these G+ best practices:
- Sharing motivational images and quotes
- Excellent blog content shared regularly
- Large and lovely images
- A very attractive cover image
- Highly visibly business information (like hours of operation)
- Highlights of employee accomplishments
- Sharing a mix of their content and other authoritative content (industry news, headline news)
- Connecting with other local businesses on Google Plus
I would strongly encourage them (and all accountants) to take things to the next level by employing traffic driving tactics, such as using hashtags ( #smallbusiness or #financialadvice are great ones), sharing more local news and participating in active Google Plus communities (The official G+ Small Business community is an ideal place to start).
Vincent Servello (Servello CPA) has done an excellent job working the Pinterest magic, developing a connection to a populous and vibrant community. His strategically curated boards relate directly to his business (accounting and personal finance), to his niche focuses (the construction industry and real estate) and to more general aspects of financial life. This latter group is the one that will help any accountant capture the largest possible audience, and the great amount of actual web traffic. Vincent mixes business content with traffic-driving “fun” pins, like those for his office decor, cool technology, or his home-run hit, dream Pinterest board: “What Will You Do With The Money You’ve Saved?”
“Fun pins” do not appear randomly; Vincent connects topics, such as “Cool Office Tech,” back to his profession via the description: “Office technology that helps your business run more efficiently can be deducted from your taxes – let’s see if your purchases are applicable!”
It’s true – small business owners are on Pinterest looking at educational contest as well as dream houses!
The Ohio Society of CPAs have a wonderful, professional-looking YouTube channel featuring excellent content, including their Spotlight Series and a bimonthly discussion with newsmakers and thought leaders in the business community weighing in on issues important to Ohio CPAs.
By tapping into news trends and newsmakers, they give their videos (and therefore their brand) major SEO juice (trending keywords and meta tags). More video views means a larger audience and more traffic to their site.
Their Tax Planning Strategies series is a particularly well-done production. Also, be sure to check out the very social media-friendly video: “Top 10 Tax Tips For The Self Employed.” This topic lends itself to social sharing, a genius move since Facebook and Instagram continue to give newsfeed preference to videos. Note their use of video annotations to drive traffic to their site and to other videos. Did you know searches related to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70 percent year over year, and more than 100 million hours of how-to content have been watched in North America so far this year? Sounds like a great content and audience opportunity to me!
McGladrey Accounting, soon to be rebranded to RSM Accounting, does a wonderful job making LinkedIn work for their firm. They share (often!) great content, with top-notch headlines such as “Ten Research & Development Tax Credit Myths That Might be Costing You Money.” This is sure to capture the interest of any business owner cruising the social network.
McGladrey/RSM also increases their LinkedIn strategy with breaking industry news, community highlights, firm accomplishments, employee spotlights, and posts celebrating worthy causes and positions, such as workplace diversity and empowering women in the workforce. Their headlines and content are nicely suited to LinkedIn reading audiences. McGladrey/RSM also makes great use of niche pages for their various divisions to provide specific content to those audiences.
Lastly, every brand on Facebook should also make use of LinkedIn’s groups, which present more opportunities for content distribution, audience engagement, and most importantly, email outreach! Posts from LinkedIn groups are emailed directly to group members in weekly digests.