But getting starting with social media marketing is not as easy as creating a post. Social media is a powerful marketing tool. As such social media needs its own marketing strategy. A content strategy. A lead generation strategy.
Having a strong understanding of what type of content to post. The benefits of different social media networks. And what your marketing goals should be, will all go towards building success social media marketing plan.
Understanding the different social media platforms
The social media landscape is full of different social media platforms. You may be tempted to create social media accounts for all of them. But that may not be the best option for your accounting firm.
Each social media platform has a different audience. Some of these might be completely irrelevant to your brand. Because of this, you can find yourself creating content and social media posts that are not even being seen by your target audience.
When it comes to social media, the same old rules of marketing still apply. Market where your audience is.
Each social media network has its own advantages and disadvantages for accountancy firms. Below, we highlight the key strategic takeaways for the most popular social platforms. Use these to help educate your marketing strategy and social media content.
Facebook is still the goliath of social media. It is the most used and engaged with social platform on the market. Used by millions of people every day.
Monthly users: 2.7 billion
Largest age group: 24-34 (26.3%)
Gender: 44% female, 56% male
The platform allows for multiple ways for your accounting firm to do marketing. From publishing blogs, sharing photos & videos to even creating 'Story' clips - short video clips which disappear after 24 hours.
How people use Facebook
People typically use Facebook to stay in touch with their friends and family. Or to interact with news stories or their favourite brands. Typically, brand interaction is on a more B2C basis than a B2B basis. This means people are more likely to follow their favourite clothing brand than accounting firm.
How accountancy firms can use Facebook
Even though brand interaction is on a more B2C basis, this should not mean accounting firms should ignore Facebook.
For B2B companies, views to a Facebook profile are most likely going to come from potential employees than prospective clients. Take this into account when developing content ideas.
Use Facebook to deliver soft brand messages. Some suggestions could include 'Meet the team', 'Social days' or Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
Linkedin is a B2B social platform. It is the top-rated social media platform for lead generation. Unlike other social media platforms, people use LinkedIn for business.
Monthly users: 465 million
Largest age group: 46-55
Gender: 51% male, 49% female
LinkedIn generates income in a slightly different way than other social media platform. Every other platform relies on paid advertising. Whilst LinkedIn does allow firms to advertise, they put high budget limits in place. Instead, LinkedIn generates revenue through paid memberships.
How people use LinkedIn
Linkedin is built around building relationships in business and lead generation. Most of the audience there expects some business interaction. However, that's not to say hard-sells or soft-sells are welcomed by the audience.
On Linkedin, brands tend to take a back-seat. LinkedIn tries to push the building personal relationships between different people. This means, as a general rule, a social post from a personal account will tend to get more engagement than from a company account.
How accountancy firms can use LinkedIn
When it comes to social media marketing for accountants, LinkedIn can be incredibly powerful for raising brand awareness. But it requires a joint effort between the profile page of the brand and individual employees.
The brand page should focus on providing relevant valuable content to your audience. Examples include linking to blog posts or sharing thought leadership articles. But ensure to mix that with some softer social media activity such as 'Meet the team' or Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
Meanwhile, employees of your accounting firm also need to embrace LinkedIn. Ensure they like, comment and share on your brand page posts. In addition to this, encourage them to be active in their own right. Commenting on other people's posts which they find interesting. Following their client's profiles. Or even posting their own content.
Remember, LinkedIn encourage its users to build relationships between people rather than to brands. So, your employees and people will be key in any establishing any social media marketing strategy.
Instagram is the second largest social media platform after Facebook. In comparison to Facebook and LinkedIn, Instagram is heavily focused on visual imagery compared to text posts. In fact, posts on Instagram don't even support the ability to post links to share blogs.
Monthly users: 1 billion
Largest age group: 25-34
Gender: 57% female, 43% male
Despite its growth, social media marketing on Instagram is suffering from stiff competition from TikTok for it's younger audience.
How people use Instagram
Influencers and motivating shopping play heavily with how people use Instagram. People usually use Instagram to find influence for something. Be that DIY, make-up, holiday destinations or to research products.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram is more heavily focused on B2C relationships with consumers rather than B2B. Although, that isn't to say accounting firms should dismiss Instagram entirely.
How accountancy firms can use Instagram
As previously mentioned, Instagram is a visual platform. But it's also a platform that people look for influence. Accounting firms can use that to their advantage.
One method is by anticipating things your audience do not know. And using that to create content which entices, engages and educates your audience. Use social posts that feature videos, graphics or photos to create visually intriguing social posts. Attaching relevant hashtags to your posts will help promote your content to new clients.
Twitter has long been a staple of the social media sector. Famous as a micro-blogging site, posts are limited to only 280 characters.
Monthly users: 187 million
Largest age group: 30-49
Gender: 32% female, 68% male
The character limit of posts has created an environment which makes Twitter a prime place for short-term interactions. As a result, it's evolved into a platform for discussions, quick news or to conduct customer service.
How people use Twitter
Whilst Twitter has a very active user base, it has long been a platform where brands struggle to dominate. Some brands have managed to stand out using a strong brand voice that resonates with their target audience. However, these brands are few and far between.
The reason why Twitter is a hard place for brands to compete is because very few brands are able to identify why people use Twitter. People generally use Twitter to discuss events, breaking news or air grievances with companies.
How accountancy firms can use Twitter
Developing a social media marketing plan for accountants on Twitter involves creating a content marketing strategy which encourages engagement.
Create or share blog posts which focus on the latest breaking news in your sector. These should be made in a way which can stimulate discussion from your ideal customers. Being able to create content quick on Twitter is vital to succeeding as early posts will gather more engagement.
Additionally, identify a way you can offer customer service through Twitter. Be sure to offer a quick response to any questions or issues and utilise the private message system to handle any issues.
TikTok is the latest social media platform to enter the market and make a sizable impact on market share. In fact, it has made such an impact that it is now the third largest platform on the market (behind Facebook and Instagram). And its growth is still expected to increase in the coming years.
Monthly users: 755 million
Largest age group: 18-24
Gender: 59% female, 41% male
It does have a predominantly younger audience. However, growth is being seen in older audiences. Additionally, TikTok's audience is incredibly engaged. The average user was reported to have spent 21.5 hours per month on the platform during 2020.
How people use TikTok
To a large extend, TikTok is a social media platform for creating, sharing or discovering short videos. The videos have a focus of creative expression. With many videos seeing users use singing, dancing, comedy and lip-syncing as their content ideas.
Users are then able to share their videos across the community either through TikTok itself or other platforms.
How accountancy firms can use TikTok
TikTok may not be a platform that suits every accounting firm. Its platform is traditionally younger. And with the focus on creativity, it may not suit every brand.
However, with the right strategy in place, some firms could see benefits.
Firms looking to engage with younger audiences - potentially as interns for future employees - could utilise TikTok to build brand awareness. Content itself for TikTok should showcase a softer side of a brand image.
YouTube is not generally considered a social media platform, however it has an incredibly active user base. 62% of all YouTube users log into the platform on a daily basis and over 70% of all internet users have an active YouTube account.
Monthly users: 2 billion
Largest age group: 15-25
Gender: 72% of all female internet users, 72% of all male internet users
While 15-25 is the largest age group, it is not the largest by much. In fact, all age groups have an incredibly high user base. The lowest is the 56+ age range, where 67% of all internet users in this age range have a YouTube account.
How people use YouTube
YouTube is a video streaming service. But, when compared to the likes of TikTok, which also focuses on video content, YouTube is geared towards long-form content. In other words, videos which last longer than a minute or two.
Viewing on YouTube has more similarity to streaming shows on Netflix or the like. People seek out engaging content that is relevant to their interests, both in work and out of work.
How accountancy firms can use YouTube
YouTube can be used both as a platform to distribute your videos and a way to generate new customers.
Identify problems or issues that your existing or potential clients could have that are relevant to the services you offer. From there, create videos which can help or educate your audience.
These videos can then be shared on your other social media platforms to help gain views.
YouTube also provides a great opportunity to generate new customers. This can be done through the YouTube search results. By including relevant keywords into the title and description of your video, potential customers will be able to find your videos.
5 tips to improve your social media strategy
Social media is a vital link to your contacts and enables you to communicate with them at any time of the day. In order for you to embrace this powerful tool effectively, we have a few tips to consider when venturing out into the social media world.
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