Love it or hate it, social media has become a part of our modern, digital life.
With close to 4.5 billion internet users, recent figures show that at least 90% of businesses are using social media to promote their business as part of a wider marketing strategy. Whilst some argue that it is easier for product-based businesses to engage in social media, we believe that there’s also good reason for service-based businesses, such as accountants, to use social media. And here’s why:
You can reach a wider audience
In the UK alone, an estimated 45 million people actively use social media. Whilst use varies from generation to generation, once you know who your target audience is you can identify which social media platforms they are most active on and create strategies to reach and engage with them. Most platforms offer relatively low-cost advertising options which might be worth considering as part of the overall marketing strategy.
It is a cost-effective marketing tactic
Whilst using social media platforms in itself is free, there is a cost associated with putting in place the resources to produce content for social media and manage the business’ activities. Some firms have a dedicated member of staff to manage their social media whereas others choose to outsource this function. Compared to other marketing tactics such as traditional advertising or direct mail, social media remains a cost-effective option.
It provides a platform to exchange information
And the important word here being ‘exchange’, not just broadcast. By following your key clients and other professional contacts you can find out about new projects, appointments and opportunities which can help with building client relationships. Following thought leaders and competitors can help you stay ‘in the know’ on industry issues. Positive engagement with followers can leave long-lasting impressions that will feed into a user’s perception of your brand.
It can help get your brand message across
Whilst we are not suggesting that social media should be the only marketing activity, we do believe that in combination with other activities, social media can help you position your brand within the market. Whether it’s a specific campaign you’re looking to amplify through social media, or to raise overall brand awareness, social media offers a great and versatile way of doing so. Plus, there’s the subliminal reminder to your followers about what your firm is up to every time you post something.
It can help build trust
Trust, along with expertise, is one of the main factors that people look for in an accountant. Through careful messaging on social media accountants can not only demonstrate their expertise, but also help build trust. With reports suggesting that 54% of social users researching products and providers before making a purchase, having a strong presence on social channels can be the deciding factor that makes potential clients get in touch with your practice. Reviews and recommendations on social media are great tools to help further build trust.
In summary, we believe that social media offers many benefits and should be considered as part of a firm’s overall marketing mix. A strategic approach should be adopted, starting with identifying key targets and objectives and then drilling down into how – and on which social media platforms – these can be achieved.
You might also want to read our Guide to using social media which delves deeper into each platform and how to get started.
Consortium – more than marketing are a specialist marketing agency to the professional services sector. If you would like to have an informal chat about your firm’s marketing and/or social media activities, just give us a call on 01903 530787.