Xero app partner guest blog, by Liz Studholme, Content Marketing Manager at BOMA.
However you feel about social media, it is a really useful tool for your business. Your social media pages are ‘owned’ by you and you control the messaging and the frequency. Compare this with the old days of booking ads on radio or in a newspaper. Social media can grow your business audience in a more affordable way than you ever could with traditional media. It’s also a great place to support and interact with your existing clients.
You can share useful advice on your social feeds, remind clients about important dates, comment on recent events or business challenges, and build your profile around the expertise of your firm. In contrast to your website, social media is a two-way conversation. So you can chat, respond to comments and show your personality. Social media is about information sharing but also about building a community.
Which channels are right for my firm?
LinkedIn is a great place to start. Most business professionals have a LinkedIn personal profile. It used to be a place just for your resume, but it’s so much more than that now. On LinkedIn, you can build a business network. LinkedIn is like a digital ‘word-of mouth’. The channel helps you to connect with people you know but also, the people they know. You can build a network with people you haven’t met based on their role, their business, industry vertical or interests. It is a great place to build your firm’s profile.
In addition to your personal profile, make sure you also create a business profile too. A company page helps you to grow your online presence. Once your page is set up, encourage your team to connect to your page. This means your company page will show up on their profiles and helps you to reach a wider audience.
90% of all internet users are on Facebook. This channel is all about friends and family but it’s also a great place for businesses to engage with customers and clients. Facebook reports 1.5 billion searches per day, which is huge, and it shows that people can be searching for your business here too.
If you are setting your firm up on Facebook, make sure you create a Facebook Page not a personal profile. This is important because a page is designed to do different things to a profile. Here’s why:
- A business page allows you to include information about what you do, contact details, areas of expertise as opposed to your birthday and your relationship status.
- Fans and followers can simply follow you without having to connect as a ‘friend’.
- You have access to more functionality on a page, such as Facebook ads, target audiences and call-to-action buttons.
- You can turn on the review feature so that happy clients can post a review and comment on the value of your expert advisory services.
Twitter actually began as an SMS (text) messaging platform, which is why all tweets are short – now a maximum of 280 characters. Twitter is all about making your point in a quick and concise way – or you can create a thread if you have something more complicated to share.
Twitter is a good place to discover news or share your opinion with a huge audience. You can share links and images too. And if you want to link your tweet to an evolving conversation, use the hashtag. A hashtag is simply a way of grouping conversations on social media. You can search for content using a hashtag too. You may have come across them at events where they are used to connect attendees, collate feedback and comment, such as #Xerocon.
Twitter can be a little daunting when you are new to it. Mainly because it’s immediate, and fast moving, and there is a lot of content here. We recommend you start by following people that interest you or influencers in your field. If you are using BOMA, you can easily create a tweet from the content you send to your followers on Facebook or LinkedIn.
So, now that you have a presence on social media, the next step is to build a following. If you only have three followers then you won’t get much reach with your posts. There are lots of ways you can do this.
- Make it easy, by adding your linked social media icons to your website and email footer.
- Invite the people you already know. On Facebook and LinkedIn, use admin tools on the page.
- Post regularly
What should I post?
Before you start, put yourself in the shoes of your clients or the people you want to follow you. Once you know who you are talking to, it is easier to create engaging and relevant posts and tweets.The main purpose of social media is to build a community.
Good content marketing should ‘give first and sell second’ so use your social channels to share useful tips and advice for your clients. Use the 80:20 rule – make 80% of the content about your client and 20% about you. If all your posts are promotional, you will see engagement drop over time but if you share useful advice, tips, reminders and commentary, your audience will feel like there is always something for them.
Here are some ideas for content:
- Remind clients about upcoming compliance dates
- Share useful tips and advice about common business challenges
- Comment or talk about recent events, or legislation changes
- Promote a webinar or provide a downloadable guide on tax
- Ask questions – the more engagement your posts get, the broader your social reach is. Make sure you respond to comments that are posted by your followers.
- Share the human side of your business – new people, achievements, your firm’s culture and your team’s expertise.
- Comment (as your page) on other content online or share it and tag the author using the @ sign.
- Advertise to reach prospects in your area with an offer .
How do I get started?
If you are not sure where to start, BOMA has a library of ready-to-share content written specifically for your clients. Simply choose the content, add your personal touch and send to your social media pages and as an email.
Your activity on social media will build on your relationship with your clients and prospects by adding value for them and demonstrating your expertise.
Getting started is easy. What are you waiting for?
BOMA is a marketing tool designed specifically for accountants and bookkeepers. Choose from over 400 expertly written, ready-to-share articles, and free images. You can create social posts, emails and newsletters in minutes. Communicate and nurture clients and prospects with ease, from BOMA’s super-smart and easy-to-use marketing platform. BOMA makes it easy to connect with your clients and add value.