There are 5 things Accountants don’t understand about social media. There are many things social media is and is not. Although the popular belief among professional businesses is that social media may be a complete waste of time, or only for the young and restless, it can be a valuable tool for all financial services firms.
Here are five things to consider:
- Social media is the vehicle that takes your potential consumers to your blog or web site.
- Social media is not for selling, only for telling.
- Social media enhances brands more so than any other technology medium or channel.
- Lead generation and social media go hand in hand.
- Social media is about two-way communication.
– Social media is the vehicle that takes your potential consumers to your blog or web site. There is a specific use for social media as a way to direct people to your web site. This can be accomplished in a number of ways; announcing a contest, conducting a survey, introducing a new blog entry, advertising a free resources such as an eBook, video or White Paper. With succinct language, consumers can click an embedded link in the social media announcement and be directed to a landing page or home page of your site for sign up, download or answer a survey, etc.
– Social media is not for selling, only for telling. Serious thought should be the forward to any publishing of messages on social media platforms. People resist any type of blatant selling, and will punish you for it by negative commentary on your announcement. Social media is all about developing a relationship among followers and those that follow them. Remember, a social media comment by one person also sends that comment to every one of their followers as well as you. When you respond to a comment placed by one of your followers, a much larger audience receives what you have to say as well. It is very easy to get maligned by any form of emotional knee-jerk reaction to what is in print in the social media world. Ready-Fire-Aim has been the death knell for many a marketer.
– Social media enhances brands more so than any other technology medium. Due to the sheer volume of platforms, a single announcement on a social media site can echo around the world in a matter of seconds. With hundreds of social media sites today, and more added daily, people are connected in ways unimaginable just a decade or so ago. What happens in California is read about in Borneo in a matter of the blink of an eye. Remember Arab Spring? The revolutions occurred because of the spread of information on social media. The internet has made all this happen, and social media, especially Facebook, has forever changed the flow of information.
– Lead generation and social media go hand in hand. As part of an organized inbound marketing strategy, social media participation reinforces your marketing in a number of ways, particularly generating leads. While one of your company followers may not be in immediate need of something you may be offering, say, an eBook on Tax Avoidance Strategies, one of their followers may notice that threaded comment and click on the link in your message. This is the power of social media; your targeted audience is automatically expanded to whoever is connected with someone that is connected with you. Take LinkedIn, for instance. Direct Connects of an individual is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A person may have 600 direct connects, but her/his second level and group level connections may be in the millions. That is the power of social media. You have a vast audience to market to indirectly with consistent social media participation.
– Social media is about two-way communication. Companies like Coke and Wal-Mart have figured out how valuable social media truly is; they openly communicate with their consumers through the social media platform. With specific inbound marketing software, any time their topics on which are commented, a two-way communication can occur in real-time. The great part about this is that you don’t have to be a behemoth corporation to communicate directly with your consumers in this fashion. Software designed to comb the internet in real-time about specific keywords alerts you to the discussion, and provides an opportunity to respond. It may sound like a lot of work, but the productivity of the two-way communication can minimize any negativity, or provide an opportunity to capitalize on the positive comments that are announced. Celebrity Sports figures, actors, radio and television personalities stay connected with their fans through real-time social media conversations. You can too.
CPAs and accountants are no different than any other business today. Marketing has changed dramatically, and social media is a huge part of the marketing mix. A professional inbound marketing expert can remove the mystery, set you up for success, and help you develop a comprehensive strategy and set of tactics to make things happen for you.