The increasing take-up of faster fixed and mobile data services is extending people’s choice over how, where and when they communicate with others, watch or listen to content services, seek information, shop and participate in the digital world.
For accountants, this makes it a particularly exciting time as emerging digital channels offer more choice in how they connect with their clients. These range from the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp for regular topical interactions to newer digital platforms that have been developed specifically for accountancy firms and allow accountants to engage directly on Smartphones and Tablets.
Social networking predominantly used to be a local activity that was carried out face-to-face but in the new digital era, new methods that utilise social media platforms can help to reinforce the firm’s branding and to increase connections with clients and prospects alike. Now, accountancy firms can more easily make their voice heard and far less likely to get lost in the noise of an always on world. Here are 7 ways social media can help future proof your firm’s communication strategy.
1. Post business content on Facebook
Facebook is the most widely used channel for business use and 93 per cent of those who took part in a recent study into the use of social media in business (State of Social 2019) said they were using it. Twitter follows in second place.
2. Use video content to gain interest
Image/video is considered by social media specialists as the most important aspect when creating and publishing a piece of content and makes it more likely to be viewed. Video content is fast gaining in popularity with significant numbers (36 percent) of businesses saying that they publish video content monthly with around one quarter (24 percent) publishing video content weekly.
3. Group targeting
Target groups with the most widely used social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and WhatsApp. WhatsApp is moving away from being solely a personal social media channel and is now used by 14.5 per cent of businesses for social media campaigns.
4. Integrate private messaging into social media activity
One-to-one messaging is set to rise as privacy becomes a more important issue. ‘Push notification’ messages fit the bill by delivering a more pro-active service that post millennials and the Z generation expect and they can be used to help communicate on a one-to-one basis, quickly and easily. They have the added advantage that they can be automated to individuals and groups, which almost immediately ‘ping’ onto the home screen of mobile devices. With a 93 percent open rate, these messages are almost always read – typically, within minutes of delivery. This functionality presents firms with the opportunity to automate the distribution of content, ranging from reminders about tax deadlines, to news on services and invites to webinars and they can be confident that they are being seen.
5. Don’t rule out paid for social media advertising
Paid for social media advertising is a relatively new area but it is one that those businesses that have tried it, are finding effective. In the State of Social Report mentioned above, almost a quarter of respondents said they see it as very effective and a third say it is effective.
6. Track that your messages are being read
One of the misconceptions of digital communications is that it is difficult to measure effectiveness. However, times are changing, and one important advantage is that is now possible to track and identify whether clients and prospects have received your messages. This gets around the growing challenge of clients reporting that they haven’t received emails because they have ended up in the junk folder.
7. Include a ‘Call to Action’
One of the most important aspects of any social media campaign is to include a call to action or CTA. To assess the performance of social media campaigns, it is no longer enough to consider ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ as an indicator of meaningful engagement. By always including a call to action or CTA, it is possible to assess the effectiveness by the number of those who respond.
The considered use of social media can help solve the communication challenge so many accounting firms now face. ‘Connected’ firms are gearing up for the future by adopting new techniques provided by a combination of social media and digital communication platforms to make their voices always heard where it matters: on clients’ and prospects’ Smartphones and Tablets.
OneApp is the leading App platform for Accountancy firms worldwide, that enables accountants to position their brand at the centre of their client’s mobile lives.
MyFirmsApp was the first and original developer of bespoke Apps for Accountancy firms. Over the last six years, the company has grown to become the number one provider globally,
having developed over 1200 Apps for accountants and bookkeepers, which are used by over 200,000 businesses daily to manage their finances.
Mike Page | Head of Product Management and Customer Experience | www.myfirmsapp.com.au