How to Market Your Accounting & Bookkeeping Firm on Social Media 101

Join us as Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA, and Cat Morgan, Sales & Partnerships Manager of BOMA, discuss real life examples of how social media marketing can help Accountants and Bookkeepers nurture clients and grow their business.

During this webinar you'll learn:
– Why you should be using social media
– What are the different social media networks
– How to approach and use the different networks
– What content to use for social posts
– How to build your following and engage with your audience
– How to leverage social media to grow your business
– Understanding social media analytics
– Plus tips, tricks and real world examples

NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

 

‘How to Market Your Accounting & Bookkeeping Firm on Social Media' Transcript

 

Charles Clark:

So welcome everyone to today's webinar. It's called ‘How to Market Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Firm on Social Media’. My name is Charles Clark and I'm the Marketing Director of BOMA and I'm joined today by Cat Morgan who's our Sales and Partnerships Manager. Hi, Cat?

Cat Morgan:

Hello there.

Charles Clark:

Brilliant. So we've done this webinar and we're really thrilled that you guys can attend because we find that social media is a really hot topic for all the accountants and bookkeepers that we deal with. So this is one that we run on a semi regular basis and we often get people coming back just to check in and maybe upscale.

Charles Clark:

Or maybe if they've just started just to get a few tips and tricks as they go along. So to get started, I thought it would be useful, as Cat said, we have taken some of your feedback and just to let you guys know how you said you're using social media.

Charles Clark:

So on the left hand side there the question was how often are you posting to social media? And I thought it was really interesting that there's a small but dedicated group of you who are posting once or multiple times a day which is pretty amazing.

Cat Morgan:

Impressive.

Charles Clark:

That's a, yeah, real dedication. A significant amount of you are posting once or a couple times a week which is great. But possibly where probably a lot of people are is you're posting a couple times to once a month. So we'll have some ideas for you as to how you might lift that without actually taking too much time to keep up with your social channels.

Charles Clark:

And then the second one was basically asking what are you posting on social media? So the great thing about social media is that it's really variable and fixable. You can post videos. It could be photos. It can be memes, commentary, educational pieces.

Charles Clark:

So just really interesting to see that you guys are really doing well on the commentary and insights, educational content and photos. I was interested that other than videos and memes, 18% was other.

Charles Clark:

So if you were one of the ones who ticked other, it would great if you could let us know what that was in the Q&A just so we can let everyone know what those other elements are.

Cat Morgan:

And we'll certainly provide some additional tips on what to post in today's seminar. So get your pen and paper ready because there will be some really good tips and tricks, practical advice that will be coming your way today.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. And as we said, we are going to cover questions at the end of it. So the written questions, as I said if you've got any questions that come up during it just feel free to ask them.

Charles Clark:

But there were three questions in particular that really struck Cat and I as we were reading through your feedback. And we thought, I just thought I would read them out now because they did inform a little bit about what we're talking about.

Charles Clark:

And so they are: What's the best use of social media to help develop an accounting business? The second one was what are the leading firms doing in this space? And the last one was wanting to learn about engagement tactics.

Charles Clark:

So fantastic questions and we'll do our best to address those as we move through. So obviously you guys are all quite involved in social media to a greater or lesser extent so I don't feel like I have to say you just have to be using it.

Charles Clark:

I think it's just important just to recap why social is so powerful. So I think the first thing to say is that it's really an addition to your website which is your online shop window. Social is amazing for brand awareness.

Charles Clark:

So people when they go through and do a bit of research on you, the new word of mouth, they will look at your website and then they will look at your social media channels. And if you don't have social media channels, I'm not saying that would cause them not to dig further, but people expect nowadays. Especially younger clients, the younger generation who are digital natives. It's just a hygiene factor that a business would also have a corresponding social profile.

Charles Clark:

The other side of things is that it can help amplify your content. So you see it in the feedback that you guys are sharing. Video and commentary and insights. You can also share blog posts. You can share white papers. You can share research pieces.

Charles Clark:

Social media is an amazing, amazing tool alongside email for you to get your information out there whether it's to clients or prospects or your wider network. It has really revolutionised how people communicate in the modern age.

Charles Clark:

And this feeds onto the next point which is it can help position either you personally or your firm as a thought leader. So obviously there are the global thought leaders in certain topics that we all know and there are those in the accounting space.

Charles Clark:

Heather Smith, someone that we work with closely but obviously would be a name that you guys would all recognise. So obviously that's thought leadership at the very highest levels. But you can also be a thought leadership in your area. So you could be a thought leadership on things that you and your colleagues know about that would be relevant to your audience and your clients.

Charles Clark:

So don't think that you have to be the one and only expert. The world leading authority on something. You are the experts. And for many small business, they look at accounting and advisory and it's a bit of a black box for them. So you are full of information that you can give to them and it will be really, really gratefully received, especially in these current times.

Charles Clark:

COVID has put a huge amount of pressure on businesses and so the more information that you can give to them that is helpful, that's insightful, that supports them will really be amazingly appreciated by them.

Charles Clark:

And lastly, it's fabulous for networking. So whether that's networking with clients and prospects or it might be are networking with your colleagues or people maybe within the accounting industry. It's a great thing to do. You'll never know what you'll learn and you'll never know what sort of connections you might make which will benefit you or your firm down the track.

Charles Clark:

So in terms of the main social channels, Cat's got a really good view on this actually. And we were thinking to include all of them. But Cat was saying no, no, no, look, there's really these four main ones.

Cat Morgan:

Yeah, absolutely obviously sometimes it feels like there's a new social platform coming out every week. And it's impossible to keep up with it really unless you're a teenager and who's got time for that. But there's some key ones that are really more focused on business being Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Cat Morgan:

So we're cover up a little bit of the differences between them. Many of your messages can be shared across multiple platforms. But there's some small differences which we'll cover off surely, in fact, in the next slide please, Charlie.

Cat Morgan:

So you may have seen this meme a few times. Dolly shared this post on Twitter and it does include Tinder which we won't be discussing today. But this is a really great way to visually understand the difference between the platforms.

Cat Morgan:

They all have slightly different audiences. But more importantly, the way that people expect to engage with you on these platforms is slightly different.

Cat Morgan:

Of course, you've got LinkedIn where you would portray more of your professional side. So sharing information about your services and your value, tips and tricks when it comes to maintaining a business.

Cat Morgan:

Whereas Facebook you can absolutely show more of your personality. Facebook's probably the one that would be more well-rounded, I would say, with a little bit of everything.

Cat Morgan:

Instagram, of course, is more image driven. So team photos, et cetera. And then instead of Tinder, we can perhaps talk about Twitter which is really a great place for you to let it all hang out so to speak. Anything goes a little bit on Twitter. It's a great place to share your views and talk with others about these as well.

Cat Morgan:

So we'll talk a little bit about more about what kind of posts that you might share on each of the platforms. But yeah, this is just a really great visual way to get an understanding of how you should engage on each of the four main platforms that we're talking about today.

Charles Clark:

I think an important point to wrap into that is there's a different expectation on these different social channels about how frequently you might be posting.

Charles Clark:

So something like LinkedIn, it's very possible that you may be just comfortable posting there once a month. And that's very common. There's not a need to be posting very often, very frequently.

Charles Clark:

Twitter, on the other hand, people paste … Sorry, people often post five, 10, 50 times a day. It really just depends. If they've got something to see or say or comment on, it's as often as you want to post on Twitter, you really can.

Charles Clark:

Whereas on LinkedIn, fewer posting. More than even once a day is quite a lot. It's the channels don't work in that same way. So Twitter you can post multiple times and because there's so much content on it, it won't feel like you're spamming it.

Charles Clark:

LinkedIn's at the other end. You want to post less frequently because otherwise it would look odd in terms of your profile as to what you're posting on.

Charles Clark:

Facebook and Instagram, a little bit in the middle. You can post fairly frequently or a little bit less frequently, it's up to you. But just yeah. It's just sort of [inaudible 00:10:04] to think about if you were going to choose one or two or maybe all of these platforms, they do have different cadences.

Charles Clark:

So just be aware of that. There's a question that she later on asking how often should I be posting? And part of the answer to that is it depends which channel you're on. If you're on LinkedIn only, you can get away with posting there pretty infrequently. If you're on Twitter, it has to be a little bit more frequently. As I said, Facebook and Instagram in the middle.

Charles Clark:

So in terms of some examples of people who are doing it well, I thought I'd use Kinder Pocock who are a client of ours. And they also happen to do fantastic work on their social channels.

Charles Clark:

So the point here is really, I suppose, making the most of social media from your perspective. So Kinder Pocock, they've got their business profile as well as they've also got their personal profiles. So for the people who work there.

Charles Clark:

The great thing about a personal, oh sorry, a business profile versus a personal profile is that you can have all the information on your profile that you really you would probably have on your website as well.

Charles Clark:

So you can have your logos. You can have your about section. You can showcase awards. You can share information about your products and services. You can tell people where to find you. You can tell them your phone number. You could even put a map in there.

Charles Clark:

So it's really an amazing place to both work as an advertisement of your services, but also start to set that, I suppose that brand identity. So it's really important that if you're on multiple social channels that the imagery and the brand, I suppose, tone is the same across all your social channels. And then also has to match up with your website yourself. So consistency is really key there.

Charles Clark:

When you're doing images, think about the sorts of images that are consistent with your business and your personal, I suppose, profile, your personality.

Charles Clark:

So if you're a very sort of … Say you're much more focused in the agricultural and maybe you're from a smaller town, you wouldn't put a photo which has a city scape because that's completely the opposite of what you're trying to be which is you're a small firm in a rural setting.

Charles Clark:

And vice versa. If you were in a larger town, having a photo of some fields and a cow, again it doesn't make sense because you're a firm in the city. So just think about the story that your images can tell.

Charles Clark:

What I like about what Kinder Pocock has done on this, so they've got their name nice and center and they've also got the, I suppose, their value proposition which is a refreshing change. So they're stating that they are, I suppose, the new breed of accountants. They're moving forward. They're offering something different to their clients that maybe some other accountants are. So a really nice way to introduce that language.

Charles Clark:

And then you can also see here just slightly cut off in my screen grab that they're a Xero partner and a Gold partner. So really easy for them to start to showcase those awards and start to build that social proof which is a really nice element.

Charles Clark:

So on this page, we've got two more examples of people who are doing it really really well. So Lielette is in Australia and Glenn is in the UK.

Charles Clark:

So you can see here on Lielette. She has done an amazing job and it starts really with her profile photo. So it's professionally taken. You can see here that she is also put all her various associations and directorships, as well as her website which is allthatcounts.com.au.

Cat Morgan:

Charles is that her LinkedIn profile?

Charles Clark:

So this is her Twitter profile. So yeah, so I've got a Twitter profile and a LinkedIn profile. And that's just to show you that whether you're doing a LinkedIn or a Twitter profile, you can really set that stage for you as a highly skilled professional.

Charles Clark:

And also if you go to Lielette's other pages and also her business page, she has got the same, I suppose, calls to action in terms of she calls out the fact that she [inaudible 00:14:39] winner, she has the directorships and things like that.

Charles Clark:

Glenn, on the other hand, so he is from Avery Martin Accountants, again in the UK. So he has done a really nice job here of in his profile, he's actually put his name and then the Xero UK Best Sole Practitioner 2018. And then underneath that on his business profile, he's got that banner there as well.

Charles Clark:

So very, very easily he is calling out his professional expertise and the social … In this case, awarded by Xero so that's high praise indeed and it's not something that … He can't just make it up. It is definitely something that everyone would recognise.

Charles Clark:

So both of them have done a really nice job of just setting the scene for themselves personally, but also for their business. Of placing themselves within that high level of expertise.

Charles Clark:

And when people come to their social pages or their social business pages, they really start to get an idea of the professionalism and the nature of these two people.

Cat Morgan:

And consider as well that Charles mentioned that social media is the new word of mouth. When people are liking and sharing and commenting on your posts, they're visible to their friends. So when they are scoping you out, you want to make sure that your profile is kept up to date. If you could please move to the next slide.

Cat Morgan:

And so that those contacts or friends of your social followers can see who you are, what you do and what you're all about really easily. So if someone lands on your social page, in this case you can see a screenshot of someone's Facebook profile, you want to make sure that they can see the most important things.

Cat Morgan:

How to contact you, what your values are and how you can help small businesses that are just like your current clients. Excuse me. You've got the opportunity to have a short bio in your about section. But then you can create more of a … Give a bit more background in the our story section. So a little bit more abut who you are, why you do what you do so that they can understand and see if you're like them.

Cat Morgan:

So the more that you can share yourself, the more value it will be to prospects that are scoping out your page. Don't forget to keep all this information updated. It's not a one time deal. So as often as you might refresh your website content, which I hope you do regularly, please do also keep your social profiles updated.

Cat Morgan:

Don't forget as well to have links to your website from your social page as you can see here and vice versa. So ideally at least on your contact page, if not on, perhaps, the bottom of your home page have little icons that will take readers through to your social profiles.

Cat Morgan:

So there's no point in maintaining a profile if you're not getting traffic to go to it. And we'll talk a little bit more about that, but the more that you can publicise your social pages, the more likely you are that you will attract some new followers.

Cat Morgan:

And combined with sharing great, regular, consistent posts, then there's some really great reasons for people to follow you.

Charles Clark:

I think that is a really good point. If you ask people to follow you and they come to your page and there's nothing, the last post is 2018, they would think to themselves well why would I bother because I'm not going to be getting much of value.

Charles Clark:

And I know a lot of people do or are nervous about what they should be posting or they have a couple of good ideas and then look, we understand. Life takes over. One can't be sitting down every single day to think okay what are the five things I'm going to post.

Charles Clark:

So we've just got a couple of ideas here that is maybe thought starters on things that you can post that would be of use for your clients and will make your page be of value to them.

Cat Morgan:

Yeah, so don't forget the easy things. Remind them about important tax dates. Share news that affects them directly such as legislation or compliance updates. Any changes within your industry. If you get any awards and new certifications, things like that as well.

Cat Morgan:

You can also look at other, wider industry publications, both printed versions and online to get ideas for topical issues. And then create your own summary of that.

Cat Morgan:

So don't feel like you'll have to always come up with new content. Don't forget as well to promote or comment on upcoming events. Of course, if you're going to run an event or host a webinar, you absolutely want to publicise that.

Cat Morgan:

But also it's worthwhile sharing your attendance at events. So you can show that you're keeping up to date or abreast with trends and news.

Cat Morgan:

Both let them know about events beforehand, but also after the event. Share an image and a little summary of the value that you gained from attending the event that's already worthwhile.

Cat Morgan:

What else? Boost your clients' brands. So you could do a profile one of your clients. Congratulate them on some achievement. This gives them really great exposure.

Cat Morgan:

Because, of course, amongst your own clients, you've got a great little network. So support your clients by having the rest of your clients get exposure to them.

Charles Clark:

Actually on that point, you could also consider doing a case study or a testimonial. So we often, that's a great piece of content to have on your website.

Charles Clark:

And if you do have it on your website, then you can always share it on your social channels. And that might be a written case study. But often these days, people are quite happy to do video testimonials or commentary as well.

Charles Clark:

So again, that could be sharing a problem that they had and how your firm came in with a solution and have improved that situation which has led to better business outcomes.

Cat Morgan:

Nice idea. And just when you said video there it reminded me yeah, a great idea is to instead of sharing perhaps an update on Job Keeper, for example, or some kind of support package, maybe you could summarise it.

Cat Morgan:

Use Zoom or Loom to record a really short video. Ideally, you want to keep it either three, two to three, maybe four minutes. Record a video explaining the changes and the implications rather than just sharing text all the time. That's a really great way to keep your clients engaged, show your personality as well and get them to, I guess, know you more how to build that relationship.

Cat Morgan:

But and yeah, to that point as well, share news about your firm that really helps them to understand who are. That can be things like achievements that you've achieved. Awards, certifications, new team members, change of location, et cetera.

Cat Morgan:

Particularly Facebook's a really place for those kind of posts. But I guess above all, don't forget that's called social media for a reason.

Cat Morgan:

So people will follow on social not only to get great tips and tricks, but to, I guess, build a relationship. And you do that through showing some of your personality and telling stories. Any more thoughts on that, Charles?

Charles Clark:

Well, yeah, it's an interesting one. I was just going to say, we, Cat and I were doing, we were helping out a client of ours a couple of years ago and they had some goals which was to increase revenue by a certain percentage.

Charles Clark:

And they said, “Look if we could just get all of our two to three thousand dollar spenders to move up to the six to eight thousand dollar spenders per annum, we would more than hit that target.

Charles Clark:

And so we said, “Oh do they know about all the products and services that you offer?” And they said, “No. I mean mostly they don't. They might know about the ones that we have given them already, but they're probably not aware that we can do all these other things.”

Charles Clark:

So I suppose that's another thing you can share is that you can share the products and services that you offer and it doesn't always just need to be as a link to a landing page where you talk about them.

Charles Clark:

We've already talked about case studies. You could wrap a case study within an offer for a service. Just nice ways that you can obviously utilise social to drive what is ultimately a goal for most people which is improving the revenue per client.

Cat Morgan:

And when you're talking about your services, please make them benefits based. You don't even have to talk about the name of the service. Just say we can help you build more revenue. Or that's a really bad example. But talk about … I mean I'm trying to think of an example now on the fly.

Cat Morgan:

But yeah, just please try to make it benefits based that the clients that you're talking to, they don't care about the name of the service and the underlying, perhaps, technology that you might use to achieve that. They just care about the outcomes.

Cat Morgan:

And obviously in a social post, you've got a really short amount of space to capture their attention. So you might just have a couple of sentences. Do you want to achieve this? Talk to us for more information.

Cat Morgan:

So you can even sometimes, you don't need to give them the whole story. Just tempt them with a little carrot and yeah, they might just ask for more information.

Charles Clark:

Great point. So as Cat alluded to earlier, social media is inherently social. And so, I suppose, one thing … Actually this page has quite a lot on here so I think the first thing to say is you can also share other people's content so you can see Lielette here has tweeted from the National Retail Association and on the left. And then on the right, she's talking about a blog post on high purchase.

Charles Clark:

And she got that, I think, one of her other, she got that from LinkedIn. So her LinkedIn post. So the thing here is that if you see a fantastic post from someone else and you think that's worth sharing to your network, that's absolutely fine.

Charles Clark:

Even better if you can then share it with a comment saying that this is really insightful. I agree. Or maybe I disagree and this is why. And this is … I might do something a little bit differently. The point is that you don't always have to reinvent the wheel. If you're spending a bit of time on social media and we'll talk about this in a few slides, you'll start to see people that are worthwhile following. And then you can often basically retweet and comment on their pieces if you think that would be of use for you followers.

Charles Clark:

A couple other points on this page. So at the top left hand side of the National Retail Association, you can see she has put #smallbiz. So that's using a hashtag. And she's done it again on the right hand post and it's #hirepurchase.

Charles Clark:

So hashtags for social media are super, super important. A hashtag basically allows someone to search for particular hashtag. So the first hashtag you should always have is for your firm.

Charles Clark:

So at BOMA, our hashtag is BOMA Marketing. So that's the hashtag that if you type that into social media, up would come all our posts. If you typed in small business, up would come every post for all time that had been posted with that hashtag.

Charles Clark:

So if you're talking about topics that you want to be involved in a conversation with, and obviously you always want to have your business's name front and center, always make sure that add a hashtag.

Charles Clark:

And it doesn't need to just be one. Think of two or three hashtags on top of your business hashtag. So on the National Retail Association one, it could be #smallbiz, #retail, #herbusinessname.

Charles Clark:

The idea here is that basically when people start to search for these things, when the social channels start to group messages under certain topics, you obviously want your post to considered in that as well.

Cat Morgan:

So that's a way for your posts to be visible to people that follow you.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. A couple of other things that they've done here really nicely. So on the right hand post, you'll see here that she's got an arrow which points down to a link.

Charles Clark:

So this obviously links somewhere else. So the arrow is quite nice. She could have also asked, she could have had a call to action in there as well.

Charles Clark:

So a call to action is basically a couple of words which spell out to the reader what it is that you want them to do. So there's some really common ones and it could be read more or learn more or watch the video. Or maybe it's give us a call.

Charles Clark:

But the idea here is just in a couple of words to tell the reader what action you would like them to take because you can't rely, when people are just surfing through their social channels, you can't just rely on them to understand what it is that you hope them to do.

Charles Clark:

So I like the arrow. If she could have also had a read more or click here for more information, that would have been good.

Charles Clark:

I think on the Kinder Pocock we saw earlier for that webinar that she did have a link to the call to action.

Charles Clark:

And actually on the email that you would have received to sign up for this webinar, again we had that call to action which was save my seat. So just different ways which you can really make it obvious to the person what action you'll hope they'll do.

Charles Clark:

Now Cat you were talking about having fun earlier. And if that video isn't fun, I don't know what it is.

Cat Morgan:

Yeah, I know. It's cute. Yeah, I mean I just love coming back to that point that yeah, not everything has to be super serious whip focused.

Cat Morgan:

And while for you, you're the voice of authority to your clients. That doesn't mean that you can't also have some fun with them. I'm sure you do in person and at Christmas parties and things.

Cat Morgan:

But yeah, it just makes following you on social media a bit more fun. Your clients will appreciate it. So will your colleagues and your partners.

Cat Morgan:

So some ideas is to share, okay, funny puppy videos. Now you might now do that on LinkedIn. So these kind of posts are probably better off on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Cat Morgan:

I guess the most and ideas for fun posts on LinkedIn might be more of a team shot. Perhaps particularly if you go to an awards event and things like that. But probably Christmas parties and things like that I would reserve for, yeah, those … Remember Dolly's picture of the more fun sites where you can show more of your whole self on Facebook and on definitely Instagram, you can share some of this fun stuff.

Cat Morgan:

So keep it simple. Keep it as real as possible. I mean there's nothing wrong with re-sharing videos that are doing the rounds. Memes and things like that. But the more that you can share something personal to you. If you have dogs in the office and one of them is perhaps a bit vocal one day and you catch it on video. That's a great post that you could put on Facebook, et cetera.

Cat Morgan:

So keep it fun, but choose that platform carefully. Don't forget and if you use BOMA as well, we've got 1.7 million free images and plenty of fun ones to choose from.

Cat Morgan:

So again, you don't always have to capture your own funny moments. You can absolutely create them from the content that we provide in BOMA. Add filters. Put text over the top of images, things like that. So you can definitely create a bit of fun yourself.

Charles Clark:

I was just going to say one other consideration when it comes to social media and we've talked about it [inaudible 00:31:33] being inherently social is that, as you can see on this post here, people have commented. They've given thumbs up. And so that is really the Holy Grail for social media.

Charles Clark:

If someone interacts and engages with your post whether it's a funny post or they're commenting on a more serious post, that is absolutely brilliant.

Charles Clark:

So don't think that just you've done your post and that's it and I don't need to look at that post again. That's not strictly true. If you start to get engagement, so people start to write and comment on your post, that is fabulous. That's the opportunity for you to step in and answer their comments or questions or engage with them.

Charles Clark:

They may be clients but equally they may well not be clients. And it's an opportunity for you in a really informal, no pressure setting to start that relationship building.

Charles Clark:

Because you never know a couple of weeks or months down that track, that initial interaction which came off the back of a social post leads to you might bump into them at an event or it might lead to them giving you a phone call.

Charles Clark:

And it all started from you responding in a timely fashion to a post.

Cat Morgan:

Such a good point.

Charles Clark:

On that point, social also, there are some trolls and nasty people out there. And it's not something that really I'd expect any of us to come across. It's mainly reserved for hot button issues and politics and things like that.

Charles Clark:

But you might have someone who says look, I disagree with something or I had a bad experience. Again, just on the flip side of commenting and responding to people who say good things, do take the time to respond to people who have had a problem or disagree.

Charles Clark:

Again, it's a way for you to have an interaction. And even if you can't necessarily solve their problem to their happiness at least you've given it a go. And people on social media will see that. They will see that you've gone the extra mile to try and engage and have a conversation and resolve that person's complaints.

Charles Clark:

So really, really important whether it's positive or negative that you don't ignore. That you engage with it. And that will really … That's a good maxim to live by on social.

Cat Morgan:

Yep, nice.

Charles Clark:

Great. So we've talked about all about social and I can hear you thinking oh, that's quite a lot to do. And we know that you guys have actually really started to make a go on social which is fantastic.

Charles Clark:

But equally there might be some of you who are a bit nervous in thinking what is the first step to getting them there.

Charles Clark:

So I think I would actually, if it was me, Cat I don't know about you. But I would actually just go and follow a few people that I respected and liked and see what they're doing. What would you do?

Cat Morgan:

Great idea. Yeah, I think that's a really great example of where to start is I'm sure you've probably already go your own personal Facebook and LinkedIn profile or I hope you've got a LinkedIn profile at least.

Cat Morgan:

So use that opportunity that follow some of your compatriots and take a look and see what they're doing. Stalk them for a little bit. In fact, even ongoing. Keep an eye on what's happening in the marketplace.

Cat Morgan:

So not only your competitors, but your partners so your business partners. Your associates. The Xero’s of this world. Keep engaged with what they're talking about. What they're posting, et cetera is a really great way to start.

Cat Morgan:

And don't feel like you have to become an expert in everything all at once. It might be that you're right now considering what social channel to start with.

Cat Morgan:

And I think Facebook's probably a really great place to start because chances are you might be at least familiar with it already. It's probably most likely where you'll find that your clients will be.

Cat Morgan:

Of course, that does depend on who your clients are and where they're likely to be. So there's nothing wrong with asking. Do a little bit of a survey or just chat to a couple of your clients or a small subset and ask them where they like to engage? Where they to find information and engage with people like yourself.

Cat Morgan:

And that will drive where you should start. I advise not to get excited and go and jump onto LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and create three accounts in one day and then try to get posting to all three in once. Start with one. Get familiar with it. Make sure you've got a slick profile, a great header image as we've shown before.

Cat Morgan:

Now before you tell people about that page, as Charles mentioned before, you need to create a bit of history. So do a few posts. You won't have any likes or shares or comments or anything. Don't worry. You want to have a little bit history there before you start inviting people to like your page.

Cat Morgan:

A business page on Facebook is paramount. Don't use a personal profile. There's a whole bunch of reasons, one of being which it's actually against Facebook's terms and conditions to use a personal profile for business.

Cat Morgan:

So create a business page. As Charles mentioned, be responsive. Consider it more important an email because while emails will go to you directly, Facebook, the comments and questions and things are in the public forum. So people will see that a lack of response, for example.

Cat Morgan:

So I would suggest that you consider checking on Facebook a couple of times a day just to see if there's any activity that needs to be responded and Facebook will give you those alerts in their notifications.

Cat Morgan:

And then finally, the next steps will be once you've got a bit of history, you've got your profile is to start promoting it. Have links from your website. Have links from bottom of your email footers. That's all automatically done for you if you're using BOMA.

Cat Morgan:

And encourage all of your team and colleagues and your network to follow you. Make it part of your new client onboarding. Any other tips, Charles on how to increase your following?

Charles Clark:

Yeah, well I mean I think there's quite a good moment just to go down to the goals section because look, you guys a accountants and bookkeepers like all business people probably are quite good at telling your clients how they should set some goals for their businesses.

Charles Clark:

And so I am going to take the opportunity to suggest that quite good to have some written down goals for your social. And I suppose in wider sense maybe your marketing as well.

Charles Clark:

So if we just thought about the social element, what is it that you want your social activity to achieve? Is it to connect with your wider community? Or is it to get more fans and followers?

Charles Clark:

Do you want social proof? So reviews of your business that people can look at? Are you looking to basically drive some new business and maybe drive people towards your website.

Charles Clark:

So it's quite good, because if you go on to social and just say right I'm on it, what am I going to do? And then you do a ton of different things but they all might be five steps this way, five steps that way, quite good if you know that you have your goal is more followers or you want more reviews, it can actually be targeted to that activity.

Charles Clark:

Because we know that you've only got so much time in your day spend on this. So take some time and write down what is it that you want to do.

Charles Clark:

Just a word on fans and followers. It can be a bit of a vanity metric. So people will say oh look, I've got 5000 followers. Aren't stats amazing?

Charles Clark:

But if 90% of those fans and followers are random people who are the wrong prospects and would never consider buying your product or service, well that's a waste of time.

Charles Clark:

You spent all that time getting to them which is wasted and then also you have to keep them happy. So much better to get the right fans and followers.

Charles Clark:

So don't be embarrassed if you've got only a couple hundred or 50, if they have right fans and followers who are going to buy things from you, that's the number that you need. Don't worry and don't, I suppose, have fan envy if you look at some else and they've got two or three more.

Charles Clark:

I would also say when you've been going for a couple of months or maybe half a year, just have a quick review as you would with a client. So sit down and look at your goals that you wrote a little bit earlier in the year and say have I met them? Is this still working for me? Are these still the goals that I want to go for?

Charles Clark:

Maybe you might change up your goals and say look I've met those goals. I've met my follower goals, now I'd like to drive people to my website and try and get some more business from it.

Charles Clark:

Always important to test ad iterate. So if you're trying something on social and you find that it's working well or not so well, take a note of it.

Charles Clark:

Like if you're always posting something at a certain time of day, maybe it's 5 p.m. and it doesn't any engagement, have a think about why that might be. Was it just the time of day? Or was it that my photo wasn't engaging enough? Or was it that my headline, so the headline copy, maybe I could make that a bit snappier.

Charles Clark:

So when you are posting, just be really mindful of who you're posting for and what's going to give them the most reason to stop at your post and click on it and hopefully interact with it more. And experimenting with the copy and the imagery is really, really important.

Charles Clark:

We talk about how often to post and I don't want to dwell on this too much more because one of you have asked a really good question on that. So I'll just say look, we're going to come back to that. One thing I would say is just try and be consistent. Whatever that means to you.

Charles Clark:

And as we said before, just keep in mind that if someone is following your page, you want to acknowledge that and obviously make it worth their while to follow.

Cat Morgan:

So when it comes to achieving those goals you've just written down, you need a bit of a plan on how to achieve it. Now it doesn't have to be that you're doing something every day.

Cat Morgan:

However, as I've just mentioned, if you are encouraging engagement and questions and things via your Facebook page, of course, you'll need to be checking that multiple times a day.

Cat Morgan:

And as I said, regard it as more important than your emails because it's in the public eye. So have a bit of a plan. Get it in your calendar. Make it non-negotiable. So just as though it's an important client meeting because this is client facing activities. So it is super important.

Cat Morgan:

Consider the timing, as Charles mentioned, consider when you're going to post. When you think people will be looking at platforms. And that might be different per platform.

Cat Morgan:

So often you'll find that it might be during the day people are regularly scrolling through LinkedIn. So during working hours could be a great time to post to LinkedIn.

Cat Morgan:

Whereas Facebook it might be early in the morning or in the evening or perhaps around lunchtimes. Now of course many businesses are on Facebook all day every day, particularly if you've got retail clients, you might want to do something specifically targeting them during a time where you know they'll be online.

Cat Morgan:

Probably not during the busy lunchtime period. So yeah. Consider your audience and when they are likely to be on each social platform.

Cat Morgan:

Visit pages that are relevant to your industry and space as well as maybe even your clients' industries and consider when they're posting and again, how you could maybe reuse that content too.

Cat Morgan:

So scheduling posts is a great way to take the burden down so to speak so that you don't have to necessarily log in and create posts. Every couple of days, et cetera, you might do a plan once a week and schedule the week's posts ahead.

Cat Morgan:

Now that's all functionality you can really easily do in BOMA. So consider consistency as Charles has mentioned that … And for my … I'll point to a slides ago is how to get started.

Cat Morgan:

Maybe it's Facebook and maybe you're going to start with one post a week. Ideally don't get excited, do three first posts for the few weeks. Three posts a week for the first three and do nothing for three weeks. That consistency really is paramount.

Cat Morgan:

So start off with one a week and then perhaps if you can build to two or three then you're going to really meet those expectations and those goals that you've ideally set yourself.

Charles Clark:

And just the last one on there I would say if you are getting good, if some posts of yours are really performing well. So that might be that they set, you get a lot of impressions. And an impression is basically when someone has seen your post.

Charles Clark:

So if someone, if you get high impression numbers or lots of people like or they comment on it. That's basically a sign that it's working well. And if that's the case, you could always consider putting … Basically boosting it or sponsoring it.

Charles Clark:

And so what do I mean by that? I mean that you could, either through BOMA or through the social channel directly, you could say look I want to spend five or 10 dollars and to basically boost that post and that channel.

Charles Clark:

And the great thing about boosting posts is that you can actually say look, I want to target a specific group of people in a specific area. So you could say I want to target retailers or tradees or agricultural people in my geographical space aged between this and that who have specific interests.

Charles Clark:

And then Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter will basically try and only show your post so those people. So a great way to reach maybe a new audience outside of your current followers who hadn't seen you before.

Charles Clark:

And the nice thing is if you're boosting a popular post which has a ton of likes and comments on it, people take that social proof as basically oh, this must be a really great article or a post to engage with. I'm going to click on the button, because obviously lots of people have enjoyed this post before me.

Charles Clark:

So groups. And I know that this isn't strictly how to promote your firm or your business online. But don't forget that Facebook and LinkedIn groups especially are really, really important from your professional or personal, professional development as well.

Charles Clark:

So there are so many groups out there and some of them are run by accountants and bookkeepers. Some of them are run by, I suppose, accounting apps. I know Xero has some. I know lots of them have them. Or maybe user apps.

Charles Clark:

And they're basically places where you can ask questions. You can chat with your fellow colleagues. You can talk about clients and seek answers to things that maybe you weren't sure about.

Charles Clark:

I mean ideally, it's a place where you'll get support. And we know that especially the last six, eight months have been pretty difficult for everyone. But all the accountants and bookkeepers we know have been really, really stretched because their clients have been really, I suppose, needing a lot of support.

Charles Clark:

So think of these are really supporting efforts as well that you can dip in and out of. You can ask questions. And most of them also do have rules that say look whatever we talk about in here doesn't go outside of the group.

Charles Clark:

So you can feel that actually it's a place where you can let the professional guard down a little bit and just get that honest support. And obviously, you can give support as well. That's the nice thing about it. It's not just all give. Sorry, take. It's giving as well.

Cat Morgan:

That's right. Including creating a group specifically for your clients. So there's public and private groups. You can create one as a safe space for your client. And that's a really great way as well to share knowledge in a one to many approach.

Charles Clark:

That's great. Well look, I know that we're coming to the end of it and so we've just got a couple of minutes left. So we got about 40 questions from you guys. And so we've just tried to keep it small because we know that time is of the essence.

Charles Clark:

So I feel like number one we've actually mostly covered in terms of frequency. But the second one. What should I do if I have nothing to post?

Charles Clark:

Well I hope that we gave you some ideas in terms of sharing industry news, firm updates, client news, personal news. I suppose the other thing I could say is BOMA's got a massive content library of basically of a whole range of articles, business advisory, taxation updates. You name it, it's on there.

Charles Clark:

And you can basically go in there and just choose an article that you want to send and it will just actually post up to your social channels.

Charles Clark:

So if you're really strapped for ideas, there's always the BOMA content library. Cat, we were talking, well you were talking earlier about the showing your personality alongside the content. The educational content.

Cat Morgan:

Yeah. And when you show your personality as well, you're likely to get more engagement. What is engagement? Likes, clicks, shares and comments.

Cat Morgan:

So think about for a start, I guess, what is going to be engaging? What do you think your clients would like to see and would likely to comment on?

Cat Morgan:

So things like even adding a question into your post to encourage that engagement. Run polls or run a catch and [inaudible 00:49:38] competition. These are all really great ways to get that engagement going.

Cat Morgan:

And why engagement is good is because if one of your followers engages with your posts then their friends or contacts will see that engagement. So it's giving you visibility into the network of the people that are engaging with your posts.

Cat Morgan:

So yes, think about images, video is a really great option to encourage engagement. And really just copy and images that you think will really draw them in and respond them.

Cat Morgan:

Also as Charles mentioned, you can boost the posts. So chunk a bit of money behind it show that post to a new audience as well and get engagement from some new prospects.

Charles Clark:

Now one of my favourite questions here is how to use social media for lead generation? So there's a couple of different ways you could do this. You could go out and do ads.

Charles Clark:

So specific ads talking about this is a product or service we offer. This is why it's great. You should come and speak to us. So that's one way to do lead generation and I'll talk about this in a minute when we address the sixth question.

Charles Clark:

The other side of things is that you could do something like Cat said. You could run polls. You could also run a webinar like we're doing. So you could run a webinar and then you could talk about it on your social channels.

Charles Clark:

And when people can click through from your social posts, sign up for a webinar and then that's fantastic. You've now got a lead. And then you can lead them maybe into your next newsletter or you can if you have asked for their phone number, you could even give them a call and drive those leads.

Charles Clark:

Other ideas is that you could have gated content. So basically a valuable piece of content. Maybe it would be stored on your website. But you could talk about it on your social pages and to get that valuable piece of content, people have to give you their email address and maybe some other details.

Charles Clark:

When they give you that email address, your website then gives them a link to download. And it might be a white paper. It might be something relevant, a tax research paper that you've put out or you have access to.

Charles Clark:

And that's another great way to get lead generation. They have indicated that they are specifically interested in a topic. And ideally that topic would be something that your business, your firm can speak to in a good way.

Charles Clark:

So you could then follow up and say, “Hey, I saw that you downloaded this research paper. Did you know that we've got great expertise in this. And look and here's a case study.” And then you start that nurturing process. You give them the case study.

Charles Clark:

They'll see how you've helped other businesses like them in this situation which hopefully leads to the conversation along the lines of I didn't realise I needed this help. Could you help me? What would that look like?

Cat Morgan:

Nice. And when it comes to posting on your individual profile of your business page, it does vary slightly. So really Facebook should be all about your business page.

Cat Morgan:

Obviously, LinkedIn you've got a really strong profile with both. Chances are your individual profile, you'll probably have more contacts than your business page has followers.

Cat Morgan:

So a really great way to encourage engagement is for individuals in your business to take the company page post, like and share it. So that really helps build the profile of the company page by everyone liking and sharing and engaging with that one post.

Cat Morgan:

So that's a really great way to boost the firm profile while making use of your individual contact database.

Charles Clark:

So the sixth question. So this was actually three or four questions and we've grouped them in together. So firstly, is worth spending money on ads, whether they be social or Google? Or is there a better way to reach your target audience?

Charles Clark:

So if we were talking 15 years ago when social media was in its infancy, you didn't necessarily on the social channels have to spend money to be noticed.

Charles Clark:

Nowadays you definitely have to spend money to be noticed. Or you have to have a large group of followers who will see your organic posts. So if it was me, I would say definitely always consider Google ads. That's basically people put in a search terms or they might put accountant in a city or a town location, maybe with tax or some other advisory relation, word.

Charles Clark:

And why not have your firm appear there? It's a really cheap and effective way for your business to be put in front of people who are going through that research and exploration consideration phase.

Charles Clark:

When it comes to advertising on social, look if you know that your clients or prospective clients spend time on LinkedIn or Facebook, yes I would definitely recommend doing that. Just make sure that when you are doing it, you really consider strongly do you have a strong target market? Do you have, I suppose, a good offer? Some good creative. We're always happy to help with that.

Charles Clark:

And I suppose be inventive as well. So it doesn't always just have to be an ad. You could advertise a webinar. You could advertise an event. You could do a giveaway. There's lots of different ways that you could get people, I suppose, to know about you.

Charles Clark:

You get their contact details. And then you can start, I suppose, that marketing and sales process which ultimately hopefully will lead them through to being a client of yours.

Charles Clark:

And the last question in terms of measuring ROI. So I suppose there's two answers to this. If you are doing an ad, it's really easy to measure ROI. So say you were running an ad and you spent $100 and you got 10 leads. And all those leads, so you said, okay, well it cost me $10 per lead. And all of those leads, one of them turned into a client. And you could say okay, well it cost me … Because you had to do a bit more work to get them, but maybe it cost me $100 purely from Google to get that lead, but I billed them $2000 in the first year.

Charles Clark:

Well, that's amazing ROI. So that's a really easy way to understand it. If you are just doing general social and looking at the ROI, it's not as, I suppose, cut and dry.

Charles Clark:

So we've talked before about your website being your online shop window and your social media channels are only second in importance to that. You need to have them. If you don't have them, you just don't know how many leads you're going to miss out on because people went and looked and didn't see anything.

Charles Clark:

They didn't see, compared to say the accounting and bookkeeping firm down the road. They didn't see a history of you publishing interesting things.

Charles Clark:

They didn't see you a history of you holding events and doing webinars and being interactive with your community. They didn't see the case studies. So I suppose it's a bit of an opportunity cost to not do social when you can do it so easily and so cheaply these days. It makes it a no brainer.

Charles Clark:

Especially if you can start to get things which are quantifiable. So if you can get reviews on your social channels, amazing. Having that social proof on there does make a massive difference.

Charles Clark:

If you can then also put links to your blog posts. And then you can actually track how many people come from your social channels to your website.

Charles Clark:

So you can actually say okay, those posts that I'm doing on Google analytics I can see that I'm getting traffic through there.

Charles Clark:

So I would say for the amount of, and I'm just going to call it time, the amount of time that's needed to be invested in social, even if you're not doing any advertising. So it's only time in terms of that you're spending. I would say you just really, you need to be on it.

Charles Clark:

If you're not on it, you can pretty much guarantee that most of your competitors will be. And the way that the market is going is that if you think basically anyone in their mid-40s or younger has been brought up with social media at least from their 20s.

Charles Clark:

So they are completely used to and expect the firms and brands and companies that they deal with to have social media.

Charles Clark:

If you only have clients of the older demographics, that's absolutely fine. Maybe it's not so relevant. But then you have to think okay, well what happens in 10 or 15 years to the health of my business if I am not moving with the times.

Charles Clark:

So really, social media has become like a website now. You can't really afford not to be involved. But you can do it in cost effective ways.

Charles Clark:

And that's, I think, why we're involved is that we can obviously, BOMA can help you do that in a really cost-effective way.

Cat Morgan:

Excellent. Well looks like we are one minute over now. Thank you all so much for your time. It's been a pleasure. We will send a follow up email tomorrow with a recording of the webinar. Also, feel free to reply to that email if you have some additional questions that we didn't cover today.

Cat Morgan:

I think we tried our best to cover as many as we could during the question time and during the presentation. Certainly, we'll come back to you if there's a need that we didn't specifically cover.

Charles Clark:

Thank so much everyone for joining us.

Cat Morgan:

Thank you all. Cheers, bye.