Most accounting firms understand the importance of implementing traditional marketing into their overall business development plans, but many firms may not realize the power of integrating social media marketing into their long-term marketing strategies.
According to a survey conducted by Inovautus Consulting, SocialCPAs, and the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), when it comes to accounting firms:
- Activity on social networks is still relatively low with only a few organizations posting a few times per week. Posting frequencies have been found to have a direct correlation to results.
- Social media management is still being done manually rather than through the use of tools and technology that help organizations leverage their impact more efficiently.
- There are still large percentages of organizations that do not have social media policies or that have not provided training on social media.
- Very few organizations are advertising on social media.
Sarah Johnson Dobek, Founder & President at Inovautus Consulting, states that, “While public accounting firms, state CPA societies and vendors/consultants to the accounting profession are embracing social media, there is still considerable room for improvement.”
One of the main reasons firms might hesitate to allocate company resources to social media marketing is due to the misconception that social media has no practical advantages and no immediate Return On Investment (ROI). Social media marketing might not be the largest revenue channel, but there is huge potential to build brand awareness, increase sales, drive Website traffic, manage customer service issues and help to build and foster relationships with clients.
Social Media Examiner' s 2015 Industry Report, helps to demystify the belief that social media marketing is just a passing fad. Statistics from their survey show:
- A significant 92% of marketers said that social media was important to their business.
- 84% of marketers agreed that they have integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities.
- With as little as 6 hours per week, the vast majority of marketers (91%+) indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their businesses.
- More than half of marketers who've been using social media for at least 2 years report it helped them improve sales.
- More than half of marketers who've invested at least 2 years in social media marketing report that new partnerships were gained.
- By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 66%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
- More than half of those who spend at least 6 hours per week on social media efforts saw a benefit of reduced marketing expenses.
- A significant 81%+ of participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.
- Of those who have been using social media for at least 1 year, 64% found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
Accounting firms using social media marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy will benefit from:
- Increased brand awareness
- Building community through social engagement
- Directing more traffic to their Website
- Decreased marketing costs
- Providing richer customer experiences
- Becoming thought leaders in their industry and in doing so, building trust with their clients
Accounting firms should consider that their competitors are already benefiting by using social media marketing, so it’s important to get started right away. Social media should be a part of a firm’s overall business development strategy and if done consistently, will help to amplify the effectiveness of all other marketing and business development efforts.
- Dallas Miles, Social Media & Content Marketing Manager for Roger CPA Review