We talk to a lot of accountants who have the feeling they’re supposed to be on social media, and supposed to be posting regularly. The problem is, they just don’t know what to post.
The old joke about social media is that it’s all selfies, cat videos and pictures of people’s lunch.
For accountants, who – forgive us for generalising – tend to be analytical, logical and precise, it can all feel a little frivolous.
You might even say there’s a fear of seeming unprofessional or just silly, in a profession where credibility is everything.
With all this in mind, we’ve put together a list of ideas for social media posts that offer opportunities to emphasise different aspects of your firm’s brand identity.
For more advice, check out our new beginner’s guide to social media for accountants.
Our guide sets out in the plainest language how Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and how you can use them to boost your firm’s visibility.
Tips and tricks
Sharing bit-sized, practical bits of advice is a great way to dip your toe in the water with social media. All you need is a nugget of information that people might not know and could find useful.
For example, did you know that if you type ‘doc.new’ in the address bar in Google’s Chrome web browser that it will open a new Google Docs file?
As an accountant, you’ll probably want to focus on tips for using software like Microsoft Excel, Xero, QuickBooks, and so on. Or just offer general business advice.
It doesn’t need to be super obscure or clever-clever – your audience is clients, not other accountants. What seems obvious to you might be a mindblowing revelation to someone else.
Whatever kind of tip you choose to share, remember: text is fine but a picture or short video are better again.
Frequently asked questions
This is a great way to be inspired by your clients and to put them front and centre.
What are they worried about? What’s on their minds? What questions do they have?
Think about conversations you’ve had and ask around your colleagues, too.
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out this piece of original PracticeWeb research based on conversations between SME owner-operators at UK Business Forums.
This probably works better on LinkedIn or Facebook where you can write longer status updates but you could also use it to drive people to fuller answers on your firm’s blog.
Quote of the day
Keep an eye on the news or on the books and articles you’re reading with a view to finding something pithy to share.
The example above is from the Chancellor’s economic statement on 8 July and summarises the whole of the Government’s policy position in a few words.
Topical is good but you equall go for something funny, wise or insightful.
A word of caution, though: avoid ‘fun quotes’ you find online because they’re often both falsely attributed and overused. You don’t want to be cheesy.
From the heart
Share an update on how you feel. In 2020 especially, it’s only felt right to acknowledge anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Your clients may well be feeling it and might appreciate knowing you’re human, too.
This won’t work for every firm but if your brand is personality-led and informal, it can be highly effective.
Big up a colleague
If a member of your team or peer has done something cool or especially impressive, tell the world.
It can be a nice antidote to the ‘me, me, me’ reputation that social media has and, more practically, it’s a way of showing off your firm’s expertise and experience.
Most of the social media platforms offer simple polling functions.
They’re not scientific by any means but they offer an easy way for your clients to interact.
Polls can be great fuel for blog posts, too.
Express an opinion
Your clients recognise you as an expert and want to know what you think.
Are measures the Chancellor had announced good news for the industry sectors you specialise in serving, or bad?
What are the upsides to the extension of Making Tax Digital? And the down?
Some people might disagree with you, others may applaud your stance. Either way, they’ll be engaged.
Mine the back catalogue
Go back to an old blog post and reshare it with updated information:
“When we wrote this in March, the jury was still out on the furlough scheme.
Now, we’ve added the latest stats from HMRC and the ONS which show a massive uptake by business.”
First with the news
When something new comes out of Treasury or HMRC, jump on to Twitter or LinkedIn and share a link to the official announcement. Stick to the formula who, what, why and so what.
There’s an obvious benefit to showing your clients you’re on top of what’s going on and can be relied on to give them good advice.
Focus on the details
Being first with the news is good. Then, when you’ve taken time to analyse and reflect, you’ll get serious brownie points for spotting something in the small print that’s especially relevant to your clients.
For example, the temporary VAT cut for hospitality announced by the Chancellor in early July was exciting for many but not everyone realised they’d need to reprogramme their EPOS systems to take advantage.
Share your inspiration
What are the books, articles and videos you’ve found most inspiring? Tell people what they are and why. Pull out one key lesson or insight. Share links so others can discover more.
Make sure to include an image of the cover or perhaps put a quote into an eye-catching graphic using Canva or similar.
Selfies and pets
And with this, we come full circle. There’s evidence that people like the occasional self-portrait on a social media feed, even if that’s not the primary reason they’re there.
At PracticeWeb, we’ve found that we get great engagement when we share images of the team – people like to see smiles and put faces to names.
And if there’s a dog or cat involved, even better, apparently: one of our most popular posts was taken in the office on a bring-your-dog-to-work day.
The point is, really, that you shouldn’t overthink it.
Don’t be shy to share, whether it’s a shot of your sandwich or a link to an interesting news story.
After all, if a particular post doesn’t get the engagement you’d hoped for, you can always move on and try something else.
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