Sandi's Social Media Content Secrets: Part 1: Out of the Mouths of Clients
You’re excited about your new social media accounts. Maybe, you’ve just started posting or you’ve been posting for a while. Or, you’re still considering whether you should dip your toe into social media. The big question everyone has about social media at some point is how to keep your content interesting and fresh.
Let’s face it: accounting is pretty exciting … to us. But, it’s not very exciting to our clients, and that’s who we need to attract. In this social media content series, we’ll examine the major categories of content that we should use in our social media.
In this first article, we’ll talk about pitches. Pitches are posts that ask for the business. They are calls to action that let prospects know what solutions you can offer them.
A typical pitch can be worded like this: “We offer bookkeeping services.” You can add a link to your home page to the post. But, that’s a boring example of a pitch. Let’s see how to spice it up, and the best place to look is to listen to what comes out of your client’s mouth.
My one-floor elevator speech formula. A good start to a pitch post is to use my short elevator speech formula. If you were riding in an elevator with a prospect and they asked, “What do you do?,” how would you answer that?
- “I handle accounting and tax deadlines for individuals and small businesses in Atlanta so they don’t have to sweat them.”
- “I provide peace of mind to Houston-based small business clients by taking care of their QuickBooks® Online bookkeeping needs.”
These two answers have this formula in common: I provide a [result/outcome] for my [ideal client] by offering [my services].
Instead of thinking about the laundry list of services you provide, think about the benefit clients get after you’ve done their work for them. These are the outcomes you should be tweeting about in your pitch posts.
Out of your client’s mouth. What do your prospects ask you for when they first call you? You might have heard one of these before:
- “I missed a payroll tax deadline and had to pay a fine.”
- “My QuickBooks balances don’t look right.”
- “I have two years of taxes to file.”
- “I received an IRS letter.”
Start with what your future clients are asking you about, and turn it into a post:
- “If you’ve had to pay a payroll tax penalty, you’re not alone. We can take care of those deadlines for you.”
- “Got QuickBooks balances that don’t look right? Ask us about our QuickBooks Check-Up Service.”
Listening to your clients will get you all their “pain points” you need to work into your messaging. Wording your social media posts this way (as well as your other marketing materials) will help you connect more effectively with prospects.
Add your link. Now that you’ve perfected your pitch, add a link to your website to the post before you schedule it. But, don’t just use your home page; include the service page that’s most relevant to the post content. For example, if you’re pitching about QuickBooks consulting, send them to the page that describes that service. If you’re pitching about taxes, send them to your tax services page. If your website is done right, there should be a call to action on that page that tells the social media connection what to do next.
You could also send your followers to a landing page. A landing page is a web page that’s not in your regular menu and that has special content that provides more information about your pitch. For example, let’s say Intuit® is running a sales price and you want to alert your followers and connections. You might make a landing page that has details on the sale that won’t fit in a tweet. Add your landing page link to your sale post, and you’re off and running.
How often should I pitch? As accountants, we tend to be way too conservative about asking people for business. We should do it a bit more than we feel comfortable with. I recommend that you post one pitch for every three to five value-added posts to schedule. That keeps the ratio right so that people receive valuable information from you without feeling overly sold to.
Remember, as accountants, it will feel like it’s too much, but it’s not. People really do need our help, and until the small business survival percentage goes up, we need to pitch more often. There are people out there messing up their entrepreneurial dreams because they don’t have the financial skills that we can teach them and give them a better chance to succeed. So, stop being shy!
Platforms. The big three social media platforms are still LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Although some people prepare separate posts for each platform, I’ve always felt that it’s a bit cost prohibitive to do that. Using Hootsuite, we post to multiple platforms at once: LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn group, Facebook individual, Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. For a pitch post, using the same content across platforms is cost-effective, efficient and smart.
An itch to pitch. Hopefully now, you have an itch to add pitches to your social media content. It’s time to get out there and tweet, and post your heart out.
Editor's note: This is the first article in a multi-part series on social media content. Stay tuned for the next article.