How to Gain Attention For Your Accounting Firm via Social Media

A major part of social media is email, even though most people don’t include email when they discuss Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you work in practice, I urge you to consider an email newsletter. If you’re in business and industry with a larger company or organization, email newsletters are still important, but these are probably handled by a group that focuses on marketing, public relations or human resources.

You might be thinking that an email newsletter is going to be a lot of work. Don’t worry, I have a major shortcut on this step that will save you a lot of time, and allow you to leverage and repurpose the great content you generate when you blog.

To send a monthly newsletter, you need an email list and you need content. Let’s start with the email list.

First, you’ll want to get set up with an email marketing provider. I use MailChimp, and would highly recommend them. AWeber and Constant Contact are also good options.

These services start at about $15/month, and scale up depending on the number of email addresses you load into their system. If you are sending an email newsletter regularly, this is money very well spent. Heck, for $15, you can barely buy three Big Macs!

Once you’ve signed up for an account with one of these email marketing providers, you’ll then want to import the email addresses of all of your clients (and even prospects). MailChimp will allow you to do this directly, while other services may require another step of requesting the permission of your client to be added. I think this is unnecessary. You already have the implicit permission of your client to email them. Plus, each newsletter will contain instructions about unsubscribing.

Now for the content part – and my big shortcut. You can use the recent content of your blog to automatically generate this email for you! This means that after the initial setup, there’s exactly ZERO work required of you each month. How cool is that?

What you want to do is set up an “RSS Driven Campaign” that delivers an email monthly to your list. Essentially what you do is set up an email template and format it as you’d like with Subject Line, Title and so on. Then, plug in the RSS Address of your Blog and voila! The email will automatically be generated based on the blog articles you wrote over the last month.

Embrace Social Media for Employee Retention and Recruitment

I still stand firm in my belief that social media does not work for client retention and recruitment, but I believe it does work for employee retention and recruitment, two areas organizations do not necessarily associate with social media.

With the economy improving, all conditions point to a shortage of quality talent. Just as you want to engage your clients and customers with social media, you also should think about engaging employees and prospects in order to maintain a successful firm or business.

Encouraging employees to establish and maintain a social media presence that fully reflects their job and company responsibilities can greatly enhance the pride they take in their work. Many people and companies want to separate personal from business when it comes to social media. Not only do I think this is a mistake – it’s not practical.

In the age of the Internet, nothing is a secret – information is only a Google search away, so why not be 100 percent transparent when establishing your Facebook profile and include all aspects of your life that are public knowledge?

If you allow and encourage employees to include their role and company information in their social media identities, they will feel connected to the presence they are establishing. With an increasing amount of time being spent in social media channels, our social media identities are quickly converging with our “real life” identities.

On the other side, recruiting and hiring great people is always a challenge for any size company, especially smaller businesses that might not offer the amenities of their larger counterparts. Most likely, you don’t have the resources or time you’d like to have to devote to recruitment, even though it’s one of the most important strategic activities you do as a company. If you hire poorly, the effort you’ll expend trying to straighten out – and eventually get rid of – an underperforming employee, will be agonizing.

Instead of considering it an ancillary function, I believe the best way to think of the recruitment function is always be thinking about it, and the best way to do this is to constantly be passively recruiting, with a steady stream of inbound candidates coming your way.

What’s one good way to continually recruit? You guessed it – social media!

These days, we watch what our friends and family are doing at all times via Facebook and Twitter updates. Just scored some tickets to the latest concert? Better update that Facebook status!

Why not use these interpersonal channels to let your employees share how cool your firm or company is?  Often the best source of a new hire is through a referral, particularly from a great employee, so let them talk up your company or firm in your social media interactions!

Be Creative and Have Fun

By now, I hope you realize that social media definitely involves a specific strategy, but also involves having quite a bit of fun. Social media enables you to be creative with your blog, Facebook and LinkedIn posts – to the degree that you want to differentiate yourself from the competition and get noticed.

Along the way, experiment with other kinds of social media as well. There are more to get involved in than there is space to explain them. Do some research and ask for recommendations, but above all, get started! You are guaranteed to see results within a very short period of time.