By Cassidy Jakovickas, CPA.
As social media continues to evolve, tax and accounting firms need to evolve their strategies and tactics to stay ahead of the curve. By leveraging social media, you can increase your firm’s visibility and encourage top-quality companies to become clients.
While many articles promote paid social media marketing, my team at MBS Accountancy has seen great results from organic social media efforts since 2019. I’m going to walk through some strategic considerations, best practices for social media, and successful examples from within our profession.
Paid, organic, or both?
While many firms have used paid social media at some point, fewer have invested in their organic social media marketing. While there is nothing wrong with using paid social media to generate business, neglecting to invest in organic social media causes you to miss out on some great long-term benefits. The best route is to strategically use paid and organic social media in your marketing efforts. Social media agency founder Dairen Payton notes, “A tight integration between organic insights and paid creative is how you take consumers from swiping past your ads to feeling like you live with them.”
A meme is worth a thousand words
In a 2022 Statista survey, 39 percent of Gen Z consumers said that they had a higher opinion of a brand if it posted memes and jokes on its social media channels. In case you don’t know, a meme is a photo of a well-known cultural event or movie scene accompanied by a caption that conveys the same sentiment or emotion, but is unrelated to the visual.
For example, the American Chopper Argument meme is based on a reality TV show featuring New York motorcycle company Orange County Choppers and a toxic relationship between owner Paul Teutel Sr. and his son, Paul Teutel Jr. But the meme version has now evolved to capture any circular argument scenario, such as requiring work experience for a first job.
In the past, professional service firms with lawyers and accountants avoided using memes to maintain a distinct professional identity. But if done appropriately, memes can be a great way to reach millennials and Gen Z audiences.
Show your face, not just your logo
These days, personal branding is associated with insincerity, unrealistic perceptions, and spammy attempts to sell you a low-value course. But this doesn’t have to be the case. As Adolfo Marquez of MBS Accountancy says, “The best personal branding is an honest exploration and expression of what you believe about yourself, your work, and your profession.” When approached in this way, personal branding can be a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and showcase your brand’s culture and ethos.
I’d recommend implementing this approach to your personal brand; it will pay enormous dividends later.
Tailor your social media content to each channel
Most firms share links across social media channels and call it done. But you can create superior content by adapting your content to each platform. Over the past year, my firm has been experimenting with native post types, including Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, and LinkedIn carousels. Many of these posts don’t include links, but they create native experiences on each platform that engage our audience and showcase our brand.
I’m not going to tell you which platforms are relevant for your firm, since that depends on your social media goals and strategy, but I will offer these tips I’ve learned from consistently posting across several platforms for many years:
Don’t fear linkless content: For many professionals, the only value of a social media presence is traffic. In reality, though, social media is designed for engagement and connection with your audience. That doesn’t always require a link to your website. Give value, regardless of likes: There’s nothing wrong with wanting likes on social media, but we can often avoid valuable content or overlook valuable content opportunities because it receives few likes. Many times, I’ve received compliments for low-engagement posts in conversations with partners and vendors. Sometimes, people just aren’t as quick to push the like button for what they like.Experiment with each platform’s native features: If you are posting on LinkedIn, create LinkedIn video posts or LinkedIn carousels. Create TikTok videos and use stickers and sounds to bring your content to life. You can even experiment with Reels, Stories, and carousels on Instagram and Facebook.
Paid social is fast, but organic social lasts
Part of building a brand online is building assets that convey your brand and your value to leads, partners, and clients. These three audiences can all generate huge business opportunities for your firm, but you must be willing to invest in organically engaging and connecting on relevant social media channels.
Cassidy Jakovickas, CPA, is an active member of Intuit’s ProConnect community and CalCPA, a former member of Intuit’s Accountant Council, and a 2021 honoree of The CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 under 40 award. Since 2011, Cassidy has led his accounting firm, MBS Accountancy, as it provides financial clarity for clients through insightful accounting and prudent tax planning.