Gone are the days when succeeding on social media was simple. But even in the current environment, you can still pivot and dominate your market.
How long have you been on social media? Have you followed its evolution?
I did. And I can tell you that it looks nothing like before.
The first platform that I joined was Twitter, followed by Facebook. Back in the day, gaining traction was a breeze. I only had to put up a video to get 2,000 views on it, and have many people reach out to me.
It happened naturally and organically. If you produced decent content, you could achieve great results.
This all changed in or about 2006.
And there’s only one thing to blame for it – monetisation.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook decided to monetise his platform. Twitter followed, and soon every major social media platform.
All of a sudden, everyone had to pay to play if they wanted to succeed.
At the same time, social platforms were also getting incredibly saturated.
Once used for personal reasons, they’ve grown to become the go-to channels for every business serious about marketing. And the result is the social media landscape that we have today.
So when I say that the social media ship has sailed, what I mean is that you’re not going to make it with those simple tactics I used before.
You might think that the only thing left to do is to enter the fray and start pouring money into ads. While paid ads can be a great way to attract new clients, that’s not what I want to talk about here.
I want to show you the practices that can help you conquer the market organically.
This is the very foundation of social media success.
Paid ads won’t do much if you don’t get these fundamentals right. So let’s find out what it takes to win in the current social media game:
1. Build a Personal Brand
As I mentioned, eye-grabbing content used to be enough to succeed with social media. There wasn’t that much competition online, so buyers could make their decisions more smoothly.
But with so many options out there nowadays, clients will do a bit more research before deciding who they want to work with.
Because of this, you need to go the extra mile to convince people that you’re the go-to option. This involves building a strong personal brand that will set you apart from the throngs of people and companies on social platforms.
The stats show that 70%-90% of buying decisions get made before a person reaches out to inquire about your accounting services. It’s your personal brand that can help you connect with your audience and build the trust that will make them confident about working with you.
So, don’t just post random content on social media. Find your brand’s voice and weave it into your marketing efforts. Do it consistently and you can position yourself uniquely in your niche.
2. Focus on the Entire Customer Journey
What type of information do you offer in your content?
Many accountants don’t look beyond the basic stuff. Their content revolves around information like civil loans and how to set up an LLP or limited company. Such content may be useful, but it doesn’t cover the entire journey that you should take your customers on.
In other words, such standard content doesn’t disrupt people’s thinking. And this is crucial for getting people to engage with you so that you can start converting them into a client.
When you’re on social media, your main job is to catch people’s attention. The last thing you want is to put out content that people will just scroll by. This is a waste of your time and energy, not to mention the costs of promoting your firm.
To get someone’s attention, your content needs to make them stop and think about what they’re doing right now. In the accounting space, this can be something like focusing on the mistakes that your audience is making.
Before you inform people through your content, you must first get them to rethink their ways. This is how you invite people on a journey towards a positive outcome.
Customers will feel compelled to work with you if you position yourself as the solution. By introducing new ways of solving a common problem, you’ll put yourself in front of people’s minds as an expert.
3. Build a Community
If you look at social media simply as a broadcasting tool, that right there could be the whole problem.
Again, this is something that used to work at a time when we didn’t have that many people pushing out content. But not today, where lots of businesses are bombarding people with information.
If you don’t do something about it, you’re only adding to the noise.
People don’t need yet another business putting information in front of them. They crave that warm and fuzzy feeling of being part of a community.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to create such a community. As we speak, Facebook groups are the most effective.
Every accounting firm should have a Facebook group for their market. You can even have multiple groups for prospects and clients.
It doesn’t really matter how you approach it, as long as you build at least some kind of community.
When you do this, you should also actively engage in the community through your personal profile. I get that many people are hesitant to do so, as they want to keep their personal and business lives separate. But the truth is that people buy from real people, which is what you should keep in mind with all your marketing efforts.
After you build your community, you want to foster connections as much as you can. Publish valuable content and get people to engage in it and spark conversations.
Let them feel like they truly belong in your tribe and you’ll create an ever-growing base of loyal customers.
4. Leverage ‘Buy One, Give One’ Programs
Does your business stand for something beyond just the work that you do? Do you have a higher mission that people can connect with?
If not, now’s the perfect time to develop yours.
Sustainability is one of the biggest buzzwords in today’s business environment. This goes for all businesses, regardless of their industry. People want something more than just your services. It’s that higher connection that can really drive sales today.
If you want to join this trend, the best way to do it is through ‘buy one, give one’ programs.
When you make money in your business, you want to give back some of it. This can be planting trees in Indonesia or somewhere else, access to education for the less fortunate, or anything else that changes the world for the better.
As a business owner, you have the power to leave a positive impact on the world and you can do that with your community. Because when people see your passion, they’ll want to join you on this journey to a better world.
5. Go All-In
Simply dabbling in social media never works. To draw people in and keep them engaged, you’ve got to be consistent and go all in.
It’s not enough to just post something on Facebook or LinkedIn once a week. It’s too easy for your audience to miss your content this way.
On top of everything discussed so far, you must also play the numbers game.
Try posting daily for a month and you’ll see how much more engagement you’re getting. That should spur you on to keep up and be consistent with your social media efforts.
You must integrate digital marketing into your business as a necessary function. Paid or organic, your marketing isn’t going to work unless you’re devoted to carrying it out.
Step Up Your Marketing Game
When I say that the social media ship has sailed, I don’t mean that you should just give up and try something else. I’m just saying that we’re past the point when almost anyone could make it work without effort.
There’s no doubt that you can still thrive in the online space. But to do it, you must check all the boxes that I discussed here.
Remember that it all comes down to getting people to know, like, and trust you.
We’ve never been this disconnected, so it’s totally understandable that people crave strong relationships. But with the advice you saw here, you can create those relationships in a way that keeps people loyal to you.
What’s left is for you to go out there and build your community. Do it right and you’ll be able to leverage the massive power of social media.
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