How CPAs Can Leverage Social Media

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

Is your CPA firm using social media? Contrary to what you may believe, the answer may not be as simple as just “yes” or “no”. In fact, better question might be, Is your firm using social media effectively?

Social-Media-IconsAccording to a recent report detailed in the Journal of Accountancy, many firms who hold social media accounts are still not utilizing the platforms to their best benefit. The survey found that while many CPA firms recognize the potential of social media, they are generally not leveraging its power to build an audience and consistently connect with them.

In other words, simply creating a few Facebook or LinkedIn profiles is not enough. In order to earn a real return on your time investment, CPAs should strive to follow these four steps to fully integrate social media into their practices.

Use the analytics tools. It’s one thing to fill out basic profile information and post a picture; it’s quite another to understand the variety of analytics tools available on the back end of that profile. Twenty-five percent of CPAs report that they never even use these tools! But once you learn how to use them, the analytics section of your page can help you understand the return on investments that you make in social media.

Train your employees. Half of all survey respondents reported that their employees had not been trained in social media use. It’s easy to assume that because your employees have experience with their own Facebook or LinkedIn profiles, that this knowledge will carry over in business. But operating a business profile for marketing purposes is much more complicated and requires specific training if you hope to do it correctly.

Create a formal social media use policy. Only 45 percent of CPA firms reported utilizing a formal social media use policy. The other 55 percent could be opening themselves up to legal risks by failing to create a policy regarding what employees should and should not share via company social media pages. Consult with a lawyer who is familiar with the regulations in your state, and include social media guidelines in your employee practices handbook.

Craft a deliberate approach. Simply creating a Facebook profile isn’t enough to get you noticed, even if there are thousands of users in your geographical area. In order to grow an audience, you need to offer them valuable content such as blogs or videos, and you need to make an effort to connect with them on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just as your clients seek your expertise on tax or financial issues, it’s okay for you to check in with a marketing expert!

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