The top 7 reasons accountants need a Facebook page

published on February 8, 2011 in Social Media

This is the first of a monthly guest post by the people from CPA Site Solutions, the leading provider of websites for accountants from the other side of the pond. Enjoy!

Thinking of creating a Facebook page for your practice? Then read on.

A couple years ago, having a social media presence was optional for accountants. That’s not the case anymore. Now, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media to connect with friends, colleagues, and businesses. The plain fact is, if you want to meet your clients where they are, you need to get social.

And don’t assume that just because your client base is older they’re not tweeting or updating their Facebook statuses. You’d be surprised how many Baby Boomers are trying out these new platforms. (For fascinating statistics about how accountants are using social media, check out SocialCPAs’ 2010 Social Networking Survey [pdf].)

If you tend to skimp on marketing, then social media is even MORE important. It gives you a quick, easy way to engage with clients, personalize your message, and increase client loyalty – all worthy marketing goals.

One of the easiest ways to dip your toes into social media is with the Facebook Page. This feature of the popular social site is friendly to the non-techie and provides tons of marketing benefit, all for free.

Check out the top 7 reasons why every accountant should have a Facebook Page…

  1. It’s easy. You can build your Facebook Page in a matter of minutes. Just go to this signup form and choose the “Official Page” option. There’s no special programming knowledge required.
  2. Free advertising for your firm. Every time you publish a status update on your wall, it appears in your fans’ news feeds. If you post just once a week, that’s 52 reminders a year to your clients and prospects of your services – all for free.
  3. Social proof. Social proof consists of testimonials and referrals about your business – and it’s perhaps the most important source of business for local service professionals like accountants.

    Your Facebook Page provides this social proof because each time a fan clicks the “Like” button for your business, every one of her friends sees it. If those friends are currently looking for a CPA, when your name pops up with a “Like” from a friend, you’ll stand out as an excellent choice.

  4. Increase the client bond. A Facebook Page is good for more than acquiring new clients. When you offer discounts and special deals to your clients who “Like” your Page, you increase loyalty within your client base.
  5. Traffic to your CPA website. This is an amazing testament to the power of social media: Facebook Pages are now the third highest source of traffic to your website, behind searches in Google/Bing and folks typing in your URL directly.

    If you have a website, you need to take advantage of this and use a Facebook Page to funnel prospects your way.

  6. Metrics are included. Every Facebook Page comes with Facebook Insights – a tool that helps you analyze your Page’s visitors and fans. This is an important means to understanding your supporters. And the more you know who they are and what they like about your Page, the better you can please them with future messaging.
  7. Show up in Google. Facebook Pages are indexed outside of Facebook – which means they appear in the search engine results pages when folks search for an accountant. Given that about 80% of people search online when they need a local service like accounting, this becomes a major advantage.

A Facebook Page helps you connect with clients, get introduced to prospects, and, perhaps most important, become acquainted with online networking. This last point is important – because if the social media craze continues on this upward trend, we’ll all need to be comfortable there.

Kathy O'ConnellKathy O’Connell is a Certified Public Accountant. She’s also a founding owner, editor, staff writer, and CFO of CPA Site Solutions, a company in Vermont, U.S.A. that designs accounting and CPA websites.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Harmon from Big Feet Marketing
Twitter:
February 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I agree with you, Kathy. As a former Certified Public Accountant, I can attest to just how awful the typical firm’s social media and website presence is. I would have loved to have had Facebook and Twitter available to me when I had my firm. It’s amazing the value you can add to your clients if you have year round contact with them instead of their annual dumping of the shoe box on your desk.

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Kathy O'Connell, CPA
Twitter:
February 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

That’s so true, Brad. I think accountants often feel they don’t have time to “waste” on social media. Just like with any marketing efforts, though, you really do need to make time. Social media is about a lot more than keeping up with friends.

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Mark Lee
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hi Kathy
I was interested to read your article while researching a blogpost I have just written re facebook for accountants.
http://www.bookmarklee.co.uk/2011/09/12/examples-of-good-facebook-pages-for-accountants/

In other contexts I’ve noted that UK and US based accountants often have very different attitudes to marketing and to the use of social media.

As with so many other opportunities the question is often whether accountants anticipate seeing a sufficient return for the time and effort they devote to social media – and in this case to creating and updating a facebook page for their practice.

I’d be very interested to hear from any accountants who have found it worthwhile – especially if they are based in the UK. And I’ll feature the best ones in a future article as promised in my blog post.

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