Do you need a social media strategy?

Mark Lee draws on his experience of the Practice Excellence Awards to support his contention that accountants do not need a single social media strategy, but one that understands and embraces different platforms.

At the Practice Excellence Forum last week I may have surprised delegates with some contentious comments when I referred to a common feature in many of the (anonymous) entries I saw as a judge for the Practice Excellence Awards.

On one hand it was great that so many firms credited their use of “social media” as contributing to their recent growth. On the other hand it was clear that in most cases firms had little idea which of their social media activities had contributed to their growth. And I cannot a recall a single firm making reference to anything resembling a strategic approach to their use of social media.

Crafting a strategy involves more than simply deciding on the allocation of time and the appointment of someone (internally or outsourced) to post comments and blogs on behalf of the firm.

Any decent social media marketing consultant will say the same. Those with a specific interest in one or other of the platforms should focus on their preferred networks. I suggest a six stage approach:

1 – Clarify your options

2 – Set clear and realistic goals

3 – Identify the right metrics for each platform

4 – Set out a plan for each platform

5 – Work your plans

6 – Review, evaluate and revise your plans

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Mark Lee is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and writes the BookMarkLee blog to help accountants who want to understand social media and to avoid being seen as boring. He is also chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax experts.

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