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There are lots of reasons why Facebook is important - here are our top 7
1. Your clients and potential clients are on Facebook
The Facebook debate rages within offices, boardrooms and partnership meetings. Why use Facebook? Who is really going to look for an accountant on Facebook? The early argument was much simpler; Facebook had no commercial application, value or uses. This view was destroyed as the early adopters jumped onto Facebook and won clients as a result. True to form, these early adopters were not accountants, they were the marketing companies, and agencies, recruitment companies and sales led organisations. Companies used to working with new routes to market, whose board could see Facebook as a way of reaching prospects just like direct mail or fax marketing of the past.
Slowly some accountancy firms started to see these results and started testing Facebook – and it worked. Early on it was the smaller accountancy firm that embraced Facebook, some of whom didn’t even have a website and they were innovatively using Facebook as there online presence reaching out to the ‘butcher, baker and candlestick maker’ type clients. Gradually this has shifted, as larger accountancy firms have started to use Facebook they have networked, attracted and won new clients with good quality fees in excess of £3,000 per annum in recurring fee income.
Now with over 800 million active users, the potential market to be found on Facebook is enormous. That’s a massive figure, which should be put into some context, that’s active users. Not users or those that have a Facebook account but do nothing with it. That’s 800 million people actively using Facebook; it has of course become a way of daily life for millions of people to communicate through.
The recent statistics from Alexa show that 50% of everyone who uses the Internet spends on average 25 minutes a day on Facebook. From a marketing perspective that means that 50% of your accountancy firms potential clients are sitting there of Facebook, just waiting for you to reach them.
2. Facebook is easy for Accountants
Facebook is simple to set up and easy to use, you can either ask us to develop your customised company page or you can simply visit the Facebook site, sign up in a matter of minutes and then develop your own company page. It really is that simple, once your set up and live your practice can now be found by your clients and potential clients alike – that really is great news.
3. Facebook can help your firm stand out
Accountancy firms are often asking us how they can differentiate themselves in a competitive market. They are looking for ways they can stand out, be different and attract the clients they really want. Yet very few of them even have a Facebook company page!
Facebook is the largest social media channels and most important new routes to market, even for accountancy firms that tend to skimp on marketing. It gives your firm a quick, easy way to engage with clients and potential clients, personailse your message, and increase client loyalty – all for just a few hundred pounds. Insight can help you stand out with a professionally designed and developed company page. A company page is different from profiles – rather than being the place where friends find out about each other, this is the place a potential client can go and find out about your accountancy firm.
4. Social Proof – Likes, Testimonials and Increasing Referrals
All accountants understand the value of testimonials; they can give potential customers reassurance that your accountancy firm really is as good as you say. All the social platforms if correctly managed help in a similar way to reassure potential and current clients that you really are the right firm for them. Facebook offers social proof because every time a fan clicks the “Like” button for your practice, every one of there friends sees it. If those friends are looking for an accountant and your name pops up with a “Like” from a friend your accountancy firm will stand out head and shoulder above the rest. If you take Facebook seriously and connect with your existing customers and ask them to “Like” your page then your practice will suddenly be put in front of their networks in real time. The power of this social proof is incredible, what’s more its growing in importance and significance.
5. Increase your client bond – protect customers and reduce attrition
Some readers will be old enough to remember the days when almost all forms of marketing your accountancy firm were banned. The only way to increase your client base was the gentleman’s network. Firms just did not solicit for work, and to approach companies to see if they might 'change firms' would have been inconceivable.
Now marketing is acceptable and becoming essential for thousands of accountancy firms. Over the past few months we have been helping accountants market themselves in a completely different way than ever before. The channels being used are the most diverse and technologically advanced in history and it’s not just external marketing that’s a threat the most potent threat is from within the industry itself. Online accountancy firms will start to pop up everywhere, national franchise-type accountancy firms will grow, and compliance work will be gobbled up at increasingly low fees. Traditional firms will find it difficult to differentiate themselves and justify charges and clients will be lost. We also predict a significant and increasing threat from ‘wanna b accountants’ as accounts go online and become cloud based this will pave the way for a supermarket, bank of software company to take their own bite out of the ever reducing apple.
Anything you can do to protect your customers is worth investing into and Facebook can help. A Facebook page is good for more than simply prospecting new customers or reaching out to The Facebook Generation. When you interact with your customers through Facebook you will increase the loyalty within your client base and also stand out as a proactive, technologically advanced accountancy firm.
6. Facebook will help you appear in Google, increase traffic to your site and it’s free to use!
Lots of accountancy firms want traffic to their website, they want to show, appear or rank in Google for key search phrases and they want new clients. Facebook can towards achieve all of this providing you have a good company page and are managing your Facebook page correctly. Facebook will help you rank in Google – Facebook pages are indexed outside of Facebook. This means that they appear in the search engine results pages. When someone looks for an accountant Facebook can help you appear. What’s more, the number of “Likes” your Facebook has will also affect the way it ranks. A Facebook Fan page with a high number of fans will rank higher than one with none or less than 10.
With improved visibility both on Facebook and on search engines your Facebook activity will increase the number of visitors to your website. Providing your website is up to the task then these visitors will convert into enquiries and some of those into quality new customers.
7. Facebook gives you free advertising and measures your metrics
Facebook provides accountancy firms with a platform and the technology to advertise and promote your firm for free. Every single time your firm publishes a status update on your Facebook wall, it appears in your fans’ news feeds. If you post just one a week, that is 52 reminders every year going out to your clients and prospects – all for free.
Importantly every Facebook page comes with Facebook Insights. This is an important tool and will enable your firm to analyse and review who is visiting your page. This is both helpful and important, as it will enable your practice to understand your followers or supporters in more detail. It stands to reason the more you know about them, what they do and what they like about your Facebook page the better your firm can reach out to them in the future.
Facebook for Accountants – A Summary
In short Facebook is an important, low cost, easy to use tool that enables your accountancy firm to reach clients and prospects where they are spending considerable time. Accountancy firms with the time, resources and inclination should go about developing a company page and then manage Facebook themselves. Accountancy firms without this internal resource can outsource their company page creation and Facebook management to Insight.