Anyone who says social media and the finance industry are not a good match clearly hasn’t seen a Facebook page with multiple active discussions about business accounting or Twitter threads on how to troubleshoot or use the special features of an accounting software. The same applies to people who assume that LinkedIn is the only platform for accountants and accounting firms because it has a “formal” environment, unlike in Facebook and Twitter where users are more candid with one another.
Assuming that an industry should only be closeted in specific social media sites and not in others can grossly limit the reach of a campaign and diminish its potential even before it can even fully kick in. Also, keep in mind that millions of people are active on multiple social media sites:
Facebook: 2.2 billion active users
YouTube: 1.9 billion
Instagram: 1 billion
TikTok: 500 million
Google+: 430 million
Twitter: 330 million
Given these numbers, accountants and firms that skip on social media marketing would be missing out on a lot of things: a cost-effective avenue for marketing your accounting firm, paid and organic features for targeted marketing, wider audience reach, branding opportunities, and more leads and conversions.
It’s normal to have apprehensions about marketing campaigns because nothing is ever guaranteed. Take comfort in the fact, however, that many accounting professionals, organizations, and companies have already found success in social media marketing.
If you’ve yet to have a solid marketing plan for your accounting firm, take your cues from these professionals and thought leaders who are killing it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Their social media marketing methods are mostly different, but they share one thing in common: they focus heavily on trust and community building.
Kelly Phillips Erb (@Taxgirl)
A tax lawyer and senior contributor for Forbes, she writes articles on tax policy and relevant news and publishes them on www.TaxGirl.com. She has a reputation for writing highly informative and timely articles for practicing tax accountants. She shares links to her published articles on Twitter, where she currently has 42.5K followers.
Takeaways: Erb keeps her tweets casual and conversational (sometimes even using text shorthand). Although she mostly tweets about tax matters, she saves the technical jargon for her website and Forbes articles.
Cathy Iconis (@CathyIconis)
Cathy Iconis is the owner of Iconis Group, a bookkeeping firm that uses QuickBooks online software for its services. She started QBOChat, an online community that provides QuickBooks training for accountants and bookkeepers. Although the group is not officially affiliated with the creators of the QuickBooks software, Iconis and QBOChat have become the go-to sources for tips, practice guides, and other helpful materials for QBO users.
Takeaways: Iconis started a community with the goal of helping independent accounting professionals and small businesses. She tweets links to QBOChat’s articles and podcasts and rarely does the same for her firm. It appears that marketing for her firm’s services became secondary, and Iconis focused instead on trust-building and growing the QBOChat community. As a result, she gained her audience’s trust and confidence, and this sends clients to her business.
Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC)
Known as a contributor on tax policies for the Wall Street Journal, Rubin has 30.9K followers on Twitter who sends him questions on a variety of tax-related matters, from Coronavirus College Stimulus Payments to qualifications for taxable income.
Takeaways: Rubin candidly talks about the emails he receives and tweets answers for popular questions. He keeps his followers up to date about the latest in federal taxation processes and regulations. He uses jargon but adds a layman’s explanation for the benefit of non-professional followers. He can afford to use technical speech because he’s already established as a tax accounting influencer, and many of his followers are professionals as well.
Damien Martin (@DamienMartinCPA)
Martin is the National Tax Assistant Director at the accounting and advisory firm, BKD. He hosts the podcast, Simply Tax, where he talks about complex tax laws and regulations, breaking them down to help business professionals understand taxation better.
Takeaways: Martin smartly uses popular hashtags like #TaxTwitter and #TaxSeason to reach both followers and non-followers. He also attaches #SimplyTax whenever he tweets the link to the next episode of his podcast, making his original content easy to find. He also proves himself a true subject matter expert by answering questions, providing credible references, and re-tweeting informational content from other publications and fellow CPAs. His entire Twitter feed has become a resource mine, as a result, providing followers with helpful tips on various tax matters.
Jason M. Blumer, CPA (@JasomMBlumer)
Blumer’s approach appeals to creatives and small business owners. His profile states that he is also a coach and growth consultant, which explains the reader-friendly tone of his tweets. He is the CEO and founder of Thriveal CPA Network, a community of CPAs who stay connected and informed through podcasts and online learning gatherings.
Takeaways: Blumer cross-links his Twitter profile with that of Thriveal and his company, Blumer CPAs. He shares content from both Twitter accounts and websites, especially posts about new podcast episodes. He also posts about relevant news on his feed, along with some tips on how to deal with the new developments. In true Twitter fashion, he occasionally posts funny content which his main audience — creatives and biz owners — can relate to.
David is the “Chief Nerd” at the accounting consulting and training company, Nerd Enterprises, Inc. He manages the private Facebook group, Accounting Business Academy (formerly called Between Wall and Main Strategy Forum) which consists of accountants and business owners. The group’s members are highly engaged, with people asking questions and accountants giving their two cents to solve said problems.
Takeaways: By starting an exclusive Facebook group, David can manage the discussions and ensure the topics are relevant or helpful to its members. This keeps everyone engaged and appreciative of the group’s existence. It is inevitable that the trust built in this group gets passed on to its administrator.
As the Editor-in-Chief of Accounting Today, an online information resource for public accountants, Hood is no stranger to discussing all subjects related to public accounting, such as tax law, wealth management, audit systems, and bookkeeping technology. He also owns and manages the Accounting Today Discussion Group on LinkedIn, which is a marquee brand of Arizent (the same business information company behind Accounting Today). This is a private LinkedIn group that delivers industry news and analyses and encourages relevant discussions among its members. It welcomes business owners, CPAs, and non-CPAs who’re involved in some form of accounting work.
Takeaways: Hood ensures the quality and relevance of the discussions in the group by screening its members. The membership requirements ensure that every member is either a contributor (CPA who answers questions) or a potential client. As the group’s owner and distributor, he is also gaining the trust of the members who may later become brand ambassadors.
Named by CPA Practice Advisor as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting, Whitehouse is a CPA and a consulting team member of Brotemarkle, Davis & Co. LLP. She co-founded the bookkeeping company, Solve Services, and is a keynote speaker for various international accounting conferences. She has over 148,000 followers on LinkedIn despite her lack of activities on the platform.
Takeaways: Whitehouse is an example of how traditional marketing can blend seamlessly with social media marketing. She gains followers from her speaking appearances, and she keeps them interested by sharing industry-relevant posts on LinkedIn. Her online activities aren’t as frequent as the other influencers in this list, but Whitehouse still gained a massive following by simply having accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Widely regarded as one of Maryland’s most innovative influencers in the accounting industry, Tom Hood is a frequent placer in Accounting Today’s annual Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. He is active in LinkedIn (over 748,00 followers) and Twitter (15.4K followers) where he shares informative articles, accounting tips, and his assessments on the developments and news in the industry.
Takeaways: Tom Hood optimizes LinkedIn’s clean and content-friendly layout by publishing blog posts and accounting articles. He ends his posts with calls to action inviting readers to subscribe to his company, Business Learning Institute’s blog. He also reinforces his expertise by adding a writer’s bio that mentions his biggest accomplishments. Lastly, the content he shares on his Twitter account is different from what’s on his LinkedIn page. It’s a smart and diligent move since the discussions on either platform are bound to be different.
Harness the Power of Social Media Like These Influencers
It’s worth mentioning that the people in this list are considered influencers not because they have the largest followings on their social media accounts. Follows, likes, and re-tweets are merely vanity numbers if the level of engagement on their pages and their conversions stay low. These men and women are accounting industry influencers because they proved their brand authority. They were able to engage, attract audiences, and indirectly promote their services through social media marketing.
Consider the social media management practices mentioned in this article when you come up with your own marketing blueprint. If you want a professional marketer’s input, ScalingYou can offer you some solid marketing ideas for accounting firms.
Get in touch today.