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Social media is social business


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Social media is social business

  1. 1. 100% Cloud – Your Action Plan for Success 1© 2020 Innovation Training Limited 2017 QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Panel Discussion Social Media is Social Business Panelists Michael Austin, Founder and MD, Blue Dot Consulting, Ltd. Aynsley Damery, CEO, Tayabali Tomlin Peter Disney, Managing Director, Wood & Disney, Ltd. Trent McLaren, Business Development Manager, Intuit, Australia Facilitator Alison Ball, Global Influencer Programs, Intuit US QuickBooks Connect London 6–7March 2017
  2. 2. Copyright Copyright 2017 Intuit Ltd. All rights reserved. Trademarks © 2017 Intuit, Inc. All rights reserved. Intuit, the Intuit logo, Intuit ProLine, Lacerte, ProAdvisor, ProSeries and QuickBooks , among others, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other parties’ marks are the property of their respective owners. Notice to Readers The publications distributed by Intuit, Inc. are intended to assist accounting professionals in their practices by providing current and accurate information. However, no assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a client’s particular situation. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit, Inc. does not render any accounting, legal or other professional advice, nor does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Intuit, Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.
  3. 3. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 1 Exercise – To kick off the panel, we’ll do a Live tweet of group selfie using the event #QBConnect and a special one #QBSocial, as a way for people to connect and stay in touch. – At home exercise – find this pic and Retweet it with your comments – be sure to include the hashtags. Why Social Media — Tips and Best Practices According to Aynsley Damery Because your customers are there. In 2016 it was estimated just over 50 percent of the U.K. population used social media. In the U.S. the number was closer to 78 percent. Social media is no longer a cutting edge practice, it’s the standard; and some estimates place worldwide annual growth at 20 percent. People are researching firms using digital media and your firm must have an active and engaging presence to attract and keep these potential customers. GETTING STARTED According to Aynsley Damery It’s important to realise that social media is just one of the marketing pillars you should be using and it is unlikely to succeed on its own (your website, brand, positioning, pricing, funnel, client select criteria, offering, etc. all will have a massive impact too!). They all work together. Like everything in life and business, if you set out without a plan, without objectives and an idea of what you are trying to achieve, the results you want and the measures you want to put in place to monitor that are not likely to succeed. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there! You also need to ensure you have a reasonable presence across all platforms — think spider web. But you can’t spread yourself too thin. Work out which platforms will be right for you. Ultimately, if you are looking for new clients, then it’s about selling a phone call that generates a meeting. Content is king and quality over quantity. But sometimes size does matter. Complete profiles properly and use good quality photographs. Use key words, company name and personal name.
  4. 4. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 2 According to Peter Disney Social media is just part of our marketing mix. We also use direct mail, magazine advertising, networking and presenting to startup groups and business groups. All of our marketing approaches are consistent in their messages and currently these are all about cloud accounting and how cloud accounting can help with being ready for making tax digital. According to Trent McLaren Whenever you’re networking, you’ve got to be diligent about connecting with your newfound peers online. Whenever you receive a business card or you’ve met someone for the first time, find them online and connect. Personally I’ll look to connect with people I’m meeting for the first time prior to the meeting, as a way of introduction and to let them see how I interact online with the world. BENEFITS According to Aynsley Damery We’ve always been really keen on differentiation and standing out from the crowd (in everything we do). We started back in mid-2009 and saw it as great way to do that. We noticed right away that we could connect quickly with prospects in a new and innovative way. We started sharing content and built a following rapidly. We got new clients (decent clients at our average fee of £6k). We also noticed the PR angle — blogs and photos being picked up by local and international business magazines and increased website traffic. It has also helped with some interesting partnerships. We’ve got speaking gigs and workshops, which again further helps leverage. In fact we had such great success with social media, we decided that our clients would too, so we have run a number of workshops and seminars. BRANDING AND CULTURE According to Peter Disney Our approachability has been a key part of our success, from the use of cartoons and the language used in our websites, advertising, direct mail and continued on the walls of our office so prospects can see we are exactly as our image portrays. Even our meeting room just has comfortable chairs around a coffee table but no desk. We try to use a little fun in our messages and recently included a mention of Scooby Doo and Hong Kong Fuey in a blog about cyber insurance.
  5. 5. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 3 TIME RESTRAINTS According to Aynsley Damery I spend a maximum of 30 minutes a day on social media. I use technology/other programmes to help whenever I can and get the team involved to spread the load (include a marketing/admin apprentice and support team members). More specifically, use: • Mashable, Inc., Forbes, for curating • Buffer for scheduling • Lists and notification used wisely for connecting and engaging • Various analytics tools for measuring ROI. There are many out there and it’s important to see what works for you and fits in with the way you work. Most have a free trial period so you can see what really works before you buy. PLATFORMS According to Aynsley Damery We have tried to create a presence across all the main social media platforms, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc., and we try to link the platforms and back to our website — think spider web! Different platforms have worked well at different times and we use certain platforms for some things rather than others for example: • Facebook for advertising • Pinterest for our team clothing mood boards • LinkedIn and Facebook for closed clients and prospect/networking groups But we became known for Twitter more than anything else and we continue to have a strong presence on that platform. TWITTER According to Aynsley Damery It is interesting to note that our usage on each platform has changed over time. For example, on Twitter, first we used it to connect with prospects, then as a communication tool with clients, then as a content and broadcaster. Now we use it for event promotion, advertising and blog links. General PR #s are also a great tool. But it’s going to be different for everyone and it depends on what your prospects/clients are using, what you like working with and what you are trying to achieve.
  6. 6. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 4 FACEBOOK According to Trent McLaren A majority of the world’s population is using Facebook, and for the savvy business owners out there it’s a great way to get your message in front of the right people. Facebook groups have become widely popular in the last two years in which segmented interest groups have been created for people helping one another. Within this, you now find people all over the world helping each other with problems, questions, queries, and they’re also encouraging and supporting one another. If you’re tactical about your approach, you too can be in these groups offering your advice, opinions and developing your brand as a thought matter expert on said topic. This can be a great way to gain quick referrals, once you’ve established yourself. The key is not to go in and spam the group, simply contribute, assist and be an authentic human. According to Peter Disney We have been using social media for 12 years, starting with LinkedIn, then Twitter and about four years ago we started using Facebook. In the early years it achieved very little. However, persistence has paid off and we now get regular referrals via our social media networks. Facebook Livestream According to Trent McLaren While still a relatively new feature, this is in fact a great opportunity to drive deeper engagement with your audience. This can be conducted in groups, closed groups, business page and personal Facebook page. This is a key feature that is often overlooked, mainly because not everyone is using Livestream. They’re intimidated about making a mistake. I would recommend you keep Facebook videos from three to five minutes. And be sure you have three to five points you intend to go through. Do not by any means randomly start streaming based on a whim or a great idea, unless you’re a really well versed speaker and thinker. INSTAGRAM According to Aynsley Damery For me, Instagram is the new Twitter. Twitter has become a bit overcrowded and it’s difficult to stand out. It’s great for PR and events but difficult for lead generation for us at present. We didn’t see many accountants using IG and noticed that many of our clients were using the platform. So we looked at what they were doing, why they were using it and researched how other companies were achieving success. We worked out that quality and quirky images had the best engagement and the use of #s was key. We have had a good bit of engagement and can see that website traffic and enquiries have increased as a result. It’s hugely interesting to see how all we have learned has been put to good use very quickly on our new collaborative firm TaxGo — especially on IG!
  7. 7. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 5 LINKEDIN According to Trent McLaren Growing your network Whenever you’re networking in physical form or online, you’ve got to be diligent about connecting with your newfound peers online. Whenever you receive a business card or you’ve met someone for the first time. Find them online and connect. Personally I’ll look to connect with people I’m meeting for the first time, prior to the meeting, by way of introduction and them getting to see me and how I interact online with the world. Metrics It’s important to measure your posts on social media, this helps you understand which posts are resonating with your audience and, where possible, you’ll be able to articulate what’s worked well for you and what hasn’t. This can help lead to new clients, new conversations or introductions to people you haven’t met yet. With LinkedIn, you can track the number of views, the types of people who read your post, a company that seems to be attracted to your post and the location of these readers. This is great as you can identify if you’re gaining traction in your focus areas. Become a guest blogger It’s not always about what you know, sometimes it’s about whom you know, and guest blogging is no different. All publications will, in nearly all cases, have an email address you can connect with to offer new stories, or offer your opinion on something. If you find a publication that reaches your target audience, and you want to be a contributor, then you need to reach out and start networking and connecting with those responsible for the publication. This is another great way to use LinkedIn, as you identify certain people with certain roles in companies.
  8. 8. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 6 BLOG On your website According to Michael Austin In 2011 and 2016 when we redesigned our website, the blog was the main part. The blog is flexible, easily updated and a good way to have a web presence on up-to-date issues. Our website is now a home page and the blog! Redesigning it last year was so much easier and cheaper than ever before. You can write a blog on anything and, if done appropriately, you can write it for both readers and search engine optimisation. More by luck than judgement, my blog post that draws the most hits is about filing reports at Companies House. Which means people searching for Companies House-related information will land on our website. One source, many outlets According to Michael Austin It’s very easy to copy and paste a blog into an article on your LinkedIn page. But much more than that, you can: • Tweet links to your blogs • Put them on Google + • Use links as email footers • Use them in email shots • Have a pack of them that go out to potential new clients to showcase your expertise But — particularly on Twitter — give your content away for free. Is anything more frustrating than following a link only to find you must subscribe to something to read the whole thing? Content and inspiration According to Michael Austin You can blog on anything. So if you feel strongly about something or feel a need to write on a specific topic — do it. If the issue is fleeting, such as an event you’re running or involved in, you can just delete the blog after the event. You might find you have blogged on a topic several times; this topic can be a category on your blog so it becomes something you are known for.
  9. 9. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 7 We opened an office in Richmond some years ago and used the blog to write the web pages to promote the office. So many ideas come from conversations and meetings with clients. I go home or back to the office with the idea for a new blog in my head and they pretty much write themselves: • Gross profit officer – appoint one today • A gory cashflow model is a good cashflow model • I can’t have the business I want because of the business I’ve got According to Trent McLaren Finding content to write about is always in front of your nose. Simply reflect on all the questions you hear from your clients. What are the themes and issues you see when reviewing your clients’ work or when speaking with them? These are great starting points for blog posts and articles you know will resonate with your ideal audience. Blog lengths – what works best, can depend on the platform According to Michael Austin The recommended length for a blog (that is on your website) is 300 words — which means writing any individual blog is not arduous. It also means that if you have more to say on a subject, then you can slice and dice it into two or three blogs, which keeps the whole thing fresh and nimble and gives you more to leverage over different media. According to Trent McLaren Typically your LinkedIn long form post (which is essentially a blog, but people expect longer and more “meaty” topics on LinkedIn long form posts), should be anywhere from 800 to 1200 words long. If you go longer than that, you’ll find you start to lose your audience’s interest at this point. These forms of communication need to be clear and concise. Deliver stories to help enforce your point, backed by facts or statistics, then re-enforce what you’re suggesting. According to Alison Ball You can also use Medium to post even longer blog content. Medium is very interesting because you can build your brand as a thought leader on one type of topic, or, you can bop around and write about things that interest you. Medium posts can then be distributed via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Experiment According to Michael Austin Two points come to mind — video and guest blogs. You can try out video — talking heads, explainers, tutorials. You can write blogs for other organisations and invite other bloggers to write on your blog.
  10. 10. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 8 Convert readers into paying customers According to Trent McLaren Whenever you write an article or blog, there needs to be some form of call to action for the reader. This could be as simple as directing people to connect with you if they want to learn more. It could be you ask them to follow you on all social channels for more updates. You may even redirect them to a video they should watch which shows them more about your company or business. You need to entice these people to keep engaging with you. Offer them something they can take up for free — a guide, a download, a brochure, a video, a hot tip. This is what leads you to winning new paying customers. According to Michael Austin Let your personality shine through. Do you blog as you or as your organisation? I blog as me, as if I’m having a one-on-one conversation with someone. Say things how you would say them, not in corporate-speak. People buy people and, if you want a reader to contact you, then you should convince them you can help them and that you’re an approachable person to deal with. WHAT’S NEXT? According to Aynsley Damery Video is already huge but it will become the norm. You need to work out what that will mean for you — communicating with existing clients and prospects, and which platforms to use — Vlogs, YouTube Channels, video on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn, Snapchat, Periscope, etc. We have polished up a few corporate videos and are trying to get the team used to video. Camera, mics and teleprompter are in situ and we are using it for our new offshoring team in the Philippines and hopefully fly from there. We use Zoom for client comms and looking at how we bring in bomb—bomb as a potential replacement to email responses.
  11. 11. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 9 Panelists “If I were the FD of this company how would I organise its financial management?” That’s the first question Michael asks when working with a business for the first time. Having been an FD and CFO, his eye for what works in the real world is keenly focused. The answer so often involved QuickBooks that his firm of Chartered Accountants, Blue Dot Consulting, became huge advocates and almost all their clients are running successfully on a QuickBooks platform. Blue Dot Consulting is fully in the cloud and Michael has been blogging about this and many other business and financial issues since 2010. Aynsley Damery is the CEO of Tayabali Tomlin, a multi award-winning accounting firm that believes in striving for excellence by thinking differently, challenging the status quo and transforming the lives of their clients, team and those less fortunate around the world. The firm is recognized by a number of organisations for the strides it has made in becoming a ‘Firm of the Future’ and for using brand, marketing, PR and social media to great effect. All of which has helped them stand out from the crowd. Michael Austin Founder and MD Blue Dot Consulting, Ltd. @diaryofanomb Aynsley Damery CEO Tayabali Tomlin @aynsleydamery
  12. 12. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 10 Peter Disney qualified as a chartered accountant in 1981 and is the managing director of Wood & Disney Ltd, a multi award-winning firm of Real Time Accountants and Business Advisers. Peter has always been interested in technology, from twin floppy drives in the late ’80s, developing access databases to deliver management consulting in the mid ’90s, to creating an online business diagnostic tool in 2002, to being amongst the first accountants going paperless in 2003, and on into 2009 when he first started using a cloud based accounting system. Wood & Disney are recognized as the leading cloud accounting experts in North Essex. Trent comes all the way from Australia as an expert in the accounting industry. He is a regular columnist with AccountantsDaily, nominated for thought leader of the year for the accounting industry in 2016 and recently spent time in Europe as a keynote speaker, talking through the hot trends he’s witnessed in accounting firms all over the world. He’s recently completed his MBA and is passionate about enabling growth for accountants and bookkeepers as they strive to disrupt themselves through this new age of cloud technology we live in. In his day-to-day life, Trent is a senior business development manager for Intuit. He works closely alongside the Australian operations and can be found on all good social media platforms, sprucing the good word on the accounting ecosystem and how it is changing the lives of small businesses and accountants. Peter Disney Managing Director Wood & Disney, Ltd. @woodanddisney Trent McLaren Business Development Manager Intuit, Australia @trent_mclaren
  13. 13. QuickBooks Connect London 2017 Social Media is Social Business 11 Facilitator Alison joined Intuit in 2004 to build programs designed to help accountants and bookkeepers build their brand on the back of Intuit’s strong brand globally. A former practicing accountant herself, she understands accounting professionals and their desire to help their clients succeed. When she is not talking one-on-one with global thought leaders, you can find her laughing with and learning from accountants and bookkeepers at events in the US, Canada, Australia, UK and India. She enjoys frequent contact with Accountants, Bookkeepers and thought leaders around the globe via Twitter, Linked In, Facebook and Instagram, and in her spare time you can find her training for half marathons and raising money for cancer research. Alison Ball Global Influencer Programs Intuit US @alisonatintuit