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1
Why social
media is
important
Social Media Guide 1
for accountancy firms
2
Your clients and prospects
have come to expect a
digital presence beyond a
website. Social media is an
increasingly common way
for information to be sought,
discovered and shared.
Not convinced?
•	 9 out of 10 buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you
•	 59% of B2B buyers engage with their peers before making a decision
•	 48% follow industry conversations
•	 41% read content from thought leaders
Source: DemandGen Report
Social vs. traditional media
Traditional media coverage requires a “story”. Something newsworthy has
to happen: A firm has to have an announcement or be recognised as an
authority on a topic, industry or market sector.
Exposure through social media is different because the conversation
is ongoing and evolving. There will be spikes surrounding events like
conferences and wins but there will also be opportunities to raise
awareness and maintain a high profile.
Social Media Guide 1
Why social media is important for your firm
3
Public relations and traditional media tend to be campaign-led, with bursts
of activity. Social media is about building a reputation and a voice, then
sustaining momentum, every single day.
Owned vs. earned media
Social media gives you an opportunity to ‘earn’ media. Owned media
is the media you control: your website, your blog, your social channels.
Media is earned when others share your content through their channels
and networks. This means the bigger your network, the bigger and more
effective your reach.
Media and SEO
Both social and traditional media are important for SEO, because search
engines are looking to serve the most relevant content from sources of
authority. Both traditional and social media are continually influencing
SEO and can positively and negatively impact on these search results.
Social Media Guide 1
Why social media is important for your firm
4
Every individual within a firm should be striving to achieve the objectives
of the business. Everyone within the firm is a representative and influencer
for the firm, its reputation, and capabilities. The professional interests of
the people within your firm should be intrinsically linked with the interests
of your clients, prospects and your future hires.
An individual’s authenticity and tone of voice can’t be replicated by a
firm’s corporate voice. In social media, clients and prospects may prefer
to engage with an individual, such as a partner or department head.
The social relationships developed by individuals are important (or
more important) in developing business, as those managed through
organisational channels.
Allowing individuals to represent the firm has associated risk, but this can
be minimised by having a strategy and plan, underpinned by policies and
training. When this is in place, the benefits can be maximised and there
is the opportunity for your people and firm to build their reputations as
experts and influencers.
There is no more B2B or
B2C: It’s Human to Human.”
Bryan Kramer
Social Media Guide 1
Why social media is important for
the individuals in your firm
5
How these apply to your firm will depend on your objectives but the most
common are:
1.	 Raising awareness of your firm and its people
2.	 Positioning of your firm, its reputation and capabilities
3.	 Growing your firm’s network of prospects and influencers
4.	 Demonstrating your thought leadership and opinion
5.	 Consideration from your prospects, validation for your clients
6.	 Enabling engagement with your clients and prospects
7.	 Encouraging earned media, to grow your firm’s network
8.	 The halo effect as a result of individuals working together with the firm
9.	 Gaining insight into your market, competitors and informs content plan
10.	 Promoting new business and lead generation campaigns
Social Media Guide 1
Top 10 social media benefits
6
Social Media Guide 1
Our recommendations
Engage
Getting your audience to listen
and interact with you
Awareness
Getting your audience to notice
and understand who you are
Consideration
Your audience seeking in depth
information about you
Insight
Learning about your audience,
competitors, sector, industry
influence
Established as a ‘go to’
voice of your industry
Reach
Extending beyond your
core audience
Evidence
Demonstrating your knowledge
and capabilities
Lead
generation
Your opportunity to convert
Drive traffic
Directing your audience
beyond your social channels
Objectives
Educate
Understanding your audience and
providing what they need
To be successful in social
media, you need a social
media strategy with clear
objectives, direction, roles
and responsibilities
(See diagram).
This needs to be supported
with an action plan that
contributors can easily
understand and access.
In our experience, simply
adding social media as a
‘to do’ to an individual’s
task list is unlikely to have
measurable results; social
media must be integrated
into an overall marketing
and new business strategy.

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BRAccSocialGuide1

  • 1. 1 Why social media is important Social Media Guide 1 for accountancy firms
  • 2. 2 Your clients and prospects have come to expect a digital presence beyond a website. Social media is an increasingly common way for information to be sought, discovered and shared. Not convinced? • 9 out of 10 buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you • 59% of B2B buyers engage with their peers before making a decision • 48% follow industry conversations • 41% read content from thought leaders Source: DemandGen Report Social vs. traditional media Traditional media coverage requires a “story”. Something newsworthy has to happen: A firm has to have an announcement or be recognised as an authority on a topic, industry or market sector. Exposure through social media is different because the conversation is ongoing and evolving. There will be spikes surrounding events like conferences and wins but there will also be opportunities to raise awareness and maintain a high profile. Social Media Guide 1 Why social media is important for your firm
  • 3. 3 Public relations and traditional media tend to be campaign-led, with bursts of activity. Social media is about building a reputation and a voice, then sustaining momentum, every single day. Owned vs. earned media Social media gives you an opportunity to ‘earn’ media. Owned media is the media you control: your website, your blog, your social channels. Media is earned when others share your content through their channels and networks. This means the bigger your network, the bigger and more effective your reach. Media and SEO Both social and traditional media are important for SEO, because search engines are looking to serve the most relevant content from sources of authority. Both traditional and social media are continually influencing SEO and can positively and negatively impact on these search results. Social Media Guide 1 Why social media is important for your firm
  • 4. 4 Every individual within a firm should be striving to achieve the objectives of the business. Everyone within the firm is a representative and influencer for the firm, its reputation, and capabilities. The professional interests of the people within your firm should be intrinsically linked with the interests of your clients, prospects and your future hires. An individual’s authenticity and tone of voice can’t be replicated by a firm’s corporate voice. In social media, clients and prospects may prefer to engage with an individual, such as a partner or department head. The social relationships developed by individuals are important (or more important) in developing business, as those managed through organisational channels. Allowing individuals to represent the firm has associated risk, but this can be minimised by having a strategy and plan, underpinned by policies and training. When this is in place, the benefits can be maximised and there is the opportunity for your people and firm to build their reputations as experts and influencers. There is no more B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human.” Bryan Kramer Social Media Guide 1 Why social media is important for the individuals in your firm
  • 5. 5 How these apply to your firm will depend on your objectives but the most common are: 1. Raising awareness of your firm and its people 2. Positioning of your firm, its reputation and capabilities 3. Growing your firm’s network of prospects and influencers 4. Demonstrating your thought leadership and opinion 5. Consideration from your prospects, validation for your clients 6. Enabling engagement with your clients and prospects 7. Encouraging earned media, to grow your firm’s network 8. The halo effect as a result of individuals working together with the firm 9. Gaining insight into your market, competitors and informs content plan 10. Promoting new business and lead generation campaigns Social Media Guide 1 Top 10 social media benefits
  • 6. 6 Social Media Guide 1 Our recommendations Engage Getting your audience to listen and interact with you Awareness Getting your audience to notice and understand who you are Consideration Your audience seeking in depth information about you Insight Learning about your audience, competitors, sector, industry influence Established as a ‘go to’ voice of your industry Reach Extending beyond your core audience Evidence Demonstrating your knowledge and capabilities Lead generation Your opportunity to convert Drive traffic Directing your audience beyond your social channels Objectives Educate Understanding your audience and providing what they need To be successful in social media, you need a social media strategy with clear objectives, direction, roles and responsibilities (See diagram). This needs to be supported with an action plan that contributors can easily understand and access. In our experience, simply adding social media as a ‘to do’ to an individual’s task list is unlikely to have measurable results; social media must be integrated into an overall marketing and new business strategy.
  • 7. 7 1. Objectives – critical to defining and measuring success. Based on the firm’s strategy, what are your social media priorities? 2. Resourcing – if it’s everyone’s job it will soon be no one’s job. Roles and responsibilities for marketing, partners, practice areas and other functions, need to be defined and any skills gaps need to be identified. It can be wise to consider some outsourcing, at least in the short term 3. Buy in – your social media will only be effective if the key stakeholders are on board 4. Risk – a social media policy should form part of your strategy. It doesn’t have to be lengthy but expect the best, plan for the worst 5. Content – You’ll need ongoing and varied content. This will usually include a mix of evergreen content, content that stays relevant and often is a big driver of website traffic and topical / trending content that is shorter lived but contributes to positioning and reputation 6. Audience – should be clearly defined in your strategy and must always come first. Think about what they need and want to know, not what you want to tell them 7. Budget – this will help you be realistic about what can be achieved in what time period, it can also help direct how ambitious your content plan and formats are 8. Measuring success – how well is it working is the question you’ll often be asked. It’s challenging but not impossible to measure. When setting objectives, it’s worth setting KPI’s and defining ways to monitor and measure activity Social Media Guide 1 Social Media Strategy – 8 key considerations:
  • 8. 8 • Without a content strategy and plan, content creation is going to be your biggest challenge and obstacle to success • You can’t measure success without objectives • The ROI of social media is hard to measure but the opportunity cost of not doing social media is incalculable • Your tone of voice can be adapted for social media but should still be recognisable and consistent • If you’re struggling to convince key stakeholders to adopt social media, try a “test and learn” approach with a single practice or function. The results can be used to persuade others of its value Social Media Guide 1 Food for thought
  • 9. 9 In Guide 1 we have explored: • Why social media is important for your firm • Why social media is important for the individuals within your firm • Highlighted the top 10 benefits of social media We have emphasised that to be successful in social media, your activity should be underpinned by a social media strategy and have highlighted 8 key considerations for this, along with some ‘food for thought’. If writing your social media strategy feels daunting, then look out for Guide 2, which will be released in the next couple of weeks. Guide 2 breaks down the steps required for getting your strategy in place, beginning with a social media audit. Social Media Guide 1 Summary
  • 10. 10 Brand Remedy is an award-winning strategy and design consultancy, built on a heritage of creating and evolving brands for leading organisations. Today, we not only create brands, we help them grow. We have developed a reputation for excellence through combining smart thinking with creativity, energy and infectious enthusiasm. We harness the power of insight, digital and content to achieve commercial success for clients. We have a track record creating and delivering brands, websites and digital projects for professional services organisations and have been recognised in the Design Week “Top 100” agencies for 2014 and 2015. Social Media Guide 1 Who is Brand Remedy?
  • 11. Brand Remedy 7 Blake Mews, Kew Gardens, Surrey, TW9 3GA www.brandremedy.com Social Media Indicator We can provide a complimentary social media indicator to evaluate your social media effectiveness. Based on our sector experience, we evaluate you against set criteria, meet with you to present our findings and recommend quick wins and longer term opportunities to leverage social media. Social Media Guide 1 How we can help If you want to know more about how social media can help your organisation or get advice on how to get started, train your team or improve your results, please contact: Louise Barfield: louise@brandremedy.com Michelle Roberts-Clarke: michelle@brandremedy.com T: 020 8940 6050 Social Media Training We can provide tailored social media training for your business. From workshops, to 1-2-1 training programmes, we’ll work with you to develop expertise at all levels. We’ll give your people the confidence to use social media to meet their business objectives.