Can Social Media Really Make an Impact on CPA Firm Marketing Efforts?
“Our partners won’t support social media.”
“They just don’t get it!”
“It’s a time suck and doesn’t produce results”
“Our target market doesn’t participate in social media”
I’ve heard these and other similar comments countless numbers of times when discussing new approaches to CPA firm marketing strategies and tactics with Managing Partners and firm marketers.
However, one CPA firm, FreedMaxick, and its Marketing Director Eric Majchrzak, is breaking through these barriers to using social media in exciting new ways. They’re building a loyal base of followers, expanding the reach of their brand, and even better, showing that social media can indeed be used to find new clients (and revenues) for the firm.
FreedMaxick’s success in using social media has a couple of valuable lessons for the marketing efforts of CPA and other professional services firms thinking about using this channel in their marketing mix:
- They have made the strategic and tactical decision to dedicate the time and the resources to making social media a key part of new business - not just for posting their thoughts to various channels, but also for listening and participating in conversations
- They are committed, persistent and perseverant because social media is not a “set it and forget it” tactic
- They have made the investment in the infrastructure to support a strong social media program, from processes to engage partners and business developers, to incorporating inbound marketing technology for lead acquisition and nurturing
- They are willing to experiment and try new social media channels or push the envelope with new ways of using existing channels
- The firm’s leadership is supportive of the initiative which gives the team more flexibility for strategic and tactical creativity
They understand that social media is just one component of a broader weave of marketing communications, and rather than view it as a standalone tactic, they work hard on integrating it with branding activities, their website, collateral materials, and even (as many of you may remember) electronic billboards.
However, the bottom line here is that if social media was not working for the firm in terms of actually driving hard dollars driven to the top line, then it’s likely that the firm would not be using it as prominently as it currently does in their marketing and new business development program. CPA and other professional services firms have a limited amount of time, people and budget for marketing. And, many firms still face an uphill battle when it comes to convincing partners to be more entrepreneurial and innovative when it comes to their marketing strategies and tactics.
Engaging in social media- or any other marketing innovations like inbound or content marketing–
requires both direct and indirect investment, and a demand for a return on that investment. It’s a matter of either adding budget and resources, or taking a hard look at the results of current marketing initiatives and getting rid of what’s not working and replacing it with new approaches. Ask this question: can we make our investment in marketing worker harder and produce more leads, more new business and a greater ROI with new approaches to our marketing efforts?
FreedMaxick asked this question and made dramatic shifts in their marketing program over the past few years, and have proven that Twitter (and LinkedIn and You Tube and Google+) is indeed a good marriage for their new business efforts.