Accountants Use Social Media to Generate More Revenue
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the social media craze. And maybe you’ve been ignoring it because you think it’s a fad. Well it’s time to stop ignoring it; social media is here to stay. But social media isn’t what you think it is. It’s not all about what you had for lunch or catching up with old classmates. Social media has a business purpose too. There are a few “must use” social media properties that can benefit your business. Whether you’re running your own CPA firm or work for another type of business, social media offers substantial benefits.
LinkedIn is a great resource for CPAs. You’re probably not going to find your next client on LinkedIn, but you will find your competition. LinkedIn is a professional social network, which promotes networking with current and former co-workers. LinkedIn has also setup special groups, including one for accounting, that encourage members to share news and ask for guidance on various topics. You can also find professional associations on LinkedIn, such as the AICPA. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to learn the latest in the profession and network with others in the field.
Facebook is the most popular social network in the U.S. with more than 650 million active users. There are business limitations to it though, but it does provide a good opportunity to network with college buddies and co-workers. You can also find business benefits from Facebook by setting up a Facebook page for your business. This will allow users to “like” your business and also push updates from your business page to their user stream. This is a spectacular method of “checking the pulse” of the demographic of Facebook user’s that interact with or at least view your page(s).
One of the most useful social networks for accountants and CPAs is Twitter. Celebrating six years in business this year, Twitter allows its users to share thoughts and links to photos and websites, as long as they are under 140 characters. The majority of what happens on Twitter is public. Which means everything you “tweet” goes public. It’s also pretty easy to setup search parameters to find users that might need your services. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is great way to sell your services directly to potential clients.
Let’s say your accounting or CPA firm specializes in preparing and filing personal tax returns. Setup a search on Twitter for something as simple as “taxes” and you’ll see a plethora of potential clients. You may want to try different variations, including more specific searches to help narrow down the results. One of the results you get may be, “I just realized I haven’t filed my taxes yet, what do I do?!?!?!” This is a great opportunity for you to step in and provide just enough of a response to generate interest and ultimately reel in your catch. They may not hire you, but if you help them they’ll have nothing but good things to say about you on twitter.
If you’re still not sold on the benefits of using social media for business purposes, know this; according to an August 2011 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 65% of adult internet users are using a social networking site, which is up from 29% back in 2008. Also, more than 93%of respondents in the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry reported they are utilizing social media for marketing purposes and 83% reported social media as being “important for business”.
That’s what social media is all about. It’s taking the age old marketing tactic of “word of mouth” and applying it to a new medium. Social media is about building relationships and engaging current and potential clients, virtually. Using social media is now a necessity for generating new business and more revenue. Other methods of increasing your income as an accountant that don’t include social media are simply obtaining your CPA license.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Survey, the overall average salary for college graduates with accounting degrees in 2011 was $50,500. Those who went on to obtain their CPA license earned a median salary of $73,800 with top salaries reaching $124,000.