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Last month the top five accountancy firms in Manchester were recommended, reported, discussed and searched for over 3.4m times on-line. The leading players have woken-up to the power of digital media.
But the vast majority of accountancy firms have yet to build a digital reputation strategy that harnesses social media to deliver its business goals. This is a huge opportunity forManchester’s accountancy practices.
When you look at an accountancy firm’s business model, the challenges it faces and its audience, it’s a perfect fit for social media:
- Most business comes from referrals and word of mouth. This is a fundamental facet of social media. It enables relationships to be strengthened and new ones to be formed, first on-line then in-person.
- Practices need to demonstrate their prowess over their discipline. Social media is a vehicle for professionals to establish themselves as thought leaders; most importantly for their views and advice to be delivered to their target audience when it matters.
- The finance community is already there. From financial directors, solicitors, financial journalists to the Bank of England, the financial community is already sharing opinions, making connections and researching services on-line already (see first paragraph!).
However, unless a firm’s social media activities have been designed to meet specific business challenges, created with a complete picture of online activity, and executed in a manner that fits the medium, any investment will not be fully realised.
Although every organisation’s situation is unique, the five most popular missed opportunities made by professional services on-line include:
- No search engine optimisation: After investing time and budget perfecting a website, no/minimal activity is undertaken to ensure prospects find it. Search engine optimisation helps organisations to rise through Google search results. Try it.
- Be where your prospects are: LinkedIn dominates across the professional services market yet only 28 out of the top 100 accountancy firms in theUKhave completed a LinkedIn company page. Be there and do it well.
- One-way communication: Conversations are always best when they are two-way. Social media is built to facilitate two-way and group conversations. That’s what makes it engaging. Make sure you are.
- Crisis communications: Ensure corporate social media policies are in place and communicated, 70% of employees have no idea if their company has a policy. Crisis communications processes should incorporate issues unique to social media and scenarios should be regularly tested.
- Measure it: Like all marketing practices, it is essential that all social media activities are specifically measured and tracked.
Social media offers a huge advantage for accountants in Manchester. As a PR agency who has worked with many of them, we know the intellect, talent and wit that exists. We look forward to helping Manchester’s professional services leap ahead of their competition online.
To discuss how we can help you establish an effective digital reputation strategy contact firstname.lastname@example.org