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5 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

FallOctober is here - the leaves are changing color, there’s a chill in the air and we’re drawing close to the end of another year. At your CPA firm, you’re likely getting ready for performance reviews, preparing for busy season and working on strategic planning for 2015 and beyond. As you put together your marketing plan, be sure to spend some time formulating a social media strategy. This will help determine how often you blog, what social channels you use and whether you invest in social media advertising – all of which will impact how you allocate resources for the coming year. Creating a social media strategy doesn’t have to be a long and arduous process. You can get started by asking these five questions:

  1. What is unique about your organization? What are your core values? What sets you apart from your competition? What do your customers say about you and your services? Understanding who you are as an organization will determine the type of content you post and the “voice” you use to position your firm on social media.
  2. Who is your target audience? You probably already know who your ideal client is but it would still help to create a customer profile or client avatar that includes demographic and psychographic information to better understand who you are trying to attract online. Also, figure out on which social channels your audience spends most of their time. You can do this by simply asking them or monitoring engagement metrics.
  3. What resources do you have? Do you have a staff member dedicated to managing your social accounts or is social media management another hat you wear as you build your CPA firm? Determining what resources you have available will allow you to set realistic goals for the coming year.  
  4. What are your goals? If you’re just starting out on social media, you may decide to focus on building awareness by creating content that showcases your firm’s values, culture and expertise. If you already have an established presence, you may focus on promoting services and educating your audience on why they need them. The more narrow your objectives, the easier it is to determine tactics and achieve success.
  5. What performance metrics will you use? Will success take the form of new followers or increased engagement on your social media posts? Or will you measure the number of clicks to your website, the comments on your blog, subscribers to your newsletter or questions from clients about the services you promote on social media? Choose two or three of these metrics, based on the goals you develop.

AICPA Members can learn more about building a social media strategy through the AICPA’s Social Media Strategy booklet. It’s a valuable resource that will guide you in determining your objectives and provides an overview of the major social channels.

What one social media goal do you have for 2015?

Kalyani Deshpande. Kalyani is a social media marketing consultant and contributor to AICPA social media channels. Her expertise is in social media management and strategy, content creation, copywriting, analytics and reporting. She has an MBA from Wichita State University and has more than 10 years of experience in marketing.

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