5 Key Social Media Trends for CPAs in 2015
This year’s social media trends forecasts are buzzing over innovations such as the integration of ecommerce with Facebook and Twitter, wearable technology and sophisticated analytics that report return on investment. While it will be interesting to see the development in these areas, there are additional trends that can significantly impact your firm’s success on social media. Here are five trends to consider as you go about implementing your firm’s social media strategy for 2015.
1. Mobile is on the rise: Consumers are spending more and more time on mobile, so it’s imperative that you invest in a well-designed and responsive website that will attract clients.
2. Paid media takes center stage: Due to the massive number of posts hitting Facebook’s News Feed and the company’s own profit-making strategy, Facebook fans are seeing fewer posts from the Pages they “Like”. In fact, post reach has declined from 16% in 2012 to 6% in 2014. So this year, companies will invest in promoted posts and advertising to guarantee that fans see more of their updates. Other social channels are said to be preparing to follow in Facebook’s footsteps by adopting a similar “pay to play” model. This means your firm needs to allocate funds towards ad spending. However, if you are on a budget, there are alternate ways to engage your audience online.
- Offer compelling content. With Facebook’s post reach down and its latest algorithm change penalizing promotional posts by not showing them in the News Feed, it’s now necessary for you to post high quality content that your fans find useful and will Like, Comment and Share.
- Embrace email marketing. If your practice doesn’t have an email newsletter, now would be a good time to start one. It’s a relatively low-cost investment and allows you to communicate directly with your clients by presenting valuable advice, firm news and promotions.
- Diversify. It’s advice you’ve probably given to clients and this year, it means you should consider becoming active on other networks where your clients are present, such as Twitter. Do a hashtag search on popular topics such as #taxrefund, #taxes, #CPA and jump into the conversation by sharing your expertise.
3. Video, video and more video. Experts predict video, which has always been synonymous with YouTube, will now proliferate to other social channels. At the AICPA, the videos we post on Facebook always receive high engagement and reach. This year, consider creating and sharing short videos with tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
4. Images are no longer a “nice-to-have.” With Instagram crossing the 300 million monthly users mark, it’s evident that images should be an essential part of the social media content you create. They help customers get a taste of your firm’s culture, employees and values. With free image creation tools available such as Canva, it’s easier to develop high-quality images without buying expensive software or hiring a graphic designer.
5. Community matters. As the digital landscape gets noisier, companies will need to stop focusing on selling, and go back to the fundamental purpose of social media: to build relationships. By training employees and putting a social media policy in place, CPA firms will be well positioned to provide clients with valuable financial and accounting advice that builds trust.
With all the upcoming developments in technology and the marketplace, this is going to be an exciting year for social media.
Which one of these trends do you think will most impact the CPA profession? Tell us in the comments.
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.
Social media logo image via Shutterstock