If you consider using Facebook an exercise in futility when it comes to your accounting business, I encourage you to think again, says Nellie Akalp in Accountingweb.
Even though the site’s algorithm trims down the number of followers who see your page’s updates in their news feed, there are other ways to use it to fuel your business’s success. While boosting posts and creating ads will help expand your reach, participating in Facebook groups offers powerful benefits as well.
More specifically, here are two ways they can help you professionally:
1. Make you a more informed, savvy business owner
Seek out Facebook groups created to help accounting professionals and entrepreneurs run their businesses more effectively. They provide the perfect forum for asking questions about challenges you’re facing and getting answers from other industry professionals and business owners who have either overcome those obstacles or have expertise in how to resolve them.
Here are some examples of topics you might see discussed in groups related to starting and running a business:
- What are the advantages of incorporating or forming an LLC?
- What should you include in your business plan?
- How do you recover after a setback?
- What are some tips to help you manage your time better?
- Which technology tools will help you run your business more efficiently?
- How can you find better clients?
In groups like these, administrators and members alike drive the discussions. By being an active participant, you can use the group to help you overcome difficult circumstances.
Moreover, you can offer your insight to help others, thus expanding your network and building a positive professional reputation. This, in turn, can lead to referrals and endorsements from other members of the business community.
2. Give you a channel to demonstrate your expertise and prove your value to your target audience
Consider starting your own Facebook group to help your clients and potential customers navigate their accounting-related challenges. It’s quite simple to create a group and manage it.
As I mentioned earlier, administrators and members can drive conversations. As the group manager, you will need to get the ball rolling and maintain momentum.
To do that, brainstorm discussion topics in advance. Some places to draw inspiration from include:
- Frequently asked questions from your own prospects and current clients
- Industry news articles
- Inspirational quotes that will resonate with your members
- Blog posts and videos that address hot topics (these can be your own content or content by other reputable people and companies)
- Polls to encourage member interaction with your page
- Open-ended questions to solicit participation (for example, “‘The one thing that confuses me the most about income tax filing is ______.’ Fill in the blank in a comment below!”)
By starting a group and letting your existing clients and Facebook friends in your target market know about it, you can build a community of participants who are interested in the expertise you offer.
Be patient when first getting your group off the ground because it may take a while to acquire a robust body of members. With consistent effort and quality content, though, you will successfully raise awareness of your services and demonstrate the value you provide.
Also, realize it will require some time and attention to maintain your group (i.e., brainstorming topics to address, responding to comments, etc.), but the payoffs of earning trust and firmly establishing your credibility are rewards worth working for.
In the competitive environment in which you work, it’s critical to market yourself creatively using technology to its full advantage. Facebook has become a powerful tool for advancing small businesses, and the opportunity to participate in and create groups provides you with a strategic and targeted way to grow your accounting business.