How the best professional services firms are using social media
Social media has become a buzz-phrase that regularly occupies headlines. In 2018, it’s used just as much for marketing as it is for keeping friends connected. Yet, firms in the professional services industry can still fall into the misconception of thinking that their firm doesn’t need a social media presence; after all, what business can really be gained from sending a tweet or having a profile on Linkedin? Isn’t social media best left for those vintage clothing stores in Shoreditch who are ‘Instagram-worthy’ or those bars in London who serve great cocktails?
If your firm is without a social media presence, not only is it missing out on the potential benefits, but it can get overlooked and go unnoticed.
The answer is a resounding no. If your firm is without a social media presence, not only is it missing out on the potential benefits, but it can get overlooked and go unnoticed. If you’ve already got social media platforms set up, you’re on the right track. But how are the best professional services firms using social media to the highest possible standard? Let’s explore.
Sharing Good Content
Content makes the world go around. From the minute we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are constantly inundated with content. News stories, blogs, white papers, interviews, tweets, vlogs, podcasts… whether we use them for learning or for winding down, we are a world obsessed. Compelling and ‘relevant’ content is key for social media, and the top professional services firms know this and use it to their advantage. Not only do they write interesting thought leadership, but they share it frequently on relevant social media channels. Remember that you can also re-share posts on social platforms – but avoid re-sharing on the same day – using phrases like “in case you missed it”. This is a great way of getting more life out of good content.
Engaging with Customers
Having an online presence is one thing, but any firm that’s serious about social media knows that engagement is just as important. It’s particularly key for professional services firms because engagement and creating conversation adds a human element to the business. Linkedin is excellent for this. It’s a great platform for commenting on posts that your clients share, and it allows you to begin building an online rapport. Similarly, like, retweet and comment on tweets made by your clients on Twitter. Engage, engage, engage. Top professional services firms also create social media posts that start conversations with both potential and existing customers. For example, they ask questions like “is the end of year performance appraisal a thing of the past?” or “are CV’s really still needed?” to encourage people to get involved. See engagement as another level of customer service excellence that can covert potential customers into paying ones and keep paying ones invested in your firm.
Make your posts interesting and stand out
As a professional services firm, you’re experts in what you do. Use this to your advantage and see social media as a platform for adding value to your followers with news, facts and information about your industry. The trick is to do this in an interesting and engaging way. Set ‘polls’ around a relevant topic; use infographics to display key findings; create video blogs to share your expertise; podcasts are now back in fashion. Think outside of the box, you can do so much more than share a few words.
Get Smart with Automation
Managing your social media can be time-consuming, however tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow users to pre-write and schedule posts. This enables you to plan when you want posts to go live. Most industries aim to get posts going out during the peak social media hours of 6 and 9pm when people are getting in from work and relaxing. However, if you’re in a professional services firm you know the hours of your target audience can vastly differ from the norm. Your clients can often work very long hours so with this in mind, use your knowledge of the typical hours worked to schedule posts geared towards this. For example, you might set a post to go out at 7am for those professionals who are on their way to work during this period. Don’t exclusively post in this window as you’ll miss out on other potential viewers, but the key is to be flexible when engaging.
Social media is a great channel for all businesses, no matter what industry you’re in. While some professional services firms can shy away from using social networks, we encourage you to sign up and get stuck in. It will engage clients and prospective clients, keep your firm relevant, and allow conversations to begin. Got some questions about social media? Interested in learning about our social media training courses or social media management services? Click here to get in touch with us.