Examples of good facebook pages for accountants

As part of my focus on how accountants can use social media I have not, to date, paid much attention to Facebook. I do compare key features and benefits of facebook with other social media sites during my talks and articles but that’s about it.

My gut tells me that spending BUSINESS  time on facebook might be worthwhile for some accountants. But only if you focus on certain niches – such as inheritance tax, landlords, the newly self employed or business start-ups.

I’m not convinced but, as always, I’m willing to be persuaded – by evidence rather than by hype. In this connection I was intrigued when I came across a tweet this week that linked to a blog post titled: “Examples of good facebook pages for accountants“.

The author of the blog post, Lara Solomon, had been trying to find great examples from the Accounting profession.  She claims to have looked at over 500 accountants’ pages on Facebook and was clearly unimpressed. She identified just 3 of these as being worthy of reference as good examples.  I’ve looked at all 3 of them. Well, I tried to. It seems only one is still there. That’s when I noticed that the blog was written in June 2010 and that the author is based in Australia. I also noted that, despite a clear request to ‘like’ the facebook page of the accountancy firm in question, just 145 people have done so. I don’t know how many had done so before Lara wrote her Blog post, but either way it’s not proved very popular over the last 15 months. This is a shame but may be evidence that my gut feel re the value of facebook to accountants is well founded. I’d like to find out.

I wonder whether much has changed since Lara did her research. Do let me know if you have your own accountancy firm business page or know of any accountants with facebook business pages.  Just like Lara I’m especially keen to find some ‘great’ examples that have proven worthwhile. Are there any? And are any of these in the UK?

Please post your links as comments on this blog post. If there is enough interest I’ll then write an article on the subject for my regular column on AccountingWeb where I am consultant practice editor.

[Edit: This post went live in September 2011. In the two years to September 2013 it proved to be one of the most popular items on this blog. But, to date, NOT ONE link to a good facebook page for a firm of accountants. This rather supports my original contention, but I’m still open to examples that prove me wrong]

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Mark Lee

Mark is a speaker, mentor, facilitator, author, blogger and debunker. Mark Lee helps professionals who want to STAND OUT and be remembered, referred and recommended using his 7 fundamental principles to create a more powerful professional impact, online and face to face.
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12 replies
  1. Heather Townsend
    Heather Townsend says:

    I agree with you Mark – Facebook can work for some accountants as a business generation tool, however, I think certain niches and specialisms will work better via facebook. Startup businesses, contractors and landlords are where facebook would work. Highly technical and specialist areas such as ‘transfer pricing’, VAT, regulatory finance are not suitable for facebook marketing.

    Reply
  2. Ken Voller
    Ken Voller says:

    I have never been particularly keen on Facebook (other social networking formats are available) but I think that there is a place for Facebook Pages for businesses.
    I have my own FB Page, not for advertising per se, but for providing snippets of tax etc related information to those of my clients who are Facebook users. This is not to replace direct contact with clients, but merely to help keep some of them informed.
    Facebook is for social interaction, not a place for marketing, unless you are prepared to spend good money on creating an advert within Facebook. That is certainly not for me because I cannot see any benefit in another advert sitting alongside of the real reason that people are using Facebook in the first place!
    As I say, I don’t see the benefit of a Facebook Page as a marketing or advertising tool, but another way of ‘keeping in touch’ with existing clients.
    It may have limited (and certainly unquantifiable) benefit to me or my clients, and it is only as good as the effort in deciding what to include, and when to update the Page. However, there are no real rules as to what is right or wrong, and whatever works for you works!

    Reply
  3. Amy Taylor (@amyaccountant)
    Amy Taylor (@amyaccountant) says:

    This post is so well-timed as I was just about to contact my techie friend to help me set one up. The comments are really interesting (Hi, Heather!!) and I think point me to the conclusion that this is something to revisit. Social Media Experts tend to suggest that focussing on the social media that works for you is a better use of your time, and having found a degree of success with Twitter, I believe that my efforts are perhaps better suited to this form of social communication for now.

    Reply
  4. EMR Accountants
    EMR Accountants says:

    I’ve recently set up a Facebook profile to replace my Facebook page. I find that by accepting and requesting friends (other local businesses) I can better connect with potential clients. My first lead emailed to me within five minutes.

    Simply having a Facebook page where people can click “like” hasn’t generated any leads for me.

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth@ Chartered Accountant
    Elizabeth@ Chartered Accountant says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, the target market is what makes the difference. I am in my twenties (feeling a bit paranoid about admitting my age). People my age are the ones who are using Facebook to make consumer choices, not the 40 years olds who are likely to be the ones in business. In 10 years I would argue that have a page would be of supreme importance, but not yet.

    Reply
  6. Krener Bookkeeping & Tax
    Krener Bookkeeping & Tax says:

    People have such a personal relationship with their accountant I think “Friends” are hesitant to like your page. They may worry that their current accountant may see that, etc. I don’t think of Facebook as a business generator. It’s not like I’m going to have a like of people out my office because I offer a special deal. I think of Facebook as a way to notify people about your services and to remind them of what you do. Occasionally, your friends may need your assistance. In my experience people would rather deal with somebody they know.

    Reply
    • bookmarklee
      bookmarklee says:

      I think I’d agree with most of that James. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sort of confirms my view though that accountants don’t need a facebook ‘strategy’ beyond, arguably having a static page there to remind friends of what they do.

      Reply
  7. Christie Lewis
    Christie Lewis says:

    I realise that this is an old post, but I have just stumbled across it now. I am the partner of the first firm listed in the article. As it is today, our Facebook page has 1,165 ‘Likes’.

    Yes, we get a decent amount of business via Facebook and Twitter (in fact, one of our top clients actually followed us online for more than a year before coming on board). It’s more than that though. We have also been invited to speak at several business functions as a result of our apparent ‘expert’ status and been quoted in a number of national newspapers. We’re a small regional firm…. without our social presence, no journalist would think to contact us.for a quote or information on a story they were writing. It helped us build credibility and a client base quite fast when we were starting out.

    Here we are a few years on and we have clients across four states. I still use Facebook. I don’t think of it as just another marketing tool, but as one more way of communicating information to clients; I want to meet them where they are. If some of them prefer to hear from us through Facebook, I am absolutely going to communicate via Facebook,

    We’ve also had some success with private Facebook ‘groups’ for everything from training sessions to a place where clients can network. It’s been beneficial for us, though I agree that it is not going to work for everyone.

    Reply
  8. bookmarklee
    bookmarklee says:

    Thanks so much for sharing those insights Christie. I’m delighted to hear that a combination of facebook and twitter activity is proving of value to you.

    Elsewhere I have explained that facebook likes and twitter followers/RTs are not the key metrics to chase. What matters is whether or not you are getting the results you desire – be that PR, new (profitable) clients, keeping in touch with existing clients or something else. It seems that you are getting those results too. Well done!

    I love the idea of using private facebook groups. As ever much depends on where your clients and target clients are happy to engage online.

    I note too that you are based in Australia. For whatever reasons I have noted previously that what works there for some proactive accountants, like yourself, is not automatically replicable in the UK.

    Reply

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