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, home based businesses 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.co.uk. [Edit: I was consultant practice editor on the site from 2009 until 2016]
Edit 2020: This post went live in September 2011. In the 9 years to September 2020 it has consisently been one of the most popular items on this blog. But, no one has yet supplied a 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.
Over the last few years I have noted many consultants to the profession encouraging accountants to create a facebook page. They often talk about how many people use facebook and not just for fun, friends and family. I recently heard an interview with a ‘specialist’ who later indicated that accountants would need a budget of at last £1,000 to target clients via facebook. Hmmm.
What I haven’t heard about is many accountants getting much in the way of valuable new clients through facebook. Some do of course. But they tend to be special cases as indicated above.
I should note that larger firms can successfully use a facebook page as part of their recruitment efforts. Some surveys of accountants’ use of social media give misleading results when this objective isn’t clarified; as distinct from trying to generate new clients.
The first question you have to ask is who do you want to influence. Then you need to consider whether spending time on facebook is likely to be a worthwhile way of attracting their attention and influencing them.
As indicated in my 2011 blog post above, there are some topics and niches where the answer is yes. If this applies to you then make sure you manage your expectations and focus your page and content on the people you most want to influence on facebook.
Like this post? You can get links to each of my new blog posts in weekly Magic of Success emails. These also contain other shorter, quick and simple practical tips and ideas for accountants and tax advisers who want to be more successful. You can join the thousands who get this each week by signing up here now>>>>