If you think social media is reserved for businesses with shiny, Insta-worthy products to sell, or for dreamy food or accommodation providers, you might want to think again. Engaging with existing and potential customers on social media platforms is for every business – yes, including professional services.
Now, you may think that many professional services firms are simply not exciting enough to feature anything remotely scintillating on a social media platform. But marketers in these firms are busy developing content, responding to engagement and staying relevant – not to mention keeping up with ever-changing platform algorithms and terms of service. It isn’t always the easiest job, but it forms an important part of a digital marketing strategy that all professional services firms should have in place.
While social media platforms have been around for years and won’t be going away anytime soon, many firms are still lagging behind in this space. Some professional services firms struggle with it and many don’t have a dedicated resource to manage it, be it in-house or allocated budget to outsource it. Some have not realised what the power of social media can do for their business and marketing goals, or have simply put it in the too-hard basket.
It’s a people thing
As we continue to navigate work and life in Covid times, we have all spent much more time than we ever have online, communicating, researching and just – working. With the physical presence of many businesses removed, the switch to online has never been more important. This is all the more reason to develop a good social presence. Keeping your business seen and heard as we remain largely separated from one another is crucial.
It’s no secret that people still like doing business with people – even if they often cannot physically meet or sit down together. The old adage of know, like and trust still exists and is now more important than ever. You need to give potential customers insights into your firm, your people, and the things they bring to the organisation. A professional services firm’s best assets are its people. Why not introduce them and talk about their achievements, their specialities or contributions? You could include short videos of team members sharing their expertise or tips in their area of the business, or have them write blog posts about specific topics.
Providing relevant and meaningful content on a regular basis on social platforms can help to raise your brand awareness, increase your credibility and showcase your expertise as a whole. Being seen as thought-leaders in your industry will help attract potential customers who will more likely want to do business with you. Continue to provide value to the reader with your posts or links, and they will be more inclined to want to read more or interact with you.
Which social media platform is right for you?
We all know there are multiple platforms out there and everyone seems to be on all of them. Does this mean you need to be too? No. Each platform has its own style and personality and caters to its own target market, which may or may not be right for you. In the professional services sector, LinkedIn is the clear favourite for B2B interactions and is still largely a professional networking environment. Facebook and Instagram are still worthy of your time investment, as is Twitter. YouTube remains the best repository for all your video content and is easy to link to from anywhere.
Create a social media strategy
In order to effectively manage your social media, you need to start by adopting a good strategy. This doesn’t need to be hugely complicated or lengthy. It’s just about putting time aside for planning and thinking to ensure you create a regular stream of relevant content for your audience. It’s also a good reference tool to use if you’re struggling to find things to engage with your audience about.
You’ll want to think about which channels are the right fit for your business, who your ideal target audience is and the core messages you’d like to convey. Ideally, the posts you create on social platforms can be linked to your content library on your website, blog or YouTube channel.
Content is king
One of the best ways of getting your content under your audience’s nose is to create reoccurring or story-based pieces. Some businesses are experts at building anticipation and interest when they publish something amazing on a regular day of the week or month. The pieces could be parts of a larger story or series that makes people want to continue reading, listening or viewing.
Creating articles that are ‘evergreen’ is also a good idea. With no specific point in time or event referenced, you can re-post again and again. Measure the engagement of the pieces and if, for example, your highest read piece proves popular, think about re-posting it through your social channels at a later date.
Again, all of this is great content that you can link to from your social posts. And if you don’t have a dedicated team member or marketing person to do this, consider outsourcing it (talk to us about how we can help).
Utilising social media is vital for professional services firms
As mentioned, the know, like and trust mantra still rings true. People buy from people, so getting to know your potential customers a bit better is well worth the effort. Don’t think of professional services firms as not exciting enough to have a social presence. It’s the people that make it exciting, so revealing a bit more about them will ultimately lead to increased engagement.
Your social media efforts should form an integral part of your firm’s digital marketing strategy. This forms another valuable channel, together with your existing content strategy, that can be leveraged to engage and connect with potential clients.