How to use Facebook to grow your accounting business

While Facebook is best known for its social networking capabilities, it is fast becoming a very effective way to broaden your professional network, raise awareness of your accounting practice and grow your business. Here are some quick tips for how accountants can get the most out of Facebook.

It’s not personal

Firstly, you need to distinguish between your personal profile (if you have one) and your professional Facebook profile.  You’ll need to set up a separate Facebook page for your business, with its own name as part of your account.  To do this, simply go to the News Feed of your personal page on Facebook and click on the “Adverts and pages” link in the left-hand navigation column.  From there you will be taken to a page where you can set up your business page.

Brand your business profile
Use business information such as your website address, business overview and other information related to your business as content on your business profile page.  You can also use your company logo or other brand imagery in your profile picture.

Build your network

Become an active member of business networks on Facebook by seeking groups you can contribute to.  Search for colleagues, business contacts and potential clients who have business Facebook pages and invite them to be friends on your company’s Facebook page.  Your focus should be on contributing to these networks, rather than directly spruiking your products and services. Try to achieve a high ratio of sharing information of value to the network versus talking about your own business.  And then when people in your network ask for help, you can offer your services knowing that your credibility with the group is established.

Keep it current

Create regular status updates.  For example, you might publish an e-newsletter or regular articles. When these are published on your website, they can also be included in your Facebook status updates along with links to the complete articles.  You might create a video that showcases your products or services and this can also be uploaded on to your Facebook business profile.  If you get any media mentions, or if you use Twitter, these can all be included on your Facebook business page.

Spread the love

Make sure you have a ‘Like’ button on your website which links to Facebook and makes it easy for visitors to your website to stay connected with you, and remember to promote your company’s Facebook page in your emails, on your business cards and in other high profile places.

4 replies
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    Thanks for this article. I’m going to be setting up my facebook business profile for my accounting business and had heard that I need to get 25 people to “like” it before I can make it visible. Is that right?

    Reply
    • Peter (Marketing for Accountants)
      Peter (Marketing for Accountants) says:

      Hi Karen,

      What you are referring to relates to what is known as a “vanity URL” (the web address). It used to be that when you created a business page on Facebook you needed 25 “likers” before you could choose the name of the URL. For example, in our case our page is: http://www.facebook.com/Marketing4Accountants

      If you didn’t have 25 “likers” then Facebook would just assign you a web address with a string of characters after the “www.facebook.com” part. But in 2011 Facebook announced that you would no longer need a set number of people liking your page before you could claim your very own web address. This makes it a lot easier to promote your facebook page on websites, business cards, in adverts etc when you are still starting out.

      Once you’ve set up your page, just go to http://www.facebook.com/username then follow the prompts and you can choose your very own page name from there.

      Just one more thing: we have heard that despite Facebook revoking the 25 liker policy, some people are still getting the message that they need 25 people liking their page before they can change the name. This is probably just a case of the update still being rolled out.

      See how you go, and if you have any questions, just post a reply here, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

      Regards,
      Peter

      Reply
      • Peter (Marketing for Accountants)
        Peter (Marketing for Accountants) says:

        P.S. You can also change the name of your Facebook page name by going to your page and then clicking on “Edit info” and then “Basic information” and changing the “Username” info.

        Also, choose your vanity URL carefully. Facebook states that you can’t change it once you have claimed it.

        One other thing: you mentioned that you are setting up a business profile on Facebook. Just to be clear, I would recommend you set up a business “page” – which you can do from within your personal profile.

        Regards,
        Peter

        Reply
  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks very much. It worked! I now have my very own Facebook business page for my accounting practice.

    I’ve even started doing a Q&A on there with some of my clients. I love it. And it’s a great way to stay in touch with them and to help them out.

    Thanks for the e-book. And I look forward to your next article too!

    Karen

    Reply

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