An unnamed accountant has written the following confession for AccountancyAge. It accords with my perception of the position many firms of accountants are in or will find themselves in:
Having spent a great deal of time and effort on new social media methods of marketing it was a happy day when we recently acquired a client originating from Twitter.
We have had lots of initial enquiries, loads of conversations, even a few meetings but to finally sign up an actual client was a real joy.
A couple of us within the firm have been so desperate to prove that the new social media marketing methods actually work when it comes to acquiring business, that we have probably spent a disproportionate amount of time on it just to prove the point.
In the cold light of day it probably hasn’t been worth it so far and I’m sure at the next partners’ meeting the issue will probably be raised.
A huge amount of time has been spent learning and putting into practice the new methods – and on a cost-per-hour basis the return at the moment just isn’t there.
I am still convinced that Twitter and Facebook are great ways to market the practice but I will probably have to admit that now is the time to delegate the task of tweeting and posting to staff who have lower charge out rates, or maybe even administrative staff.
Regular readers will know that I am not surprised. I have often questioned whether the time that some professional advisers devote to twitter and other forms of social media is worthwhile. Often it seems unfocused, overly promotional or unsupported.
Twitter and other forms of social media can be worthwhile activities but only when the adviser (or those at the top of the firm) understand enough about what it involves, what it requires and what it implies. What will not be worthwhile is the approach that the unnamed practitioner suggests his firm will now adopt – delegating tweeting to a junior member of staff. This MAY be all the biggest firms need to do. But for most it wil simply mean that a more junior person is the one wasting their time instead of a partner. Far better to review the firm’s strategy and to ensure that its social media activity is more focused going forwards.
What do you think?