Social Networking Sites: What's the Better Selection for a CPA Service?
By Brian O'Connell
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:49:02 PM
Since you're reading this it's a passably safe bet that you're already at least a fairly savvy marketer. I'm going to suppose that you already understand the value of CPA sites and the internet when it comes to marketing your services and you're very likely at least examining the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter to promote your business. Utilizing these sites can appeal to new customers, but it requires patience and it can be quite tricky. Here are a few practical guiding principles to help you decide what to focus on. There is a stigma attached to these sites.
It's true that most people look at social networking sites as frivolous, but this isn't necessarily the case all across the board, and it isn't an entirely bad thing. While there are already social "business" networks, like LinkedIn, dedicated to building resume details and professional networks, the others on the more "social" end can still work for you. A lot of important deals get closed on the golf course, yes?
With Facebook and Twitter, scale is on your side. Last I checked Facebook has over 500 million users and Twitter has over 190 million. LinkedIn only has about 80 million users.
The numbers are also telling. Where you might think most social networking is driven by teenagers, only about 11% in the 12-17 age bracket use Twitter, according to a survey put out by comScore. If Quancast's estimates are correct more than 35% of their users are 35 or over. For the professional side of things, this is a good sign.
For the accounting industry I think it's better to go with Facebook than twitter. Twitter has a larger base of business users, almost 6%, but only a small percentage report it as being effective. Facebook is structured to target a user's "likes", effectively providing a back door to their interests.
Both services offer tools that will help you promote your business.
Twitter uses hashtags. It also has desktop and smart-phone apps like TweetDeck that allow you to identify and connect with others with similar interests. To see how hastags work just do a twitter search for #CPA to tune into the conversation that CPAs are having. Facebook makes it easier. Just search for groups with appropriate interests and you'll get access to plenty of other users. You can find just about anything, from start-up businesses, to entrepreneurs, to just about every specific industry. You may also find some useful advice for running your business in groups dedicated to accounting. There's health care for accountants, support groups, and firms that are shifting their business model to cloud computing.
These are just some of the ways that these social networks can help you elevate your firm. Learn by doing. All it requires is getting out there and doing some old-fashioned networking. You won't regret it. There's no limit to the potetial contacts, and profits, to be had.
Brian O'Connell is the CEO and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the country's leading edge website design companies oriented solely to CPA sites. His firm currently provides websites for more than 4000 CPA, accounting, and tax preparation firms.
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