Avoiding Ethical Issues When Using Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool to build brand awareness for your firm and help elevate your status as an expert in your respective field. Yet attorneys and CPAs always need to keep in mind when it comes to web interactions of possible breaches of ethics rules.

Due to the rapid growth of social media and the often slow process of drafting new regulations, the American Bar Association and American Institute of CPAs are still behind on formal social media guidelines.

However, that does not mean you have free reign to use your business accounts in any way you please — many state bar associations have already begun adopting their own rules regarding professional conduct on social media.

This should not deter you from tapping into the power of social networks, but should instead invite caution and common sense as you try to capitalize on the opportunities social media presents.

Lawyers and CPAs are well aware of the guidelines that apply to advertising. From the ban of certain words like “advice” and “specialist” or the limitations that can apply to using testimonials, there are countless restrictions about what is allowed and not allowed in legal and accounting advertisements depending on the state.

How these regulations are phrased, however, often creates apparent loopholes when it comes to new technologies. But even when that is the case, certain areas of the ethical code of conduct can still be applied to social media.

If there are not specific rules addressing the professional use of social media in your state, simply demonstrating good judgment and restraint will help you avoid running into future ethics issues.

Here are three potential problem areas that can raise ethical concerns and how you can avoid possible violations:

  1. False or misleading statements — The prohibition against using false or misleading statements in advertising obviously applies to social media accounts as well. If you are not allowed to say it in a print or TV ad, then do not use it in your social profile or posts.
  2. Disclosure of confidential information — If you are not allowed to make public certain information about your previous, current, or prospective clients, then abide by that rule when it comes to social media as well.
  3. Creating an attorney-client relationship — With a large advantage of social media being the ability to interact with potential clients, inadvertently creating an attorney-client relationship is a real possibility. Be careful about how you communicate with potential clients online, and make use of appropriate disclaimers when necessary.

Social media can be a powerful tool to help increase brand awareness and build a rapport with potential clients for your law or accounting firm. However, you need to keep in mind that this is a relatively new technology loaded with ethical gray areas.

That should certainly not stop you from leveraging the unique opportunities that exist with social media to grow your reputation, but you should be aware that certain activities can lead to potential problems.

Twitter 101: A Practical Guide For Small Firms

When you are developing a presence for your legal or accounting practice on social media, it is important to analyze which networks offer the best opportunity to reach your target audience.

With more than 310 million active users worldwide and 65 million US users (more than 80 percent of which are between the ages of 25 and 65), Twitter has established itself as a crucial second link in every small business’ social media strategy.

Although it may not have the numbers of Facebook, Twitter is a valuable and easy-to-use platform to promote your small practice with several distinct advantages over its competitors.

Here are a couple of simple tips on creating and managing a business Twitter account to maximize your reach to potential clients while establishing yourself as a subject-matter expert in the fields of accounting or law.

Setting up a business profile

Creating a new Twitter account is a fairly intuitive process, as the sign-up wizard takes you through a step-by-step guide to build your profile.

By simply clicking the signup button on Twitter.com, you are able to input your name (or firm name), email address and password to begin the process. You will then be asked to input a phone number, which is optional, though you can receive text alerts and additional features if you include a mobile number.

Next is where you will choose your firm’s unique username, which is how you will be tagged in posts. For example, if your firm name is Sally Smith Advisors, you can simply remove the spaces and Twitter will automatically determine whether it is available.

Just be aware that there is a character count of 15 for your Twitter handle, so for the example above, you would be limited to @SallySAdvisors.

You will then be asked to input categories that you might be interested in, such as finance, accounting, taxes, legal, attorneys, etc., which will help Twitter find accounts for you to follow. You will also have the opportunity to import email contacts to find people you may know who may already be on Twitter.

After that, the account setup wizard is complete, and you can begin customizing your firm’s Twitter page with a brief bio, website URL, location, profile photo and cover photo.

Just like with Facebook, your images need to fit within Twitter’s size parameters, though you can use similar designs as your Facebook photos for both the profile and cover image.

Twitter best practices

If you are unfamiliar with the Twitter world, it may seem a little intimidating at first. However, the basics of tweeting are fairly easy to pick up, and like most things, it gets easier as you practice.

Before you step foot into the Twitterverse, be sure to keep a few things in mind so you fit in with the established norms and etiquette.

Brevity is king — Twitter is a unique platform in that it limits the length of your posts to just 140 characters, and that number drops even lower when you include a hyperlink. This means you need to get into the practice of condensing long and protracted thoughts into concise sentences.

Ensure your tweets have value — Similar to Facebook, you will only begin to gain followers if you are posting insightful content. Do not bog down your feed with blatant advertising; post helpful tips, shrewd observations, useful links and other forms of compelling content that demonstrate your value and expertise in your field.

Share other people’s tweets — Again, you want to integrate yourself into the Twitter community, and a good way to do that is share the interesting content from other accounts. While it seems counter-productive to share articles and graphics your competitors put together, the whole point of Twitter is to give your followers a reason to follow you, and it’s guaranteed that others have created something useful to your audience. Try to follow a ratio of 70:30  shares vs. original tweets.

Strike a balance with post frequency — There is a fine line between coming across to your followers as spammy or inactive when it comes to how often you send a Tweet. However, it probably makes sense for a new business account to appear more active as you attempt to gain a following, so you should try to at least post at least 3-5 times a day. Additionally, there are many services that allow you to schedule posts days or weeks in advance, so you do not need to spend time on Twitter daily.

Engage with the community — Twitter offers a great platform to start conversations with your followers and connect on a personal level. If you want to improve your reputation, be ready to spend some time responding to the posts of others, as well as responding to comments on your own tweets. Community participation is one of the fastest ways you can gain credibility and followers on Twitter.

Hashtag responsibly — In the Twitterverse, a hashtag (#) is simply a way to highlight a word / phrase / acronym as a sort of search term to easily lump your tweet in with that particular topic. You should use hashtags on occasion, but many make the mistake of going overboard and including a dozen hashtags in every post, which only serves to annoy your followers.

Networking opportunities abound

While it may appear overly time-consuming and not worth it to begin using new social media platforms for your small practice, the benefits of essentially free publicity and networking opportunities are hard to deny.

Twitter gives you a chance to engage with industry experts across the globe and gain new followers as you prove through creative and thought-provoking content that you are a leader of your profession.

While you won’t gain thousands of followers overnight, learning to use Twitter and engaging with the community will eventually pay dividends as a valuable asset for promoting your firm. You’ll also have the opportunity to stay up to speed on current events in your industry while simultaneously connecting with other leaders in your field.

Plus, you may just find that tweeting can be an enjoyable experience instead of a burdensome piece of your practice’s social media strategy.

Creating A LinkedIn Company Page For Your Small Practice

Unlike Facebook and Twitter which incorporate a gamut of page types — from personal and comedy to news and business — LinkedIn is much more specific, focusing almost entirely of professional networking.
Building a LinkedIn company page allows you to share unique insight into the legal or accounting fields.
This creates a unique social media platform that can be utilized by law and accounting firms to improve their B2B marketing and build brand awareness among other industry thought leaders.

Small practices can incorporate LinkedIn into their social media strategy as a means to improve credibility and expand their professional network on both local and national level, while also increasing potential leads and referrals.

Additionally, LinkedIn has developed in a great recruiting tool, and a company page allows you to tap into a larger market of talented professionals in your area.

Although similar to other social networks, the business emphasis of the user base means a slightly different approach should be taken to use LinkedIn effectively. However, like all social networks, you must create a compelling company page before you begin promoting your practice.

Setting up a LinkedIn company page

You will need to use your personal LinkedIn account to create a company page, but it only takes a few steps to get your practice’s profile up and running.

First, log into your LinkedIn account, and then hover over “Interests” on the top dropdown menu. Select “Companies” and click the “Create” button on the right-hand side of the screen. Now you simply need to follow the setup wizard and input the appropriate information.

You will be asked to include your company’s name, your business email, and a description of your business. Be sure you include a detailed explanation of the services you offer, as well as what makes your practice stand out from the competition.

Next, you will need to upload your company logo and a banner image. The logo should be similar to what you use for your Facebook and Twitter profile images. The company page creation wizard recommends a size of 300 x 300 pixels.

The banner should feature a clean, attention-grabbing image that can include additional information such as your practice’s primary message or tagline. Several programs are available that make producing images easier, such as Canva, which allows for simple photo manipulation and creation. LinkedIn’s recommended banner size is 646 x 220 pixels.

Finally, you can add several specializations that emphasize your firm’s practice areas.

You can also gain some insights into the information that should be included by visiting some of your competitor’s company pages.

Share company updates & industry information

While Facebook and Twitter will include a variety of post types, including direct advertisements, LinkedIn updates need to focus on industry-related information.

You can still post links to your website’s blog, but you also want to mix in external links to helpful resources, commentary on current events or updates in your field, or questions that encourage participation.

Since LinkedIn is more about engaging with other professionals in your industry, you are able to use more technical language than other social networks that are geared towards consumers.

This freedom allows you to demonstrate your expertise and participate in discussions about specific aspects of your field.

Due to the focus on business and a user base that tends to be industry-oriented, you do not need to be nearly as active with status updates as your other social accounts; a few updates per week is enough, though you are certainly able to post more frequently if you’d like.

Research has found that weekdays during business hours are the best times to post on LinkedIn so keep that in mind when you are scheduling your updates.

Grow your following

Like all social media, it will take some time to grow your following when starting from scratch. However, there are steps you can take to speed up the process.

First, you should leverage the networking power of your employees by encouraging them to add your company page to their profile and share your company updates. This will give an immediate boost to your following and potential reach of your updates.

Next, you can promote the ability to follow your firm on LinkedIn through other social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. Cross-promoting your active social networks will help your followers find you, particularly since people tend to use certain sites more than others.

Finally, ensure social sharing is enabled on your blog and that the LinkedIn button is prominently displayed by each post. You want to make it as simple as possible for viewers to share your posts.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your social media strategy by demonstrating your practice’s knowledge on a medium that is frequently utilized by industry thought leaders.

Building a company page allows you to share unique insight into the legal or accounting fields, which leads to improved brand awareness, a larger pool of talented professionals, improved networking, and quality referrals.

The Power of Pictures: Increasing Engagement With Images

Including images and graphics with your blog posts and social media is essential to get the most out of your engagement potential with possible clients.

In fact, articles that include an image have 94 percent more total views than text-only articles, and social media engagement follows a similar pattern.

So if your goal is to improve the traffic to your law or accounting firm’s website, which is why you would blog and use social media in the first place, you need to include images to go along with your posts.

However, you may have concerns over where to find appropriate images and how you can edit them to serve your purpose. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools online that can help you produce high-quality images for your digital marketing at little or no cost.

Finding high-quality photos

Stock photos are going to be the bread and butter for law and accounting firms looking to spruce up their web content. Although stock photos may not be flashy, they provide a simple and cheap option to find appropriate images for articles on any sort of topic.

There are numerous websites that offer millions of quality images ranging from free to incredibly overpriced, though something to keep in mind regarding free images is that they sometimes require attribution to the photographer.

Some options for free image sites that do not require attribution include Pixabay.com, Pexels.com, and Markerbook.net.

While free stock photo websites may suit your purpose, they typically have much more limited options than subscription or credit-based stock photo galleries. However, you need to be careful, as many of these pay-based websites will overcharge for the same or similar images that are hosted on cheaper sources.

If you want better selection and higher quality photos to choose from, some good options for pay sites include iStock.com, Photodune.com, and Adobe Stock.

Image editing made simple

Once you download an image that fits your article you will likely need to resize it to fit on your website. There are many user-friendly web-based photo manipulation tools available to help you modify images to fit your needs and space requirements.

A good example of an easy and free image editor is Fotor.com. With a simple interface that allows you to upload photos, crop, adjust size, add filters and more, Fotor can more than likely provide all the editing needs for a small law or accounting firm.

As a bonus, Fotor has several social media templates that help you easily create cover photos and images for posts to create a more dynamic profile and status updates.

Even if you lack experience with more technical image editing software like Photoshop, many web-based programs provide everything you need to modify images for your blog and social accounts.

For more options, check out this list of other easy-to-use photo editing programs.

With our visually-inclined culture, images are a must to help draw attention and improve engagement; however, you don’t need a graphic design degree to create interesting photos for your website, blog, or social media posts.

With so many free and low-cost options for downloading and editing images, it only takes a few minutes to find a picture to help spruce up your articles and social updates.

If you want to maximize the reach and traffic generation of your content, it is well worth the effort to find a simple stock photo, resize it, and plug the image into your article. Even the simplest of pictures can go a long toward improving the performance of your posts – and your business.

6 Tips For Creating A Simple Social Media Strategy

Now that you realize the role social media plays in modern marketing, it is time to create a social media strategy that capitalizes on all the potential benefits this medium offers.

With some preparation up front, it is entirely possible to develop a simple — but effective — social media strategy for your practice that takes as little as 15 minutes per day to maintain.

Whether you are just embarking into the world of social media marketing or you have created accounts but need a more structured plan of attack, implementing and sustaining a social media strategy is crucial if you want to successfully reap the rewards of your social presence.

Set your goals

Before you start, it is important to determine what you want to get out of social media. For most small firms and practices, this will likely begin as brand recognition and eventually develop into a method for adding new clients as your following and reputation grows.

Pick your networks

For the most part, a beginner social media strategy for a small law or CPA practice should probably focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are some of the most popular social networks available and support the sharing of text, image, video, and link posts without overemphasizing one type above another.

Define your audience

You probably have a good idea of your target demographic, but to effectively utilize social media in your marketing, you really need to sit down and define the specific characteristics of the audience you want to reach. Everything from their age and income down to what their favorite sports teams or TV shows they watch can help you tailor content to relate with potential clients.

Find content sources

After you have set your goals, created social accounts, and defined your audience, it is time to start posting. The first place to look for content is your own internally generated blog posts and articles — anything you create as a part of content marketing can be transformed into a social post. Next, look to industry leaders and share their useful posts, as it will benefit your potential clients as well as improve your social networking.

Utilize third-party tools

Posting regularly is crucial to growing your social media following, but who has the time to spend hours creating new tweets and status updates every single day? Fortunately, that is not a problem due to the plethora of third-party tools that allow you to queue posts days — or even weeks — in advance. You simply need to spend 30 minutes queueing up posts at the start of the week, and then check in periodically to respond to your followers or comment on other posts.

Track and analyze your results

After you have set everything up and been posting for a while, you should periodically check in with the native analytics on the individual social networks, as well as those provided by third-party sources. This will help you determine which posts are getting the most attention and allow you to adjust your content to provide more value to your followers.

Whether you like it or not, social media has become a major influencer in today’s culture. Small businesses around the world — including law and accounting firms — are already taking advantage of this medium to help build brand recognition and generate leads.

If you are not already tapping into the social media market, it is time to create a simple but effective strategy that will help your practice stand out in an industry that has been relatively slow to incorporate social media into its overall marketing formula.

There is still plenty of room for law and accounting firms to carve out their niche in the social world, and the longer you wait, the more time you are giving your competition to beat you to the punch.

The Rise of Social Media Marketing

While in its infancy social media was merely a tool for connecting family, friends, and old acquaintances, the role and significance it plays in our daily lives has evolved considerably over the past decade.

The exponential growth and continuing updates to social platforms has created a marketing goldmine, with opportunities to reach and interact with consumers in a way that was never before possible.

Now, with more than 2 billion active social users around the world, it has become essential for every small business — including law and accounting firms — to create a social media plan as a part of their larger marketing strategy to ensure they remain up to speed and connected with your customers and consumer trends.

Changing the marketing game

Although print, television, and radio advertising are still relevant, they can no longer comprise your entire marketing strategy; consumers now desire a more personal connection, and traditional advertising comes across as passive in the digital era.

Social media has evolved to fulfill that need by allowing users to connect and interact with businesses like never before. Now, a company’s presence — or lack thereof — on social media can have a major influence on their overall marketing success.

The rise of social media has also made it possible for practices with fewer resources to establish themselves as leaders of their respective industry through skilled utilization of social channels.

By creating an effective social strategy, you can reach your target audience and distinguish yourself from your competition, connecting you with new leads, and improving client conversion rates.

However, the requirement to create a presence on social media can be a double-edged sword if you lack a formal strategy or are not actively adapting it to keep up with the constantly changing standards and practices.

Keeping up with the times

While this change may seem drastically different from the common marketing practices of just a decade or two ago, it actually serves to level the playing field by allowing smaller firms to gain recognition and improve their online reputation.

This is particularly true for legal and accounting firms, which were found to be behind the curve when it comes to making effective use of social media.

Since a large portion of the industry is still catching up, there are ample opportunities to forge your place as a major influencer in the social realm — it will not be as difficult to establish your niche as in other industries that are already inundated with key players.

With the exponential growth of the social media in every age demographic over the past 10 years, social media is here to stay, and it’s crucial for small law and accounting practices to jump on board.

There is no better time than the present to begin reaping the rewards of increased site traffic, new lead generation, higher conversion rates, improved brand awareness, additional networking opportunities, recognition in your industry and more.

The Benefits Of Blogging For Small Law & Accounting Firms

Content is king in terms of digital marketing, and the easiest way for your law or accounting firm to produce quality content is by maintaining an active blog on your website.

Blogging has become the cornerstone of content marketing, as companies big and small look to increase website traffic and compete for the top search result rankings.
The long-term benefit of ranking higher in search engines will pay dividends long after the initial post is published on your site.
By producing regular articles that offer tips and news on a variety of topics related to your practice, even smaller law and accounting firms are able to establish a reputation as a reliable source of industry information.

Adding a simple blogroll or news section to your firm’s homepage and publishing regular content helps boost traffic to your page by creating more opportunities to show up in search engines, demonstrates expertise in your field, creates content to share on social media, and helps influence potential leads to retain.

Blogging may seem easy enough on the surface; you simply type an article and post it to your website, right? However, there are several ways you can improve your blog quality and make the process more efficient.

Create an editorial calendar

One of the biggest hurdles to successful blogging is finding the time to sit down and write. By setting a schedule of topics you want to cover and projected publishing dates, you are much more likely to stick with your goal of regular blog updates. Free tools like Trello make it easy to brainstorm ideas and assign due dates to yourself or various team members.

Vary your content

Try to keep your content as fresh and unique as possible. Cover everything from common mistakes clients make, reminders of upcoming deadlines, changes to industry regulations and how that impacts consumers, current events, and more. You want to create new and interesting pieces so it doesn’t just seem like the same old topics and formats with every post.

Include images

Similar to social media, you should include images with your blog posts to improve user engagement and make your articles more aesthetically pleasing. There are several websites that provide free stock photos, such as Pixabay, though fee-based services like Adobe Stock offer a cheap option for high-quality photos.

Publish regular updates

In an ideal world, you would post a new blog update several times a week. However, time constraints may allow you to only publish something as frequently as you can fit into your schedule. Although you may only see a short blip of new traffic shortly after each article is posted, quality content will start ranking in search engines months or years down the line and continue bringing in new potential customers to your site.

Share on social media

Blog posts and social media go hand-in-hand; not only is social media a great way to share unique content to help improve your following, but it also quickly gets your new articles in front of more eyes. You can share new posts several times throughout the week, and don’t be afraid to share older content so long as it is relevant.

The benefits of blogging for small law and accounting firms are countless, ranging from brand building and improved reputation to increasing traffic and generating more clients.

If you are not already doing so, it would be extremely beneficial to begin dedicating an hour or two each week to producing quality content for your website.

Not only does blogging pay off in the short term by giving you a bump in traffic through shares on social media, but the long-term benefit of ranking higher in search engines will pay dividends long after the initial post is published on your site.

Facebook Etiquette For Small Practices

While it may seem trivial to many, there is little room to dispute that it has become a necessity for every business to create, maintain and grow a presence on social media in the digital era.

In no other way are you able to reach and connect with potential clients not just in your local area, but around the globe. And with more than 1.5 billion unique monthly visits, Facebook dominates the world of social networks.

If your practice does not already have a Facebook page, it is time create one. However, simply having a business page does not guarantee that you are utilizing it to its fullest potential.

Here are some easy tips to help you maximize your small practice’s Facebook page to reach more potential clients and boost your social media presence.

Be sure your profile is set up correctly

Since Facebook users will base their first impression of your practice off your profile, it is important to ensure that you have set up your profile correctly.

Facebook offers a number of categories when creating a business page and each will have different elements available. The majority of practices should use the “Local Business” option, as it allows you to highlight more features, such as a map to your location and reviews / ratings.

You should also be sure to fill out as much detailed information as possible regarding your practice in the business description and information sections. Someone coming to your Facebook page for the first time should not have to hunt around to determine what services you offer.

Next, be sure your profile and cover photos are clean, clear, cropped correctly and fit within the image size parameters. Your profile photo will most likely contain your firm’s icon whereas the cover photo can include a more creative image with additional company branding.

If you lack the programs or technical expertise to modify and create images, you can outsource the work for as little as $5 via services such as Fiverr.

Start posting

Once you are happy with how you profile page represents your practice, it is time to start publishing content. You have the option to post simple text, links, images or videos, so try to mix it up to keep the content fresh.

A common mistake that many small businesses make is to use their Facebook page merely as a platform to advertise their services. While you can sprinkle those in occasionally, you are not going to gain a very large following through hundreds of posts about your tax preparation assistance.

Get creative. Offer tips, make special deals, share useful posts, link to your blog posts, share images and memes — it will take useful and engaging content to build a following.

There is a fairly common social marketing standard known as the 70 / 20 / 10 rule:

  • 70 percent of your posts should be about building your brand’s reputation. This means offering creative information that your target audience will find useful, which improves your reputation. For example, a financial advising firm could offer daily budgeting tips to help save towards an end-of-the-year vacation.
  • 20 percent of your posts should be sharing content by others. Social media is about creating networks, and there are likely other sources out there that have created valuable information that is worth sharing with your audience.
  • 10 percent of your posts should be promotional. Here is where you get to advertise why your Facebook fans should consider you as their go-to source for the services your practice provides.

One final thing to remember is that you need to post daily and try to interact with your fans. While that may seem excessive and a waste of time, creating a page and leaving it barren of new posts for weeks is a good way to lose fans instead of gain them.

Fortunately, there are services out there that allow you to easily que content days or weeks in advance, so it is not as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds to have daily content ready to go.

Social media has changed the way businesses interact with their customers, and Facebook can be a valuable tool for small practices to reach their target audience. Just remember, you need to follow the common rules of social etiquette if you want your fan base to grow and reach new potential customers.

How To Succeed With Social Media Marketing

The age of social media is upon us. For small law or accounting firms, creating and growing your online presence can play an extremely important role in your firm’s future success.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to improve your social marketing, even if you are starting from scratch. It simply requires a little time and effort to create a basic social media strategy that will help elevate your practice as an authority in your industry while simultaneously increasing brand exposure to potential clients.

By simply creating accounts across multiple networks, posting on a regular basis, and sharing unique content, you are well on your way to becoming a social media pro.

However, there are certain things you should keep in mind as you delve into the world of social media marketing that will help you succeed.

Organic growth can be slow (but hang in there)

Creating a  Facebook or  Twitter account and seeing no fans / followers can be disheartening, and growth over the next several weeks and months is likely to feel painstakingly slow. However, there are steps you can take to speed up the process.

First, you should utilize your firm, family, and friends to build a base following. Most social networks allow you to invite contacts during the setup phase, and then also include an invite option via email or friends of your personal account later.

Encourage everyone to share your posts, and you should see an increase to your organic growth as you reach a much larger audience.

Another option is paid promotion of your account and your posts. You can narrow your targeting to specific parameters, including age, location, gender, marital status, and even interests to reach your intended demographic. While this option does cost money, boosting posts is an effective way to place your content in front of more people.

Facebook, in particular, has made changes to encourage spending money on promotions for business pages, so it is advantageous if you are able to allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to boost your best pieces of content.

Tailor content to your target demographic

While your natural reaction after creating social media accounts for your practice will likely be to start advertising your firm’s services and strengths, you need to resist that urge – the last thing that will attract followers is blatant advertising.

Instead, focus on posting unique and creative content that provides value to the demographic you are trying to reach.

If your accounting firm provides financial services for small businesses, then post simple tips that can help entrepreneurs save money. If you work for a law firm that specializes in family law, explain how property division works in your state.

While you can occasionally sprinkle in posts that explain how your firm can benefit clients, the idea is to primarily offer valuable information – particularly when you are trying to build your following.

Additionally, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to post on a consistent basis. Followers can easily spot when the timestamp for your last post was three years ago, and that ends up doing you more harm than good.

You need to strike a balance where you are getting your firm’s name out there regularly, but also not coming across as spam.

A good rule of thumb to follow is one post per day on LinkedIn, twice per day on Facebook, and at least three times per day on Twitter.

Social media marketing can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and reach prospective clients. However, it takes dedication to maintain a regular posting schedule, creativity to produce interesting content, and resilience to avoid getting discouraged while you grow your following.

So long as you are ready to take improving your social media presence seriously, you can ensure it becomes an effective piece of your digital marketing strategy.

Content Marketing For Small Practices

At this point in time, having a website is a must for any business, particularly those that offer services like law and accounting firms.
Content marketing has become a foundation for success in the age of digital marketing.
However, simply creating a website for your practice does not guarantee you will effectively generate new leads or convert those leads into new clients.

To improve web presence and firm reputation, many legal and financial practices have begun incorporating content marketing into their digital marketing strategies — and it’s paying off.

With benefits that include increased website visibility, engaged consumers, and improved lead generation and conversion, content marketing is creating an effective new method for retaining clients in the legal and accounting fields.

‘Content is king’

While not necessarily a new concept, the idea that “content is king” has become a popular refrain in the world of digital marketing over the past several years.

The basic principle of content marketing is simple: creating unique and valuable content that is useful, entertaining, or interesting will encourage web users to stay on your site, share the information with their friends, increase your website’s search visibility, enhance brand recognition, and ultimately lead to new clients.

While the easiest and most basic form of content marketing would be writing articles covering various topics in your industry, it does not have to stop there — videos, images, infographics, podcasts, webinars, e-newsletters, etc., can all be incorporated to provide users with practical information.

And since it is essentially a given that your law or accounting firm has a website, you already have the perfect place to host your content — right on your homepage.

Incorporating a simple blogroll or news section takes little time and exponentially increases the value of your website to potential clients researching topics in your field.

It also gives you the ability to demonstrate that your practice has the knowledge and experience to represent a client’s needs.

Instead of having potential clients’ base their decision off a simple description of the services offered by your firm, content marketing allows those interested leads to see for themselves that you are the subject matter expert on the relevant content you post.

Taking advantage of content marketing

All you need to start producing valuable content for your website are three things: Expertise and insightful analysis, a publishing medium, and the motivation to create it. Even the smallest of law and accounting firms should have these basic tools on hand.

While it is easy to claim “I’m too busy,” the benefits of spending as little as an hour or two a week breaking down complex legal and financial concepts into readily-understood articles or videos far outweigh the time it takes to produce them.

In fact, law firms have been some of the quickest to adopt content marketing strategies as a means of reaching new clients because as soon as someone has legal problems, the first place they are going to turn for answers is search engines.

If you are able to produce useful and engaging content that provides answers to these common questions, you have a much better chance of being remembered should they need the services of legal or financial professional.

Additionally, you are able to utilize the blog on your website as a primary source for your social media strategy to share with your fans and followers.

Content marketing has become a foundation for success in the age of digital marketing, and law or accounting firms are some of the best-equipped practices to utilize this technique to enhance their reputation and discover new leads.

If your website is simply a landing page with a section explaining the services you offer, an “About Us” page, and contact information, you are not fully capitalizing on your digital marketing potential.