Instagram for the Forward-Thinking Firm

Instagram_Firms_LI Instagram for the Forward-Thinking Firm

Instagram is a hot social media platform, with over 400 million daily users, of which, 80 percent come from outside of the U.S., according to Omnicore. They also state that 59 percent of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 and 33 percent of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram.

You might be considering a business account to reach a portion of that audience. But how do you do it?

Lights. Camera. Action.

Instagram is a photo-centered, visual platform. Sharing candid images and using filters are a fun way to demonstrate your firm’s culture. Images from phones are the norm, rather than professional shots or stock images. But don’t be discouraged; both are good ways to create beautiful, visual content. 

What to post?

Social media is about humans and our desire to connect. When thinking about your content, image this platforms as your firm’s online scrapbook. Share photos that demonstrate the firm’s culture, e.g., community events; provide an insight into what your staff does, e.g., CPE training and topic; and create a sense of being human, e.g., inspirational quotes, humor, pets, and more.

Below is a list of things you might consider sharing on your firm’s Instagram account.

  • Fundraising event photos help to show your staff doing good for the community. In addition to group shots of the firm’s staff, highlight individuals and their personal volunteer efforts.
  • Build hype around a new service line with a series of posts that “unveil” the opportunity. A storyboard is helpful to plan the images and the accompanying story. The final reveal would also include an image with a link to the new service offering.
  • If your staff have unique and fun hobbies, ask if you can share some photos or create a storyline about an individual and why they love the hobby he/she has. Examples might include cooking, karate, dog walking, painting, sports, volunteering, or something unique.
  • If you want to focus on recruiting, show images of your firm’s culture, events, and activities. See the Moss Adam’s link below for inspiration.
  • Trivia, quotes, and humor / jokes work well on this platform, for example for firms with dental clients, “Why did the doughnut go to the dentist? He needed a filling!” #Dentist #SocialAccountant
  • Filing deadlines and important updates could also be shared.
  • Holidays and fun, unique days of the year can also be a good source of content. The National Day Calendar lists all kinds of fun and unique daily topics and trivia.

Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are infamous. They are often long, humorous, and can be difficult to read. You don’t have to be like that. Use hashtags that help people to find your firm’s content and those that are relevant in an industry. You can find many of them using a tool like Hashtagify.me or many other hashtag-scheduling tools.

Scheduling

You can either use a scheduling tool to post content in advance, or you can share “in-the-moment” images from the mobile app. The personal sharing the photos must have admin access to the firm’s account in order to share photos under the firm’s name. Remember to clear the use of photos with an advanced-signed Photo Consent form for all staff members.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use.
  • The posting schedule can be only one post per day, or as few as three times per week.
  • There are easy to use filters and photo frames to make photos even more fun.
  • This platform has millions of users, and the opportunity to engage with millennials and Gen Y are great.
  • Sharing behind-the-scenes photos helps clients understand what you do.
  • Account analytics show what posts people engage with most to help you build an arsenal of future posts.
  • There are opportunities for firms on this platform due to low competition.
  • There are advertising opportunities on this platform that may reach an audience you’re not been able to access before.

Cons

  • Business accounts tend to lack the “socialness” of personal account, which cause followers to be hesitant because they don’t want to be “sold” to.
  • Business pages have less authority on the explore page over those posted by friends, which equates to less visibility.
  • Business page analytics are “free,” but the best analytics are for businesses that advertise on the platform.
  • There is only one link in your profile, not on each post, so make that link count, such as a blog link or service you want to promote.

Looking for some inspiration, here are some financial services and accounting firms currently using Instagram.

Now that you have content ideas, inspiration, and the pros and cons, will you and your team be the next forward-thinking firm to use this hot platform?

 

Disclaimer: This post originally appeared in the CPA Client Bulletin Resource Guide, © 2018, AICPA. Reprinted by permission.

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