Social and Accounting Socially Speaking
Social and accounting — really
Can you believe social and accounting does go together? If you think of the “accounting person” as the one who sits in the dark, back room pushing numbers around with frantic fingers and furrowed brow you probably missed the announcement.
Attention: Today’s leading scientists announce bean-counters have been found with beating hearts and funny bones. Scientists pointed out they knew the bean-counter they found would have a head for numbers, they were only surprised when they came upon the beating heart and funny bone. More info to follow.
OK, so there were no scientists involved in the taking of the accompanying photo or the story which follows. Yet, we’re pretty sure if they were around, they would be intrigued.
Further proof? Recently, we came across this older article from Money which is titled, “Our 15 Favorite Accountants from TV & the Movies” In their opening sentence they use the hyphenated word “numbers-cruncher” with nary a qualm. They go on to say, “. . .the accountants on screen aren’t the boring automatons they’re stereotyped as in real life:” Some of the movies and TV shows mentioned made us laugh, while others made us cringe.
Therefore, let’s face it, stereotypes often do have some basis in real life. And, we’ve seen a few who fit the stereotype to a T. Yet, there are others who are so far removed from the stereotype, outsiders looking in might think they’re in a different line of business altogether.
Social and accounting in real life
Let’s start with social in the traditional sense. We’ll get to social media in the next section.
Here are some of the ways the members of our team are social. Each of us has different ways we make it to the list below. While all of us do some of these things, none of us does all these things. 😉 We:
- Host and attend parties
- Join organizations which mean something to our personal lives
- Become members of associations or groups which have to do with our business
- Attend accounting conferences
- Speak at conventions having to do with accounting
- Show up for family reunions as well as friend reunions
- Sell Pampered Chef on the side
- Take our grandchildren on outings
- Go to concerts, the theater, amusement parks, and other fun events
- Frequent food truck events
- Visit “networking” events
- Bob up at weddings, showers, baptisms, funerals, quinceañeras, and bat mitzvahs (Well, I checked, and none of us has ever been invited to a bat mitzvah but would attend if invited. Just sayen’)
- Show up at sporting events
- Have lengthy visits on the front porch with the neighbors
- Take the kiddos to their extra-ciricular classes and practices (and chat with the other parents)
- Do “girl’s night out”
- Play poker at “guy’s night out” (but, we don’t call it “guy’s night out” because that would just be silly)
- Invite friends over just to play board and card games
- Attend church regularly
- Go to homeschool group park days and field trips
- Lead a monthly meet-up group of accounting and bookkeeping business owners
There’s probably more, but you get the picture.
Social and accounting online
Everything from our website to our social media channels and our business interactions are part of our social picture. And yes, if you’re wondering, that includes email, Zoom meetings, text messages, and phone calls.
Just like real life socializing, every encounter comes with varying expectations and a range of outcomes. For example, in our personal lives, we understand that if we attend a live theater production, we can’t expect to have meaningful conversation during the performance. And, if we’re at a family reunion we’re not likely to find a plethora of potential clients. (Of course, if Uncle George mentions his neighbor, the owner of a painting business, is looking for someone who offers advisory board level counsel and accounting expertise, we’re not going to ignore him. 😉)
The social media channels we use for Schulte and Schulte are noted at the bottom of this page. Some are put to better use than others, yet all figure in to some facet of what we’re presently doing or where we expect to improve in the near future.
Using Social for our Accounting business
It has taken us a while to get some basics sorted out concerning how and why we use the various aspects of “being social” online. Having said that, I hasten to add, we use some channels better than others and know we have room for improvement.
Our elemental foundation can be found in our “be” attitude. We’re determined to Be:
- gracious and kind
Next, we put a lot of thought into what our audience (commercial construction contractors) might want to hear from us. It falls into three categories which many marketing gurus say are the only things clients and potential clients want to see and hear. They are the three “Es” of social.
Enlighten ‘em. This is where we provide tips, tricks, or historical info; include inspirational thoughts or quotes; give shout outs to other service providers; celebrate our firm’s milestones; tell about workshops, classes, webinars, podcasts our readers may wish to attend or listen to.
Educate ‘em. Here, we teach how to do a particular process; teach the “whys” of what we do; provide information about important individuals from our niche’s circle; teach about tools of the trade; answer FAQs; tell about conventions or workshops we attend; give bits of our firm’s story; correct common misconceptions about virtual accounting and back-office services.
Entertain ‘em. Then, we showcase the personality of our business; share info about a book, product, or service others offer; be funny; show pics of our workspaces; use customer spotlights or interviews; include seasonal pics or topics; provide quick facts or stats.
Oh yeah, none of our three “Es” must remain exclusive. In other words, they can stand alone, have only two show up, or include elements from all three.
Social and accounting – knowing where you are
In some channels we hang out more with our peers, in others we are more directly involved with our potential clients. For example, on Twitter, the “audience” is mostly made up of fellow accounting professionals. On Instagram the folks we follow and are followed by are more likely to be construction business owners.
When you know “where you are” you can adjust your behavior accordingly. Just as you wouldn’t spend your time at a wedding trying to find potential clients you shouldn’t spend loads of marketing time in your “peer” channel. While it’s never wrong to allow your peers to know what it is you do, it is always wrong to expect your peers to buy (what they don’t need) from you.
9 tips for getting the most from your best social marketing channel:
- Know your target market
- Address their needs
- Demonstrate your knowledge
- Keep ranting to a minimum (better yet, rant elsewhere)
- Engage (that means respond to your commenters and like and comment on other people’s posts)
- Share information about people, services, and products which is useful to your audience (be sure you know your audience – it isn’t your peers, remember this is your marketing channel)
- Give credit where credit is due (who helped, who was part of the team?)
- Show up (regularly)
- Toss in tidbits of random information now and then just for the fun of it
Yes, we’re number-crunchers and bean-counters. And, socially we’re more adept than our stereotype might predict. 😎
It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses.
Because we are a virtual “corporate accounting office” for commercial construction businesses we can assist you no matter in which of the 50 United States your business is located. Call to see how we can lighten your back-office and accounting burden. Toll Free: 866-629-7735