Social Media Presence is Worth the Time Investment 

by Shayna Chapman, CPA.CITP, CGMA  

Shaynaco LLC was started in 2014. Prior to that I had two other partners and the firm was operating under a different name. After losing my partners, my staff and I decided to completely rebrand the firm in order to stand out and establish ourselves as a new entity. Before rebranding, I had developed a strong individual social media presence and this was the inspiration for our firm’s new direction. Playing off of my Twitter handle (ShaynaCPA), I created Shaynaco and set out to differentiate my brand from a traditional CPA firm.

Establishing our social media presence played a huge role in achieving this goal. There are so many platforms available and we’ve tried utilizing a number of them. We’ve dabbled in Pinterest and Periscope, but it seemed to be a challenge to create profession related content that is both relevant and interesting in those spaces. Our primary, and most successful, social media platforms are Facebook and Twitter—though we utilize them each differently. For our firm, Facebook is a way to reach our existing client base and friends. Twitter is a place where we can reach out to strangers, potential clients, peers and the media and disseminate random, yet pertinent, information. 

Social media is a critical element for smaller firms because it allows us to expand our reach outside of our geographical area. We are a small firm in an equally small town, and we are not even close to any large cities or metropolitan areas. Social media allows us to attract clients that we typically would not ever be exposed to. We are able to leverage technology to complete the actual work, but social media give us that foot in the door.

Build a Presence that Fits your Firm
It’s so interesting to see how different firms utilize social media. The process is different for everyone, and that’s okay. Firm size, location and niche will all affect social media approach. In my case, my firm and personal social media presence are very much connected. On Twitter, they are actually one and the same. This means it’s important for me to be in charge of these interactions, instead of delegating to someone else in my firm so that I can decide what content I want to share. Rather than just posting links or articles, I strive to post content that is going to be useful and interesting for my clients while also putting personality into my posts. Personal connection is so important, so letting your individuality show is key in successfully engaging with your audience.

Our firm does not have a formalized social media strategy. I don’t make goals around posting on social media, and instead focus on sharing content that is interesting. We also do not have a formal social media policy for staff. They are allowed to advocate for the firm on social media as long as they are doing it in an appropriate way. I’m close with my staff and have worked with them for a long time. They know what my expectations are and I trust them to make good decisions.

Put in the Necessary Time
Establishing and maintaining a social media presence does take time. When I was working in a firm with other partners, I was dedicating a lot more time to social media—and I had that time available to give. As managing partner, it was difficult for me to make that same commitment at first. I went through cycles of posting frequently and then backing off completely. Eventually I came to realize that one of my primary duties as a managing partner is focusing on branding, marketing, and bringing in new clients. Staff are there to provide support and ensure the client work is getting done. I had to realize that it’s okay for me to spend that time on social media because it’s all a part of the firm’s bigger picture to continue growing and thriving in today’s economy.

Shaynaco LLC is a small firm based in Gallipolis, OH. Shayna Chapman, CPA.CITP, CGMA is the managing partner.


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