Tell your Story to Enhance Your Social Media Presence 

by Geni Whitehouse, CPA, CITP, CSPM  

Brotemarkle Davis and Co is not a typical accounting firm. We specialize in the wine industry, but beyond that, we strive to make numbers interesting and easy to understand.  We spend a lot of time trying to educate companies in our area, and going above and beyond to drive business results. To help spread our message, we have a number of social media initiatives. Primarily, we are using Twitter and Facebook to connect with our audience. For our firm, Facebook tends to be more personal, and is focused on sharing imagery and posting about internal activities. While Twitter tends to be more educational in nature.

In order to successfully utilize social media, you should have a story to tell and you have to make sure you are relating that story in your interactions. Your story is what sets you apart and helps your audience connect to the content you are providing. CPAs sometimes struggle to do this since it’s easy for us to present facts and figures but, unfortunately, those can be quickly forgotten, if they are even heard at all. Our firm uses social media to provide high quality educational content for our industry, and we want to ensure that we are presenting it in a way that highlights our story and both reinforces our firm’s brand and resonates with our audience.

Use Language Barriers to Build a Bridge
In order to remain consistent and keep our content interesting, we created a case study based on a fake business—Le Cou Rouge (or the redneck) Winery. When creating the case study, I decided to use my own inadequacies as a southerner in wine country as the inspiration. Often times, I would find myself in a room with credible wine connoisseurs feeling out of place with my thick accent and inability to pronounce the wines I was drinking. Soon I realized that my clients were experiencing something similar. I didn’t understand wine, but I knew accounting. We were both using terminology that was foreign and intimidating to the other. I wanted to play off of that and turn our differences into a bridge rather than a barrier. The case study has been a great success in setting our firm apart and helping people connect to the educational content we are providing.

The Winery case study also has a Twitter account that we use regularly to engage with our clients. Our firm Twitter account is where we post more serious educational information, while the Winery’s account is a good venue to share more lighthearted and fun information. The case study, and social interactions around it, have helped us build our brand and distinguish us as a different, transparent, and fun, firm.

Focus on your Audience
I am the primary marketing and communication manager for our firm, and handle the majority of our social media posts. I am also consistently writing and blogging, which I promote via social media as well. I tend to stay away from making goals around my posts and interactions, rather I focus on putting out content that is relevant to my audience. The power of social media is lost if you’re focusing strictly on numbers. The goal of these interactions should always be connecting and relationship building, and the content needs to be interesting and relevant to the people you are trying to reach. It is so important to understand your audience so that you can be sure you are crafting your posts in this way. Luckily, our specialization gives our firm a very specific target audience and message.
 
Everything we do in terms of social media relates to relationship building through telling our story and educating our current and prospective clients in a way that makes sense to them. To me, using social media in this way is second nature and not a huge time commitment. Communicating is an essential part of our job, and social media is just another communication vehicle. Share your story, have fun, and be mindful of what will resonate with your audience.

Brotemarkle Davis & Co LLP is a medium firm based in St. Helena, CA. Geni Whitehouse, CPA, CITP, CSPM is the Countess of Communication.




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