You might be a pro at filling out forms and filing taxes for even the most complicated returns. But that’s only part of your responsibilities as a tax business owner. You also need to figure out how to get clients through your door. Direct mail, print ads and networking will only get you so far. But you need more sophisticated marketing for tax preparation services if you want to compete in today’s digital world.
So how do you drive more traffic to your website and get new clients in your door? Social media advertising is a great way to capture attention and generate more clients for your tax business.
With the right social media content strategy, your small tax business will be able to develop an identifiable brand that can attract new clients. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started and on the path to social media success.
Marketing strategies for tax preparers
Social media should be an essential part of any small business marketing strategy. Social media is a great way to keep your clients informed on the latest tax news or important updates. Whether you’re an avid social media user or barely have an online presence, learning to use social media as an effective marketing tool takes time and effort. But if it’s done well, social media marketing can be a cost-efficient tool to boost your business.
As a tax preparer, you might hesitate to create a social media presence, believing that tax-related posts won’t generate engagement or followers. However, social media is an important marketing tool to add personality and authority to your company and brand. An effective social media presence will help you generate leads, establish yourself as a tax expert and build rapport with your clients.
Which channels should you use to promote your tax business?
There are many options when it comes to social media. Here are our suggestions for where you should have a presence to market your tax business:
- LinkedIn. If you want to prepare taxes for a living, a LinkedIn account is essential. According to research, 79 percent of B2B marketers find LinkedIn helpful for generating B2B leads. Even if you work primarily with individuals, a LinkedIn page is a great way to showcase your experience to potential clients if they search for you.
- Facebook. With more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is by far the most-used social media channel. Your business needs an active Facebook page as part of your social media strategy.
- Instagram. If you have a Facebook, creating an Instagram account is a logical next step. Facebook owns Instagram, making it easy to set up and link your accounts. Share simple graphics noting important dates like Tax Day, tips and tricks, discounts and more. With more than 1 billion users, Instagram is the second-most popular social media channel.
- Twitter. Though it has fewer active users than Facebook or Instagram, Twitter is still an effective, popular platform. Plus, you can sync your Instagram and Facebook to your Twitter account, making your tweets automatic and effortless.
- TikTok. Perhaps the fastest-growing social media platform, TikTok is a short-form video hosting service. It hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. TikTok is one of the trendiest options for viral videos and appeals to a younger demographic.
Branding your tax prep business
If you want your tax prep business to be successful, you need a clear identity and effective branding. Some clients consider personality just as much as expertise when choosing a tax preparer. You can use social media to establish a brand identity and present yourself as knowledgeable and engaging to potential clients.
Build engagement and loyalty
Since tax preparation is typically a seasonal business, you could go months without communicating with your clients. Social media allows you to engage with your clients regularly and keeps you top-of-mind — making previous clients more likely to return while potentially attracting new clients to your business.
Grow your tax prep business with referrals
Social media helps increase word-of-mouth referrals for your business. Each time a follower engages with one of your posts, your business is visible to their circle of family and friends, who could turn out to be potential clients.
Create a profile for your tax prep business
You don’t necessarily need an account on every social media platform. But if your business only has a Facebook account, you’re missing out on leads and potential clients that you could encounter on other platforms.
Consider where your target clients spend most of their time, then focus on creating business profiles on those platforms. Here are some tips to consider when posting on social media as a tax preparer.
7 tips for posting to social media
Social media only helps your business if you post regularly and engage followers, but it’s difficult to come up with fresh ideas every day. Set aside time to plan out a social media calendar with posts every week or month.
Post a variety of content
Many tax preparers struggle to come up with regular ideas for their social media posts. You should try a mix of content to see what works best for you. If you are comfortable with making videos, then you might make more of an impact on YouTube. You might also do well on LinkedIn if your target market is working professionals. Try a mix of content (blogs, videos and infographics) on different platforms to see what works best for you.
Here are some ideas to keep your pages updated with fresh, useful and engaging content:
- Blog posts. Blogging helps establish you as a subject matter expert and — when done well — helps boost SEO, which drives more traffic to your website. What advice can you offer clients? What important tax updates do they need to know? What are some frequently asked questions you get from clients? These are all great blog topics for you to share on social media.
- Infographics. Visuals are always great for social media. Infographics can be a great way to share complex information in a more engaging and easier-to-understand way. You don’t have to be a graphic designer or have fancy software. Create a Canva account and get creative. Canva has tons of templates, design elements and features that make creating something on your own easy.
- Memes. Internet memes are a fun way to add a little humor to your feeds. The content is user generated so it’s OK to use. Do some good old-fashioned Googling and find some fun memes to incorporate into your content.
- Videos. Video content is king on social media. If you want to create more engagement with your posts, creating videos is the way to go. Remember that most people have a short attention span, so you should aim to keep your video content under 60 seconds. Try adding text to your video content to make it easier for viewers to consume your content if they don’t have sound turned on as their scrolling through their feed.
- Giveaways. This is a great way to engage and gain followers. When you have participants enter to win by liking, sharing and tagging friends in posts, you’ll appear in the notifications and news feeds of new potential clients.
- Q&As. These sessions can be a good way to show your expertise, engage users and offer value to potential clients. If you don’t have enough followers to generate questions in real-time, you can do a series of posts on your most frequently asked questions.
- Promotional material. Too many promotional posts will make your social media account appear self-serving and spammy. However, promotional posts do have their place. Client testimonials, descriptions of your services or deals and specials are great ways to promote your business.
- Polls. Because they only require a single click, polls help encourage engagement. Aim for questions that are relevant to your business.
Pay attention to what is relevant
Trending information will get a lot of attention on social media. Therefore, you will want to take advantage of what topics are trending on social media. For instance, if there is a proposal for a new tax rule, then you may want to consider creating a Facebook post, TikTok or YouTube video on the subject. Relevant, trending topics will drive a lot of traffic to your social media channels.
Share helpful tips and resources
People tend to search for tips and information online when they need help. Take advantage of your role as a tax professional to establish yourself as an expert in the tax world. Sharing tips and helpful resources will allow you to build a social media following and make it easier for you to convert some of your followers into clients.
Simplify complex information
For many people, information about taxes can be complex and intimidating. As a tax professional, you can take some of the most difficult concepts about taxes and communicate them in a way that provides visual appeal. This will allow you to become the “go-to” expert on tax information for your clients.
Understand image requirements
Each social media platform has rules that users must follow to keep their account in good standing. Be sure to understand the rules of each social media platform before you begin to upload content.
Decide how often to post
Your posting frequency should vary by channel and by season. Post more often on Facebook and Twitter than LinkedIn or Instagram. For example, you can post more than once per day on Facebook and Twitter when your engagement is high. You can get away with only a few posts per week during your busy season on LinkedIn and Instagram.
You should consider posting every day — or every other day — during your busy tax season. In the off-season, consider posting once per week or a few times per month. You should be consistent with your posting schedule, but you should expect to see a dip in traffic and post volume after tax season.
Use a scheduling tool
Once you have planned out your content, you can use online tools to schedule and automatically post your content. Prices for these services can vary greatly, but some like Hootsuite, Buffer, SharpSpring and Sendible offer free or low-cost plans.
Marketing strategies for tax preparers can boost your business
While implementing a social media strategy can improve your business, keep in mind that it doesn’t yield instant results. So don’t be surprised or get frustrated if you don’t get a lot of engagement or followers in the first few months. Building a strong social media following for your tax prep business takes time. However, if you commit to providing clients with regular, high-quality posts, your social media accounts will eventually generate more leads and increase awareness of your business.
If you’re looking for other ways to start or grow your tax prep business, Surgent Income Tax School offers a variety of courses and resources to help your business succeed.