t’s a common misconception that Instagram should be reserved for certain types of businesses; that it’s a playground for designers, photographers, chefs and other professionals who rely heavily on imagery to sell their wares. But in fact, Instagram isn’t just a great tool for creative companies. It’s just as central to the social media marketing plan of today’s forward-thinking financial advisors. It’s an equally fantastic asset for accountancy firms who need to increase their reach and find new customers.
The key to success on Instagram – that is, being able to consistently engage your audience enough to collect more likes, boost your follower count, and ultimately generate more leads from the platform – is to adopt a multi-faceted strategy. Keeping things fresh can be a challenge, especially for financial consultants and accountants who are trying to increase their social reach alongside their day job. If this sounds like you, and you’re struggling to make a splash with your current Instagram content, mix up your approach by taking the following five tips on board.
1) Get personal
Posting industry news and sharing links to case studies and testimonials will only get you so far. To really get inside the minds of Insta users – and your prospective customers – you need to be human.
If you’re celebrating a big win, or an important milestone - shout about it! And if you’re taking part in a charity event, or heading off to a seminar soon, tell everyone what you’re up to. Sharing the things that are happening within your accountancy firm will not only get people talking, it will also allow you to show off your company’s unique culture.
2) Share something exclusive
Everybody loves to feel like they’re privy to something that’s not yet common knowledge. And Insta users are no different.
‘Behind the scenes’ footage is a real draw. So next time you’re chatting with a client, hosting a talk or running a team meeting, let your followers in on the action. Take a snapshot of your location or snap a quick 60-second tour of your whereabouts to tell your story (more on this later on). Then, explain what you’re taking away from the experience so that your users can relate to what’s happening.
3) Experiment with hashtags
Did you know that Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to every single post? Hashtags are vital because they allow you to categorise your content. More importantly for you, perhaps, users who are searching for information on a specific theme are more likely to stumble across your post if it has been tagged correctly, leading to more exposure for your financial brand.
If you’re stumped as to which hashtags to use, you’ll find plenty of well-researched hashtag lists on the web. Oberlo’s article, which introduces you to the best Instagram hashtags for likes, is a great place to start. Hashtag standards such as #accounting and #accountant are a must, but widely-used phrases are more likely to get you faster traction; for example, try #financial freedom, #income and #investing when talking about relevant topics in these areas, and watch your engagement shoot through the roof.
Many users consider 30 hashtags to be too many for a single post, but recent research has suggested that you need to add at least 11 if you’re serious about growing your following. Make sure you add your tags to the end of the post, not the beginning.
4) Communicate your brand values with quotes
Whether it’s motivational, inspiring or a little tongue-in-cheek, posting quotes to your Instagram account can help you tap into the psyche of your audience. Unfortunately, quotes are all-too-often used to plug gaps in a company’s already weak strategy. That’s why it’s important not to go overboard here. Posting one quote every week or two is enough to add a touch of pizazz to your feed yet still ensure you maintain your professionalism.
Don’t just go with any old phrase, either. Take the time to research quotes that really emphasise your team’s ethos. If you can tie them in with a recent industry development or prominent piece of financial news, all the better. And if you’re no Photoshop wizard, tools such as Canva, WordSwag and InstaQuote will help you create your own picture quotes for Instagram.
5) Make the most of Instagram stories
They may only stick around for 24 hours – but Instagram stories can have just as much impact on your followers as static posts. The idea is, you share photos and videos (or a mixture of both) that are then displayed on your profile for up to a day after they have been posted.
Regularly updating your story is a great way to encourage return visits and create a rapport with your audience for reasonably little effort. According to TechCrunch, one in five Stories will receive a direct message -and for businesses, every direct message has the potential to be a great lead so that stat alone should be enough to convince you that Insta Stories are the way forward for your accounting firm!
Written by Ben Stanbury