Thoughts From Our Leader...

How well is social media working for you?

So the rain has returned to Scotland which means summer is very much over (not that I am sure it ever started). Over the summer holidays I took some much needed time off from Mint (which I am not very good at but it is a must when you run a business and have children) and discovered one of the upsides is that it gives me time to read, which in turn gets me thinking about the business. I read through loads of books this summer one being 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, an e-book by Andrew Macarthy. I highly recommend it to any small business owner out there. It kept me interested on a long journey from Bolton to Aberdeen and though many of the principles covered are things we all know (or think we do), it made me think about what we are (or aren't) doing and what we should be doing on social media.

Historically our engagement with social media has been sporadic. This seems to be one of the downfalls of a high number of companies and I am sure it is for the same reasons as us - not enough time, inability to have a team member dedicated to digital and lack of team understanding about how social media works from a business perspective. We have already started to develop plans to improve in this area now we are able to dedicate resource to it.

One of the critical points for me (being an accountant and obsessed by numbers) is that I need facts, figures, KPIs etc to understand how we are doing. I always think our follower levels / likes are really low compared to other businesses I see so I decided to do some competitor analysis and it is a real eye opener...

Given that we are a small practice (20 staff) we have a slightly above average reach in terms of LinkedIn page followers. For accountants, the number of staff is generally a good indicator of practice size. So, KPMG, a big player in the global accounting world have 141,000 employees on LinkedIn with just under 470,000 followers on their KPMG global page (so, around 3.3 followers per staff member). On their UK dedicated page they have around 10.3 followers per UK staff member. PwC have a phenomenal 1.2million followers but this only equates to 6 followers per staff member. Mid-tier practices are hitting around 8 followers per employee and the smaller practices like ourselves are hitting around the 12 followers per employee.

This is only one metric on one social media forum but it gave me a good insight on how our industry was engaging in social media and how we compared to our more established competitors. Not that I'm encouraging you to go and stalk your competitors' LinkedIn or Facebook pages (though I am sure some people do) but it is well worth looking at how your company compares to others in your industry.

So what are the statistics in your industry? Is your company holding its own against its competitors? What are your tips for improving a company's social media presence? Go find out as you may realise you are doing better than you think.