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5 social media tips for professional services firms

December 28, 2015
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There are many tasks professional services firms can perform to increase their social media reach in 2016.

Bianchi Public Relations, based in Detroit, developed five tips after conducting a proprietary study, "Social Media Use by Professional Services,” which analyzed 90 days' worth of social media usage by 25 of the top metro Detroit professional service organizations — including law, accounting, engineering, architectural and staffing firms — on their four most popular social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

“Bianchi PR's SMUPs study can provide the needed intel to really boost the effectiveness of professional service firms’ social media outreach efforts," said James Bianchi, president, Bianchi PR.

He said the tips are easy to incorporate.

“Marketers just need to re-evaluate and optimize the content being created based on our study's findings,” he said.

Here are the company’s top five social tips for professional services firms:

Post more earned media coverage

While third-party articles in trusted media outlets are the most effective source of information impacting people, less than 10 percent of social media posts by professional service firms, on average, share media coverage.

Firms can increase their credibility by leveraging their earned media coverage, and by acknowledging the reporter and/or the publication in their post.

Focus more on LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is viewed as the most important social network for business people and professional service firms have a greater following on this platform than all others, less than a quarter of the average professional services firms' social media posts populate LinkedIn.

Bianchi suggests firms follow their audiences and target more of their 2016 efforts to this platform.

Become more engaging

Most professional service firms cite engagement as an immediate goal for their social media presence, but only 6 percent of the reviewed professional service firms' social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are interactive-type posts that encourage engagement.

Firms should make a focused effort to post more engaging context — questions, surveys, opinion polls, etc. in 2016.

Always add a visual

While studies show that people prefer visual content because it is four times more memorable than text, nearly two-thirds of professional service firms' Twitter posts do not have visuals. Taking the extra step to plan for and then post a visual can make a marked improvement on the firm's social media success.

Focus on the audience

Social media experts stress that at least 75 percent of posts should contain something that a company's audience finds valuable, but most professional service posts — 79 to 88 percent, depending on platform — focus only on the firm.

Professional services firms should focus more on the audience’s interests and sharing more relevant third-party content in 2016.

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