Flagship Consulting Social Media in Accountancy Report
2. > Whilst social media has pervaded the majority of consumer
focused industries, its use in B2B sectors is only in 2012
beginning to be considered seriously.
> Industries that have been traditionally > In this, our second report looking into
closed to sharing information and the social media practices of specific
collaboration, and have acted behind industries, we have taken an in-depth
closed doors, are being challenged to look at 60 accountancy firms ranked in the
operate according to the new laws of Accountancy Age Top 50+50.
marketing and customer communications.
> A survey undertaken by CC H and YouGov
> This poses a problem for those B2B highlighted that when accountancy firms
companies, particularly in industries such were asked what the top methods were
as finance, law and accountancy, that are for bringing in new clients, 78% said word-
faced with changing their internal practices of-mouth, 40% personal networking and
and fundamental ethos of working if they just 9% of the 99 firms surveyed said social
INTRODUCTION wish to use social channels to aid growth
and manage brand.
media. 38% of these firms also said they
were not likely to make the move to
> Faceless corporates are increasingly
being encouraged to take a human > Using Flagship Consulting’s own
approach and interact on consumer led algorithm, we highlight those firms’
social channels. B2B firms need to learn currently using social channels to the
that there are valuable conversations greatest advantage and demonstrate how
taking place outside LinkedIn and find new accountancy firms can, and should, utilise
ways to work that encourage a people to social media as ways of doing business
people style of interaction with customers evolve.
3. > This report is based on the analysis of the social media activity of the top 60
accountancy firms ranked by Accountancy Age, based on fee income.
> To evaluate activity, Flagship Consulting > Although these brands are ranked highly
developed an algorithm that takes into for their social media activity, they do so
account a variety of existing social in an industry that has yet to come to grips
evaluation tools such as Peer Index, Klout with social marketing. Their presence on
score and Marketing Grader, as well as social shows a willingness to embrace
Facebook analysis. the medium, but accountancy firms must
move away from broadcasting on social
> Our evaluation has shown that, on the media and proactively engage in two
whole, those companies which performed way communication with individuals on
well on the Accountancy Age top firms list social networks. This will have a positive
also tended to have stronger levels of
impact not only on amplification of brand
social media engagements. Messages, but also on recruitment and
SUMMARY > The Top Five social media accountancy
firms are Ernst and Young, Tax Assist > On Facebook there is a lack of brand
Accountants, PwC, Deloitte and Baker Tilly, pages across organisations, with many
respectively. choosing just a page for interaction with
graduates. As this is still the largest social
media network, a broader link targeting all
stakeholders would provide the greatest
4. > To measure brand activity consistently and accurately across channels,
Flagship Consulting used a number of tools that took into account:
• Strength of presence • Engagement through • Interactions and
and interaction on Twitter their website and blog community strength
> To measure this information, analysis from Klout, PeerIndex and Marketing Grader was taken into
consideration and evaluated to create a score out of 100. As few firms listed have a Facebook
presence, we evaluated engagement levels from those who did and used this to give extra
weighting to their score.
5. > Marketing Grader assesses the online > Klout is measured by how often an
marketing of an organisation through account creates content that drives
three levels of grading – Top of the Funnel, engagement, and therefore influences
Middle of the Funnel and Analytics. others, by looking at influence online from
data across social networks.
• Top of the Funnel assesses the sales
and marketing in terms of how well
an organisation brings visitors to the
• Middle of the Funnel looks at how well an > PeerIndex is the measurement of
organisation manages to get traffic to its interactions across the Internet to
determine impact on social media.
• Lastly, analytics look at measurements > A score on PeerIndex is a measure of
to evaluate marketing activities that are/ online authority and reflects the impact of
are not working and whether successes online activities. It measures the extent to
and failures have been which a person or company has built a
social capital and online reputation.
10. 1. ERNST & YOUNG
> Ernst & Young is the top performer on > The website is well structured and
social media, with regular posts on Twitter contains relevant information for
which provide information that frequently consumers, businesses and potential
links to its website, complementing SEO employees. There are also specific links to
efforts. its social media channels.
> However, there is not a great deal of > Its Facebook page has a high level
proactive engagement and Twitter could of engagement, with an average of 12
be better used to stir debate and engage posts, shares or likes per comment. The
communities on the platform. information is timely, relevant and
links to current affairs issues that relate to
accountancy, which creates discussion.
There is also a fast response rate for
questions about career opportunities.
11. 2. TAXASSIST ACCOUNTANTS
> On Twitter, @TaxAssistUK has done > While TaxAssist Accountants has a highly
a successful job in demonstrating its focus engaging Twitter Feed, its Facebook page
on small businesses. The inclusion of a requires further development to guide
person (female) as its profile picture interaction from fans. There is good use of
makes the account much more human and linking to images, although there is little
therefore more engaging. Posts are feedback and content is not engaging its
consistent and provide links to both the audience.
website and current issues. @TaxAssistUK
also provides feedback and answers to any
questions asked by followers, although it
could be more proactive in outreaching
and taking part in non-brand
12. 3. PwC
> @PwC_UK has a bright Twitter page with > On Facebook, there are posts that
images highlighting the company’s work highlight the latest work within PwC, with
and events. While there are close to 11,000 links to its website. However, the page fails
followers, there could still be more use of to respond to career enquiries efficiently.
outreach and interaction. The tone is There is a minimal amount of engagement
upbeat and casual, yet still provides high on the page and there is no
levels of information that would be acknowledgement by the brand when
valuable for its business audience. users share information on the page.
13. 4. DELOITTE
> The @DeloitteUK Twitter feed averages > Deloitte (global)’s Facebook page
approximately 3-4 posts per day, with provides a continuous stream of relevant
information that links to its website. There posts that are highly engaged with, and
is also a good use of retweeting to increase provide excellent insight into, the brand
Engagement, but no conversations or and its personality. There is a great deal of
questions which could be used to provoke proactive engagement and endorsements
interactions from its community. from fans which reinforce the brand
positioning. The brand’s custom tab links
through to a branded section providing
strong video content and links to other
social channels. Of all the brands reviewed,
Deloitte’s Facebook page is the most
14. 5. BAKER TILLY
> @BakerTilly has more than 2,600 > Baker Tilly’s branding is clearly aligned
followers on Twitter, with an average of 3-4 across its website, Twitter feed and
posts per day. The information posted is Facebook with thorough and relevant use
informative and generally links back to its of linking and content sharing.
website. However, there is no outreach or
conversation with followers.
> The Baker Tilly International Facebook
page is global, and provides information
about charities supported, awards received,
graduate information and interactive
videos. It receives an average of 2 pieces
of engagement per post (in the form of
a like, comment or share) and provides
information that is more personalised than
its Twitter page.
15. 6. BISHOP FLEMING
> @BishopFlemingUK’s Twitter is very > Bishop Fleming has established great
Engaging, with retweets and information branding of a ‘lifestyle’ organisation with
linking to other people to follow. Tweets its ‘Aspire to success’ slogan, and has a
are varied and include questions and comprehensive website that is easily read
information about the industry and Bishop and navigated.
Fleming. The page proactively outreaches
to others and is very conversational.
> Bishop Fleming’s Facebook page is
currently operating solely as an additional
platform to share information, via press
releases. There is no interaction or
engagement with its community.
16. 7. GRANT THORNTON UK
> @GrantThorntonUK’s post rate is high, > While Grant Thornton is currently lacking
with approximately 5 posts per day. These an all-encompassing Facebook page, it
include retweets, information about new does have a Recruitment UK page that
staff, its organisation and the industry. allows interaction to occur with potential
There are lots of tweets about speakers new graduates. This tone of interaction is
within the organisation and events they lighter; posts include information about
are attending. However, there is a lack of pop culture, including references to the TV
interaction and response when people show ‘The Apprentice’, as well as
reach out with questions. competitions that allow students to further
> While this is successful, it could increase
its social media influence with the
inclusion of a brand page.
17. 8. KPMG
> KPMG in the UK averages approximately > KPMG is currently lacking outreach and
4 posts per day across a wide range of interaction with its online community
information - including video content and across all channels. At present there is
informative industry information. It good communication with graduates,
currently has over 5,000 followers. however this could be strengthened by
communication with all stakeholders.
> While KPMG does not have an all-
encompassing UK Facebook page, it does
have a page that focuses specifically on
Graduate Recruitment. This page provides
information about upcoming vacancy
opportunities, as well as more of a
‘lighthearted’ tone with jokes (while
students are revising for exams), news
updates and links to KPMG achievements.
This page has more than 6,000 ‘likes’ and
allows for an interactive platform between
KPMG and graduates.
18. 9. BDO LLP
> @bdoaccountant is a strong feed with > BDO appears high on this list due to its
regular updates and good levels of engaging Twitter account and excellent
interaction. The feed is engaged with real website, which offers interactive services
life events taking place in the company, such as the section entitled ‘Talk Shop’ –
such as awards, and uses Twitter as an where business leaders offer their
extra arm for its marketing efforts. The personal thoughts and views on current
feed has a positive and fun personality business issues. The website presents a
that is engaging and relevant for followers. bold layout and easy navigation to source
> BDO LLP UK does not have an active
19. 10. SJD ACCOUNTANCY
> @SJDA ccountancy has a well branded > The Facebook page currently looks like a
Twitter feed with an average of 1-2 posts basic RSS feed, with notes that showcase
per day. These posts include information latest press releases. The community has
about the industry and its organisation, not yet been established and there is no
however there is little outreach to and engagement at present.
from followers. The branding aligns with
the website, which provides links to the > SJD’s strength lies in its website, which has
various areas of information. good levels of content, syndicated blogs
and interactive elements.
20. > Those companies performing best on social media include a blend
of the big four as well as more nimble firms, able to alter their practices
to be more in line with current marketing styles.
> For the larger firms operating in this > Predictably, proactive engagement and
space, their sheer size and resource – both outreach remain low. Instead, accountancy
financial and human – means that they can firms tend to use social media as a means
successfully implement a social strategy to distribute content rather than create
that will position them as thought leaders. conversations around it. Few firms can be
Smaller firms may not have the same seen to produce content specifically for
financial clout but, as we have seen, can social media purposes, meaning many
take a more human approach to online feeds on social channels appear to simply
communications that deliver greater be an off-shoot as an aid to a greater
dividends – allowing them to compete in SEO/content marketing campaign.
the same space as multinational
firms. > The content being shared on social
CONCLUSION channels by the majority of firms is not
opinion led and fails to take into account
conversations taking place online.
Accountants should focus on monitoring
these conversations to provide relevant
branded context to offer value to their
social audience, nurture leads and engage