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05 April 2012
Cassons, a firm of chartered accountants and business advisers, have always had great success in generating business through word-of-mouth referrals. However, one problem they faced was in replicating that success through the digital medium. Although they recognised the opportunity social media presented, they didn’t have the knowledge or experience to fully engage.
Skylab were commissioned to shape a social media strategy that would allow Cassons to stake a claim in digital channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Cassons were keen to reach two core audiences. The first was high net worth individuals interested in tax efficient saving options, wealth planning and other high value services. The second was finance managers using Sage Accounts. (Sage Accounts offers taxation, accounts production and practice management software.)
Skylab used a number of tools and resources to ‘listen’ to the digital world. While many people can find and use tools to listen to the internet, it takes more than just listening to develop a strategic program. It takes insight and experience to decipher listening results and qualify decisions for action.
Instinctively you might presume that accountancy isn’t a hot topic on social networks and you would be correct. Channels like Facebook and Twitter lack a strong voice for this industry, whereas you can find some discussion on sites such as LinkedIn. However, without really listening to the social world there’s no evidence to prove it. When Skylab listened, it was abundantly clear that there was very little communication about accountancy across certain platforms. This revealed an opportunity for Cassons to step in and make their mark.
At this point, some preparation was needed before a publishing calendar was set into place. What good does it do to publish content if the platform or channel it’s published on lacks in design? Skylab sorted this by designing Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn themes using the Cassons color schemes to give each channel consistency and customisation.
Once the digital channels were in place, content took centre stage. At this stage, brands and organisations often fail because they overlook the importance of having a content strategy.
Skylab stepped in to train and counsel Cassons team members. We provided guidance on content publishing, such as blog articles, and on micromedia communication via Twitter, focusing on core message delivery and two-way community engagement.
To go a step further, Skylab implemented ‘Cassons TV’ which is hosted on Skylab’s MediaTank online video platform. MediaTank is similar to the BBC iPlayer, or a business-focused YouTube, and allows complete control over content delivery and brand experience. The key theme of Cassons TV is the personality and ‘friendly face of Cassons’ and this is reflected in each video.
Ultimately the entire project ‘paid off’ for Cassons and Skylab. Initially, Cassons won Accountacy of The Year (via the North West Society of Chartered Accountants), due in part to the value they deliver to clients through their innovative use of social media and video. Since then, Cassons has gone on to win a number of other awards.
Skylab and Cassons were successful in delivering a social media strategy that allowed Cassons to reach their audience with fresh content, a modern design and the knowledge needed to communicate through social channels. Accounting isn’t necessarily thought of as an engaging topic however, Cassons’ results highlight the opportunity for any brand in any industry to target their audience effectively.
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