Oct 09, 2017

Facebook Advertising for Good, Not Evil

By Maureen Renzi, vice president - communications

Do you understand how Russian entities spread their influence through Facebook advertising? At the PICPA, we understand. In fact, we (and many others) employ some of the same tactics. Our goal, however, is much more benign. We work to position CPAs as thought leaders, so we reach out to targeted groups of small businesses to help them succeed and reach out to consumers so we can provide helpful personal financial information and small business advice. Here’s a quick overview on how this works and how the PICPA employs Facebook advertising.

Person online with tabletWhen you advertise on Facebook, your content appears in an individual’s News Feed as “Sponsored.” Sometimes the sponsor is encouraging you to like their page, sometimes it’s providing an entertaining video with a link to a website, and sometimes it’s an article posted on a blog. Facebook places the content where it deems you have an appropriate audience, based on specified criteria.

What kinds of criteria can advertisers select? There are the traditional characteristics you would expect, such as location (we pick Pennsylvania, of course), age, and gender. Or you can get interesting. In “interests and behaviors,” assumptions are made based on a person’s self-described interests, purchase behaviors, device usage, and other activities. Interest in business and industry, finance, and so on are some of the areas we target.

Are you wondering what information we sponsor? Here’s a brief list of content we have shared on Facebook, thanks to the work of our CPA Image Enhancement Committee and others:

Note that the last video is a cooperative effort with the AICPA to promote CPAs as small business advisers. The AICPA has developed a multitiered advertising campaign called #CPApowered that is scheduled to run from October 2017 through April 2018. Firms are encouraged to share in the excitement of the campaign, and you can find the marketing resources on AICPA’s website

At the PICPA we drive small business owners to our small-business resources, where most of our content is developed by members. Combining our public relations strategy of Facebook advertising, Google AdWords, and search engine optimization, we have garnered more than 54,000 views of our consumer resources on PICPA’s website since our fiscal year began on May 1, 2017.

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved in PICPA’s digital CPA Image Enhancement efforts and how to leverage that engagement to promote your knowledge and your firm, contact me at mrenzi@picpa.org. There are many ways to tell the story of CPAs as thought leaders for consumers and small business owners, and I’d like to know yours.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.