The 80/20 Rule for Accounting Firms on Social Media

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule before in one context or another, so I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. But do you know how to apply it to your accounting firm’s social media accounts? Let’s dive in.

80% of the content your firm posts to social media should be useful to your audience in one way or another—educational, helpful, entertaining, etc.—while the remaining 20% can be promotional. This rule is standard for all businesses on social media, not just accounting firms.

80/20 Rule


According to Statista, the top reasons people are on social media are to:

  • Keep in touch with family and friends
  • Fill spare time
  • Read news stories

The driving factor behind all three reasons? Entertainment. People want to be entertained, and promotional content isn’t great at accomplishing that.

You may be thinking, “but we’re not on social media to entertain our audience, we’re here to sell our services.” While that is very true, if you’re overly promotional, you’ll do the opposite of selling and will have a hard time building an audience and following.

To build a following, you have to get people interested in your firm and connect with them on a more personal level. People like to support businesses that have similar values and interests as them. By sharing more useful content, you can show more of your firm’s values. This will leave your firm better off in the long run than if you overdo it with the promotional content.


Instead of salesy, promotional content, share more of what your firm and its people are up to. Show the faces behind your firm, news stories that are relevant to your audience, your firm’s blog posts, philanthropic causes your firm supports (your values!), events employees are attending, memes, tips, etc. That’s the content your audience will connect and engage with.

If you’re lacking internal content, turn to industry leaders such as Accounting Today, INSIDE Public Accounting, CPA Journal, Forbes or others for articles that your audience will find interesting and useful. Tons of new content is published daily, so it shouldn’t take long to find great content to fill up that 80%.


More than likely, your firm and its staff are interesting and can provide you with content that’s non-promotional, as long as you know where to look. Talk to staff and find out what they’re doing that’s relevant to your firm and your audience. For example, if someone’s attending a conference, that’s an opportunity for a non-promotional piece. I’m sure plenty of industry events are attended throughout the year by staff, promotions are awarded, philanthropy or days of service are had, employee appreciation is given, great reviews are left by clients, blogs and videos are created, etc. This is all great content to create the 80% of your social posts based on.

Be Intentional

You’re already well aware that accountants typically have a busy season. But if you’re not an accountant yourself, it’s easy to forget about seasonality when you’re in the groove of creating and scheduling posts. During busy season, it’s not the best idea to post promotional content aimed at generating new clients if your firm’s already at capacity.

This may be a better time to remind current clients about deadlines to submit documents or share information about your firm’s year-round advisory services (so that they’re not surprised by their tax bill again when next year’s tax season rolls around). You can even cut back on the number of promotional posts during busy season, potentially switching to 90/10 or 95/5. Just be sure to never go above the 20% maximum.

By following the 80/20 rule on social media, you will be able to differentiate your firm from others by displaying your firms’ values, interests and staff members for your audience to connect with on a deeper level. Remember, people don’t like to be sold to. Keep this in mind when crafting your next social media post.