I recently ran into the company website for PrimePay, a firm specializing in payroll, tax, HR, insurance and benefit services. I must say, you don’t come across many professional service firm websites that are doing so many things right. Fresh content, social media engagement and lead-generating calls to action are just a few elements that drew my attention.

But rolling out a successful social media program for a payroll company — or any services firm — is not easy. So how do they do it? I called up Nancy Mullin, Manager of Marketing and Interactive Services at PrimePay, and asked. Here are 10 tips she offered:

  1. Take Your Website from IT, Give It to Marketing – With today’s easy-to-use content management technology, you shouldn’t need a developer to update your website. PrimePay gave the car keys to the marketing team and let them use the website as a living, breathing communication tool. It just makes more sense to put Marketing in charge of updating a firm's website content than IT.
  2. Zero In on High Impact Activities – Nancy and her team cannot possibly cover every aspect of online marketing. Instead, they focus on the things that will make a difference. For example, creating keyword rich blog posts are having a huge impact on PrimePay’s business, so it makes sense that they continue to invest in their blog.
  3. Determine Your Conversion Actions – PrimePay tracks specific goals on its site. For instance, they want visitors to fill out their contact form (their primary call to action) and download credibility-building documents, such as their Employee Handbook (a secondary call to action). Having trackable goals is an important step to building a lead generating website.
  4. Eliminate Friction – PrimePay’s old website had one major problem: it did not make it easy for people to contact the company. The new site, however, makes it incredibly easy to contact the firm or take a conversion action. Simplified web forms and clear calls to action have led to an influx of leads.
  5. Meet Your New Best Friend: The CRM – The team benefits greatly from using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool called HubSpot. This type of software allows you easily to create new web forms and offers, track leads by source and segment your list of prospects for easy email marketing. This tool has dramatically increased PrimePay's efficiency.
  6. Pluck Low Hanging Fruit – When it comes to ranking in search engines, PrimePay’s strategy is to find keyword opportunities that haven’t yet been saturated. Rather than target high volume, highly competitive phrases, they target many more-attainable keyword phrases. The traffic they receive from these highly targeted “long-tail” keywords add up.
  7. Declare Yourself the Authority, Then Back It Up – In the world of professional services, trust is everything. PrimePay not only declared themselves a thought leader, but they supported the claim by stepping up their effort to publish educational content for business owners, payroll professionals, accountants and brokers. This long-term strategy has led to a brand that prospects can trust.
  8. Blog on Topics that Lead to Leads – When producing educational content, PrimePay always has a specific target demographic in mind. They write posts that speak the language of their target readers and attract qualified leads. Examples of popular posts are “10 Illegal Job Interview Questions” and “Employment Status: Volunteer or Employee.” These posts are intendede to be discovered by HR professionals who — either now or in the future — may need assistance.
  9. Give and Thou Shall Receive – Nancy spends a portion of her day using Google Reader, a tool that allows her to skim through online publications quickly. She browses sites such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Inc. and shares interesting stories on her social media networks. This activity positions PrimePay as a trusted industry resource.
  10. Stick. It. Out. – “It’s tough in the beginning,” explained Nancy. “You’re writing all of these posts, you don’t have many subscribers and you start to think… is this worth it? We stuck it out, however, and it paid off.” You can’t climb this mountain over night. PrimePay made it through the hard times and now they are reaping the rewards of perseverence.

If you take away only one point from this story, it should be this: online success is within reach. Whether your focus is social media for payroll, HR, or any other professional service industry, you don’t need an army to prosper… just a smart marketing team with a good strategy.