Note: This year’s CCH Connections: User Conference 2016 features 75 sessions in 7 different tracks. With so much great content, it can be hard to choose which sessions you want to attend. That’s why we’ve invited several presenters to preview some of their ideas in a series of guest posts. This post is by international sales speaker and author David J. P. Fisher. His session, “Your Professional Online Presence: Amplifying and Activating Your Brand on Social Media” is available in the Emerging Leaders track.
LinkedIn has quickly become a place for professionals to gather and engage with each other online. You can share information and keep in touch with status updates, group discussions, and introductions. It’s not just for finding a job anymore. For example, the LinkedIn Profile isn’t just a resume, it’s a personal professional website that is available 24/7.
Being up-to-date online is no longer a “nice-to-have”. It’s a career necessity.
If you are new to using LinkedIn and other social media platforms in a professional context, it can seem overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start.
It’s useful to create a foundation that all of your social media activity can rest on. By asking (and answering) the following questions, you will create a starting point that gets you moving in the right direction. You will be able to connect with your network and leverage those relationships.
Take a few minutes to explore these areas proactively, and your social media adoption will be much smoother.
1. What regulations and compliance issues should I keep in mind?
The guidelines that pertain to marketing and communication in the off-line world still apply in an online context. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid using these tools, just ensure that you know the rules. Because each state has its own licensing bodies, this can vary. Do a quick Google search or contact your firm’s marketing department to find the most current regulations.
2. What is my firm’s social media policy?
It’s also important to stay within the guidelines set by your firm. Many organizations will have rules that they would like you to follow. If your company doesn’t have a social media policy, this is a good time to suggest that one gets created. Social media isn’t going away and it’s an important that a policy is in place to help everyone use it effectively.
3. What are the important parts of my firm’s brand?
When you’re looking to communicate through LinkedIn, whether it’s passively through your profile or actively through status updates, you have to know what you’re trying to say. Understand the selling points that differentiate you from the competitors in your space. You want to stay in alignment with the overall message that your firm is sharing with its clients, partners, and vendors.
4. What is my personal brand?
Beyond your firm’s message, you want to use your LinkedIn activity to share your individual brand. When people connect with you on LinkedIn, they are engaging with you as an individual, not your company. Share the value you bring as a professional. Be clear about the experiences, skills, and training that separate you from the rest.
5. Who is my most important audience on LinkedIn?
There will be many people reading your LinkedIn Profile, but if it isn’t focused, your message will be muddy and unclear. Decide upon the most important visitors (clients, prospective clients in a certain industry, referral partners) so that you know how to write your profile. The more focus, the more easily your ideal audience will find you and the more directly you can speak to them.
Used correctly, LinkedIn can be used to strengthen relationships with existing clients, find prospective clients, and share information with your partners. Spending a few moments creating a strategic framework will make the process of engaging easier, more efficient, and more effective.
CCH Connections 2016 will features seven different tracks, with more than 75 sessions that have been developed exclusively for CPAs to help take you and your firm to the next level. Register Today!