CPA Practice Advisor

JUL 2012

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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GOLDEN RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA How to Weave Social Media Into Your Firm's Marketing W Michelle Golden Michelle is a growth and profi tability strategist. With her deep knowledge of fi rm operations and sharp observation skills to quickly grasp a fi rm's nuances, she guides practitioners toward improved profi tability and stronger, healthier cultures. She focuses on strategic consulting and facilitation around long- and short-term planning, positioning and pricing, messaging, and communications (both online and off). hether you already use social media or haven't started yet, the odds are that you're doing some things offl ine or by email that can be leveraged into social-media activities. Integrating your offl ine marketing activities with your online ones helps you get the most out of both types. Start with an inventory of all your current offl ine activities, plus basic email communications. What are you doing now? List what you do and for whom you do it (by audience or group type), answering each of the follow-on questions: • Email alerts and newslet ers: What communications do you send? How oſt en? Who sees them? • Print newslet ers: How do you dis- tribute? How oſt en? To whom? • Print articles: Do you guest author? For which publications and audiences? • Case studies: How do you use them? Who else should see them? • Surveys: Do you conduct industry surveys? What information do you collect? Who else would benefi t from the fi ndings? • Memberships: Are you involved in trade, peer, community, or charitable organizations? Who else belongs? Do they have online forums? • Sponsoring activities: Who are sponsorships visible to? What else will they care about? • At ending events or seminars: What events do you attend? Who else at ends? • Speaking: Do you do outside speaking? To whom? Does your company host events? • Media appearances: Are you a resource or quoted expert for TV, radio, print, or online media? Experience shows that bridging these activities together creates greater results. And now, bridging them with your social-media channels gets you incred- ible visibility, demonstrating your credibility to a much broader audience. Here are a couple of examples: ➽ PRESENTATIONS When you agree to give a presentation for clients or a trade association, don't let your hard work go to waste by just showing up and talking. Instead, build interest in advance: • Turn your speech into an article, too. • Load the article on your website, cross-referencing the upcoming event and linking to the registration page. • Post about the article and event on your blog (or if the article is shorter than 1,500 words, post it directly to your blog instead of your website). • Distribute the article and event-reg- istration info to relevant email groups. • Post status updates (with links to your article) on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. • Create "events" in LinkedIn or on your company's Facebook page and invite your connections to the events. When they RSVP, the event will be automatically promoted to all their contacts, too. DURING: • Video- or audio-record the session. • Have a good photographer capture speakers and at endees during the session and while networking. • Have someone sit in to write a media-style recap of the event that includes interviewing at endees about their most valuable takeaways. KEEP THINGS ROLLING AFTER YOUR PRESENTATION: • Upload your slide deck and handouts onto SlideShare (attract new sub- scribers through the keywords that are automatically indexed from your presentation). • Upload videos to YouTube, audio to iTunes, and photos to Flickr. • Embed onto your blog or website the SlideShare and YouTube or podcast of the presentation along with photos and the writ en recap. • Distribute your summary post to all at endees, as well as to people who were invited but couldn't make it. • Tweet and post to LinkedIn and Facebook about the summary post. • Include the SlideShare link, recordings, and session-recap posting in a broadcast email to relevant recipients. ➽ ATTENDING EVENTS You can even leverage just being an at endee at a seminar. IN ADVANCE: • Ask for the event's Twit er hashtags (such as #AICPA or #pstech) and tweet that you're going. • Follow discussions (search for the hashtag) to find out about any "tweet-ups" (in-person gathering of Twit er users) to meet others. • Check Facebook and LinkedIn event pages, then Like, Join or RSVP the events or related groups to begin relationships. • Friend and follow others who use the event hashtag. ONSITE: • Live-tweet helpful points from sessions using the hashtag in each tweet — retweet (RT) others' best session tweets. • Mention people you meet or learn from using their @name. • Video record (using your smartphone on a small tripod) some brief two-to- three-minute interviews of speakers or "experts" (in a quiet corner) to later post on YouTube and distribute on your blog, Twit er, Facebook, or by email. • Take photos of yourself with others, especially clients and industry leaders, and share on Twit er and Facebook. Similarly, your organizational and community involvement and sharing of useful information all provide occasion to meet worthwhile people, promote others, and be of service to people who will benefi t from knowing you. Integrated marketing is your key to doing fewer things better. Find the untapped opportunities for greater effectiveness in what you're already doing. And don't underestimate the power of the social web to further your reputation as a skilled, credible profes- sional. July 2012 • 27

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