Why Social Media Makes Sense For Your Professional Practice or Business The big four social media tools for business are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Blogging can probably be added to this list and it is also a good way to connect with clients and prospects that sign up via your website. And blogging content can be re-purposed into valuable social media posts. Typically your clients will have a social media preference or two, but the big four will cover most everyone. Why get your firm involved? ● You can build brand awareness fairly inexpensively - everyone you connect to extends to everyone they know and everyone they know and so on. The more people that see your posts, the more likely you will be on their mind when they eventually need your services. ● You build trust and loyalty with clients and prospects by educating them on key issues. ● Social media posts helps drive website traffic and blog traffic. ● Search engines rank social media posts very high (fresh content). ● Keep in mind there is a good chance your client's businesses are socially connected and as business advisors to your clients you need to be in the game. You need to walk the walk before you can talk the talk. Do your clients come to you for technology or social media advice? Why not! The good news is that other than optional paid ads, these social media tools are free and work for you 24-7. Well not exactly. You need to be active on a regular basis to reap any rewards with social networking. That means connecting with new people and posting (sharing) relevant info on a regular basis (daily). Social media is about education and building relationships - do that right and the sales will follow. Once up to speed, active social media participation only takes a few minutes a day - the time to sip a cup of coffee. But yes, it can be addicting! As you know, all of these social media companies went public recently and their business valuations are through the roof. You are at the ground floor and big things are yet to come - if you get engaged! To me, the first 2 must have social media tools for your practice are LinkedIn and Google+. LinkedIn is by far the largest social media outlet for business. LinkedIn doesn't have the celebritiy-ism of Twitter but it is the most useful for businesses. LinkedIn member profiles rank high in web searches. If you search your firm or your name in Google,
usually LinkedIn is on page one. Prospects will most likely research your firm via your website and/or LinkedIn before contacting you. And if they do not like what they see the referral can be useless. LinkedIn tip: invite everyone you know to connect with you (clients, vendors, prospects, friends, family). And again, you will be connected to everyone they know as well. Post valuable information that will be of interest to your followers. LinkedIn posts can be up to 688 characters. In the next blog I will discuss tips for a great profile in LinkedIn. If you haven't done so, connect with me on LinkedIn. Google+ is a close second for all business owners and is greatly ignored. Google+ was originally designed to be a Facebook competitor. But Google made a smart strategic shift and is using Google+ to replace Google Places (business listings). When you do a Google search and the map with pin cushions opens (Google Maps) pointing to local search results, you are now directed to the Google+ page for that business. Two important Google+ tips: first you CLAIM ownership (free) of the business listing by verifying your business usually by post card. Secondly, you must post regularly to Google+. Do neither and your Google search ranking plummets. Yes it can be the same post sent to LinkedIn. Regular posting is the key. You can build circles (groups of followers) similar to Friends on Facebook. And visitors to your Google+ page can add reviews about your firm (let your clients tout your success). If interested, you can preview or follow me on Google+. Twitter is the 800 pound gorilla in this game. Celebrities get all the Twitter hype but it's good for every business. Similar to LinkedIn and Google+, the key is to post relevant content on a regular basis. The real good news is that you can connect with hundreds of Twitter users in your area to develop relationships. You can then share your expertise or re-tweet about tax, accounting, or business news found on Twitter by following thought leaders or industry magazines. Twitter Tip: when tweeting, balance fresh content from you, retweets from others, and personal interest stories (attending community events or milestones). Using #hastags and geosearches (local searches), you can find tweeps in your area talking about #tax or #IRS or business issues - connect with them and in turn they will most likely connect with you. Twitter posts are limited to 140 characters. You can follow me on Twitter here. When I talk about Facebook, I am not referring to your personal Facebook page but a business Facebook page. Keep them separate for sure!! To get started, you create a new page from your personal Facebook account. Then you can add basic info about your practice, map for directions, owner and staff bios, services and again - fresh posts from you (tax, accounting, or business). It is snapshot of your website with more regular
updates. Invite everyone you know to Like your page so they get your posts. Facebook posts are limited to 2000 characters. Preview and Like my Facebook page here. -------------------Referrals are great way to build your practice but your network is very limited. Even with direct referrals today, prospects will most likely "Google" you first and check out your website and their favorite social media outlets before they contact you. If they are not impressed - the referral can be useless. All of these social media tools are accessible from tablets and mobile devices so it only takes seconds to get the skinny about your practice. You will need a social media policy to advise any staff members engaged with social media as to what can or should not be posted on your corporate accounts. Posts can be scheduled and reviewed before going live. If you have not gotten started with social media this may be a lot to take in. Get help and don't reinvent the wheel. There are tools to help you manage multiple social media accounts with ease. I also recommend that you add your social medial links to your website (great backlinks for SEO). You can even add your posts via widgets to your website too (for fresh content). Lastly, tax season is the time to you meet with all of your business and personal clients. Invite them to connect with you on their favorite social media product. Once you are in the game you will realize the value and the popularity of social media. If you are not moving forward with social media - you are losing ground. It is probably the best network marketing medium to hit businesses - EVER! If you need help getting started give me a call to fast track your success. Best wishes for your greatest year ever. Bob
Branding your firm on the net is critical to business success today. You only get one chance at a first impression - chances are that impres...