Using Social Media


Published on

This presentation was done at the 2011 National Tax Conference to help CPAs learn how to get started using social media and incorporating it into their practices. It was intended for an audience that had little to no experience using social media or were using one platform but hadn't considered others.
We hear the term “social media” more and more these days, but many CPAs (in public practice or business and industry) don’t always understand what it means, why to use it or how to get started. Should you tweet? How much work is a blog? Should you/your firm/your business be on Facebook? Isn’t a website good enough?
Often the focus is on using social media to find clients but that is just the tip of the iceberg. While attracting and retaining clients are important considerations, there are many other reasons to get in the game, such as branding, search engine optimization, reach, accessibility and finding/retaining staff. This session will explore these questions and dive a little deeper into:
• Why should CPA firms include social media in their business plans?
• How do you get started?
• Where do you go for more information?

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Using Social Media

  1. 1. Using Social MediaPresented byJina Etienne, CPADirector, Taxation November 7, 2011
  2. 2. Jina Etienne, CPADirector - Taxation Joined AICPA January 31, 2011 In private practice over 17 years • Managing Member of CPA firm in Silver Spring, MD • Firm specialized in tax services for small businesses & individuals Started career in 1988 in tax department of Touche Ross Served two years on PCPS EC Professional speaker, 16 years American Institute of CPAs
  3. 3. What am I going to talk about? Should you tweet? How much work is a blog? Should you/your firm/your business be on Facebook? Isn’t a website good enough?Often the focus on using social media is to find clientsbut that is just the tip of the iceberg. While attractingand retaining clients are importantconsiderations, there are other reasons to get in thegame. American Institute of CPAs
  4. 4. What am I going to talk about?We will explore these questions and dive deeper intothe why, how and where: Why should firms include social media in their business plans? How do you get started? Where do you go for more information? American Institute of CPAs
  5. 5. First…a question:How many of you arealready using Social Mediain your firm or practice? American Institute of CPAs
  6. 6. How many of you have…A business card?A firm brochure?A website?A cell phone?…and actually give the number out to clients?A tablet? American Institute of CPAs
  7. 7. Who is already on…Facebook?LinkedIn?Twitter?Other sites? If you haven‟t started, what is holding you back? American Institute of CPAs
  8. 8. What did I do when I was in practice… Maintained 2 websites • Main site for firm • Payroll processing website Maintained several profiles • QuickBooks Pro Advisor • LinkedIn Profile • Facebook - personal profile - company page Two monthly newsletters (via Constant Contact) • General articles • QuickBooks tips & tricks American Institute of CPAs
  9. 9. What did I do when I was in practice… Forums • Twitter • Blog (called “Etienne Chatter”) Public Speaking • Local organizations • Chamber “regular” • Professional Speaker for other CPAs/professionals Local listings • Goggle Places • Yelp Networking Organizations American Institute of CPAs
  10. 10. Why?…use social media Watch this…
  11. 11. My favorite quote:American Institute of CPAs
  12. 12. True or false?You do business with people you knowand trust! American Institute of CPAs
  13. 13. It isn’t necessarily about YOUWhy? Listen to other people’s conversations Stay engaged in the space around you You need to keep up with technologyWho? Clients Colleagues Referral sources (bankers, attorneys, Chamber, etc.) Potential employees American Institute of CPAs
  14. 14. Many different conversations Be part of the conversation between… Clients and staff Competitors and prospects Colleagues and referral sources Experts and advisorsStay on top of … Industry news Client service trends Technical developments (i.e., tax law changes) American Institute of CPAs
  15. 15. Relationships require connectionPersonal: Business: Friends Friends Family Family Community Community Churches Churches Schools SchoolsThe internet has increased transparency in howwe work and what we do.Is this a good thing or a bad thing? American Institute of CPAs
  16. 16. Reasons to StartIt is about more than just finding & retaining clients. Branding Search engine optimization Reach and accessibility Recruiting staff American Institute of CPAs
  17. 17. Re-think Business vs. Personal Can you effectively separate your “business identity” from your “personal identity”? Should you even try? Is it about work/life balance? Integration American Institute of CPAs
  18. 18. Why I chose to get started Connection • I wanted to know more about my clients • I wanted my clients to feel more connected to me Stay top of mind • Stay relevant • Keep up with what they were interested in Drive traffic to my website Demonstrate thought leadership • Original articles on newsletter and website • Posts that link taxes to everyday events or activities American Institute of CPAs
  19. 19. What are your objectives?Examples of common goals: ƒ ƒ Develop and strengthen relationships with key audiences, such as clients Showcase thought leadership on relevant topics ƒ ƒ Provide pertinent news Increase traffic to your website American Institute of CPAs
  20. 20. How…do you get started?
  21. 21. Pick a place to get started Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Blogs American Institute of CPAs
  22. 22. Which social network is best? It depends! Not a one-stop shop “Right” is different for every personConsider: What is your motivation to get started? What do you want to get out of it? How much time do you want to spend on it? Will anyone else be involved? Don’t start without a plan! American Institute of CPAs
  23. 23. Facebook is a social networking website intended to connectfriends, family, and business associates.. --Source:
  24. 24. The Value of Facebook American Institute of CPAs
  25. 25. FacebookPros Cons Could replace the Users aren’t there to traditional website buy anything Free Once a friend, always a Great place to provide friend information Can be addictive for Some efficiency in some (must be doing personal & managed) professional networking Facebook functionality in the same place constantly changes More users than any Visitors expect regularly other tool updated content American Institute of CPAs
  26. 26. LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Founded inDecember 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used forprofessional networking. --Source: Wikipedia
  27. 27. American Institute of CPAs
  28. 28. LinkedInPros Cons Many applications to A barren, inactive supplement profile profile won’t get you far Groups to join No real reporting Easy to reach out via features messaging No “community” Recommendations functionality 1-on-1 connection Cannot “see” the Can be a strong internal organization of reputation builder a connection American Institute of CPAs
  29. 29. Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging servicethat enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to140 characters, informally known as "tweets". -Source: Wikipedia
  30. 30. TwitterPros Cons Easy to navigate & Limited functionality update 140 characters mean One post hits all limited messaging Can connect it to Lots of spam and LinkedIn & Facebook scammers Great tool for outbound messaging American Institute of CPAs
  31. 31. Blog…"Blog" (an abbreviated version of "weblog“) is a term used todescribe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle ofinformation. --Source:
  32. 32. What exactly is a blog?Blogs are distinctly structured websites that containshort, conversational-style articles called “posts.”Each post is housed on a separate URL that is dateand time stamped and can be commented on byreaders. American Institute of CPAs
  33. 33. BloggingPros Cons More casual Best if on your site but communication not required Allows you to be seen May not like the as an “expert” comments Can drive traffic to your Boring blogs are website ignored Content can be more in- Requires more effort to depth maintain Flexible schedule American Institute of CPAs
  34. 34. What did I do?…The social media plan for my firm
  35. 35. How did I get started? Started with LinkedIn • Joined in response to an invitation • Opened account 9/15/2008 American Institute of CPAs
  36. 36. My LinkedIn profileAmerican Institute of CPAs
  37. 37. How did I get started? Started with LinkedIn • Joined in response to an invitation • Opened account 9/15/2008 Next, I joined Facebook • Opened personal account • Started a business page American Institute of CPAs
  38. 38. American Institute of CPAs
  39. 39. I had a Business Page on Facebook A Facebook page allows you to brand the company Only the “official representative” can create a page for a business entity • Can designate others as page administrators American Institute of CPAs
  40. 40. Managing Business vs. Personal Posts Posts from business page show up on your personal page Just “hide” posts you don’t want to see (including your own) American Institute of CPAs
  41. 41. How did I get started? Started with LinkedIn • Joined in response to an invitation • Opened account 9/15/2008 Next, I joined Facebook • Opened personal account • Started a business page I started blogging in February, 2010 • Used it to tell “stories” that didn‟t fit anywhere else • Sometimes it served as a space for my personal “commentary” American Institute of CPAs
  42. 42. I Used … Now part of Google Free Must have Google account American Institute of CPAs
  43. 43. How did I get started? Started with LinkedIn • Joined in response to an invitation • Opened account 9/15/2008 Next, I joined Facebook • Opened personal account • Started a business page I started blogging in February, 2010 • Used it to tell “stories” that didn‟t fit anywhere else • Sometimes it served as a space for my personal “commentary” I started tweeting last year American Institute of CPAs
  44. 44. My Social Media Plan Accounts were “integrated” • Tweets went to LinkedIn • LinkedIn went to Facebook • Used Apps to track activity Included links in email footer Mixed business & personal subjects My Schedule • Comment on client Facebook posts • Participate in LinkedIn Group Discussions • Make an unsolicited recommendation on LinkedIn once a week • Tweet in AM & PM American Institute of CPAs
  45. 45. I used an aggregator You can: View all accounts from one place See all activity Schedule posts in advance Review your plans • Change your mind • Reschedule messages American Institute of CPAs
  46. 46. Other Social Media Dashboards Threadsy Tweetdeck Spredfast MediaFunnel Seesmic Brizzly American Institute of CPAs
  47. 47. Everything in One Place Makes it Easier American Institute of CPAs
  48. 48. Did most of my posting in advance… American Institute of CPAs
  49. 49. All scheduled posts in one place Can edit anytime Can delete if you change your mind You can see which networks are scheduled American Institute of CPAs
  50. 50. Do it anywhere and everywhere Set up your mobile apps Monitor profiles using smart phone Can access same profile from different devices While away from the office or on the road • Take notes on app if you prefer to post from computer • Consider dictation or voice recorder app so you can to verbal notes when on the road American Institute of CPAs
  51. 51. Finding inspiration for posting What are your clients asking you about? Keep a “brain dump” document to store random ideas for follow-up later Read the news • Books • Trade publications • Twitter Subscribe to other blogs Subscribe to RSS feeds and scan the headlines Monitor discussions on list serves or professional groups and forums American Institute of CPAs
  52. 52. Keys to Success Have a plan Check Privacy Settings Have a plan Follow proper etiquette • Different for each site Have a plan Involve the entire firm Have a plan Connect with others on different profiles American Institute of CPAs
  53. 53. A Word About Privacy Settings Review settings on all accounts Check LinkedIn settings for using your information in their advertising American Institute of CPAs
  54. 54. American Institute of CPAs
  55. 55. Facebook Privacy Settings Check settings when you create account Facebook privacy policy is constantly changing, so check back periodically Remember, social media should • let people “in” enough to learn more about who you really are • forge deeper relationships If you lock everything down, this won’t happen. American Institute of CPAs
  56. 56. A Word About Privacy Settings American Institute of CPAs
  57. 57. Speaking of Facebook... AICPAOther Pages: Beta Alpha Psi Young CPA Network Start Here, Go Places American Institute of CPAs
  58. 58. Maximize the Value of LinkedIn Add connections • Clients, competitors and referral sources • Follow-up after networking events Participate in groups • Ask questions and provide answers • Share tips, tools and techniques Make recommendations • Don‟t wait until someone asks • Don‟t be afraid to ask Conduct research • Who is connected to who? • Gather intelligence on prospective hires and clients American Institute of CPAs
  59. 59. Complete your profile Profile Is NOT your resume - go deeper Use present tense Add CPA designation Write a summary Avoid acronyms Please use a photo that is current Check for typos American Institute of CPAs
  60. 60. Add Connections Search one by one (time consuming) Mine your contacts Enter email addresses Search by positions, past & present American Institute of CPAs
  61. 61. Groups Join groups you are likely to participate in Consider groups that include • Client prospects • Referral sources • Specialty areas where you have expertise Demonstrate thought leadership • Share articles & news • Participate in discussions • Post tips & tricks American Institute of CPAs
  62. 62. AICPA Groups to Consider AICPA Tax Section The American Institute of CPAs CPA & Business Professional AICPA Women in the Profession Young CPA NetworkSearch Groups for “AICPA”: American Institute of CPAs
  63. 63. Recommendations Very powerful! Carry more weight that testimonials Give recommendations (builds good will) Don’t be afraid to ask but discuss before you use the “Ask for…” feature American Institute of CPAs
  64. 64. Introductions Review your connections Are there new contacts you’d like to make? Pick up the phone and ask for an introduction (online feature without context is impersonal) • After a call, it is Ok to follow-up using LinkedIn tool If someone asks for an introduction, call them back for more information • Introductions are like referrals (reflect on you, too) • Find out the „why‟ behind the ask before you follow-through • Another opportunity to deepen a relationship American Institute of CPAs
  65. 65. Other Etiquette & Annoyance Issues Be respectful & professional, never aggressive High frequency updaters will be especially noticeable with fewer friends OK to hide posts on your newsfeed American Institute of CPAs
  66. 66. Managing Friends on Facebook Easiest to categorize friends from the beginning Use whatever list names make sense to you American Institute of CPAs
  67. 67. Friending, Unfriending, Likes, etc. Facebook will prompt you to import contacts from Outlook Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t accept invite (they may only want to interact with friends and family) OK to ignore a friend suggestion Don’t unfriend lightly • If they are annoying, consider “hiding” them instead Facebook will continually suggest friends Pages you will show up in your news feed • OK to hide activity you don‟t want to see American Institute of CPAs
  68. 68. Social Media is a Team Sport Everyone in the firm was involved • LinkedIn – we were each other‟s connections • Facebook – we were friends (staff and their family, too) • Twitter – everyone followed the firm Do more than just post, engage in the conversation Use it to prepare for • Client meetings • Networking events • Prospective clients • Recruiting American Institute of CPAs
  69. 69. How important is online “chatter”? American Institute of CPAs
  70. 70. Why Consider Tweeting? Consumer behaviors on Twitter are promising* • If they follow you, they are more likely to buy from you • It is the preferred platform for learning about product updates Implications for sharing tax law updates? Twitter can be a great source for news • Follow the AICPA on Twitter*Source: American Institute of CPAs
  71. 71. Why Consider Blogging? Blogs can: Be a great source for news • For you / your firm • For your clients Enhance search engine rankings More than 1/2 ofinternet users read a blog once a month Check out Insights, the new AICPA blog American Institute of CPAs
  72. 72. AICPA Resources…for more information
  73. 73. Got to Career on American Institute of CPAs
  74. 74. Next, click on Marketing Toolkit American Institute of CPAs
  75. 75. Click on Social Media Marketing NOTE: This is a member-only resource. You will be prompted for your userid and password. American Institute of CPAs
  76. 76. Social Media User GuidesSee ComparisonChart on Page 8 American Institute of CPAs
  77. 77. Compares Usefulness and Concerns American Institute of CPAs
  78. 78. Facebook, LinkedIn American Institute of CPAs
  79. 79. Twitter, Blogging American Institute of CPAs
  80. 80. Live Q&A at this conference Learn the basics & share ideas in one of our short, interactive training sessions Answer Center is located in the exhibition hallStacie Saunders Look for the AICPA’s StacieAICPA Social Saunders during breaks inMedia Strategist the exhibit hall American Institute of CPAs
  81. 81. Curious AboutSocial Media?Learn the basics & share ideas in one of our short, interactive training sessions:Twitter 101Leveraging LinkedInFacebook for BusinessGoing Mobile Look for the AICPA’s Stacie Saunders during breaks in the exhibit hall.
  82. 82. Session ScheduleAnswer Center is located in the exhibition hallMonday 7:00a – 8:00a Social Media: Q&A 9:10a – 9:50a Twitter 101 2:15p – 2:45p Leveraging LinkedIn 6:10p – 7:30p Social Media: Q&ATuesday 7:00a – 8:00a Social Media: Q&A 10:10a – 10:40a Facebook for Business 1:30 – 2:00p Social Media: QR Codes American Institute of CPAs
  83. 83. ThankJina Etienne, CPADirector - Taxation you!1455 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, 10th FloorWashington, DC 20004 Direct: 202.434.9227 Fax: 202.638.4512