51 posts categorized "CPA Marketing" Feed

The New Realities of Referral Marketing for CPAs

CPAs and other financial services firms largely rely on referrals to grow their client base and stay in business. This business model has worked for a countless number of years. However, the way clients make decisions has changed, which affects your rate of referral. Under the new model, a referral is only the first step. Used the right way, technologies like websites, email and social media can energize your current client base to make referrals and increase the conversion rate of referral prospects.

There is no longer one linear funnel for client referrals, but rather a series of influencing points that lead to channels where the prospect is most comfortable making contact. Today, a referred prospect is likely to make initial contact in a number of ways:

  • Through your website. They will visit your website to understand why your firm is different and whether your value proposition aligns with the prospect’s expectations.
  • Social media. A prospect will turn to social media to get a sense of your firm’s focus and culture. They may also turn to review websites that allow users to leave feedback, such as Yelp.
  • Email newsletter. Prospects might sign up for your e-newsletter to get a preview of what it is like to be your client.

Consumer-purchase-journey

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10 Ways to Personalize Your CPA Firm’s Marketing Efforts

Share a CokePersonalized marketing is at work all around us. We see it every day, from personalized key chains and other souvenirs sold at tourist destinations to featured recommendations on Amazon.com, companies are tailoring products to make them more targeted and personalized.

This summer Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” marketing campaign aimed at teens and Millennials. In an effort to personally connect with consumers, Coca-Cola replaced its iconic script logo with 250 of the most popular names of young people. Personalized labels could be found on 20 oz. bottles of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero all summer long. Coca-Cola also encouraged customers to share their experiences on social media and many Coke enthusiasts responded by posting pictures with soda bottles bearing their names. In fact, during the first half of the campaign consumers shared more than 125,000 posts via social media networks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Coca-Cola soda sales in the U.S. increased by more than two percent following the launch of the campaign.

Why was the Share a Coke campaign so successful? Studies show that people prefer receiving customized messages rather than generic ones. Individualized communication signals that the consumer is unique and important. Like Coca-Cola, CPAs can take steps to personalize their marketing efforts.

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5 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

FallOctober is here - the leaves are changing color, there’s a chill in the air and we’re drawing close to the end of another year. At your CPA firm, you’re likely getting ready for performance reviews, preparing for busy season and working on strategic planning for 2015 and beyond. As you put together your marketing plan, be sure to spend some time formulating a social media strategy. This will help determine how often you blog, what social channels you use and whether you invest in social media advertising – all of which will impact how you allocate resources for the coming year. Creating a social media strategy doesn’t have to be a long and arduous process. You can get started by asking these five questions:

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Top 5 Website Best Practices for More Leads

LaptopAccording to Google, 81 percent of searches for products and services now happen online. By the end of 2015, the majority of web searches will be via a mobile device. Your CPA firm’s website needs to be easily found in search results to ensure you are able to capitalize on this game-changing trend.

Refreshing your marketing to maintain its effectiveness despite the change in how potential clients find your services is not as difficult as you might think. The right approach is to focus on the areas that offer the biggest return and commit to an ongoing improvement program. Your core digital asset is your website. It will deliver the first impression to cold prospects and can reinforce referred prospects’ positive view of your firm. The goal in both cases is to give the visiting prospect a reason to take the next step and contact your firm—lead conversion.

Here are five steps you can take to increase the number of lead conversions from web visitors:

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7 Keys to a Successful Blog

TypingWe’re halfway through the year and while there are many areas you can focus on to further develop your CPA practice, now is a great time to think about how you’re marketing your firm. It’s natural to think that effective marketing requires a commitment of extensive resources, but that isn’t necessarily true. A corporate blog is a marketing vehicle that can be managed by your existing staff.

A blog offers many opportunities: it allows you to demonstrate the expertise of you and your staff; it lets you showcase your values as a firm and convey your firm’s personality so you can attract the “right” clients; it allows you to answer frequently- asked questions and introduce potential clients to your staff. Another big advantage of blogging is that it can help your firm rank higher in search engine results.

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A Tale of Two Cities: The Power of Hashtags

HashtagLast month, two big events happened in my professional world: DigitalNow, a conference for association professionals, in Nashville and AICPA governing Council’s spring 2014 meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.  I wanted to actively participate in both events, but how could I be in two places at the same time? Introducing…the hashtag.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is an online search term, most widely used on Twitter, which allows users to follow activity around certain topics. 

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Live Coverage: AICPA Practitioners Symposium #PSTECH

The 2014 AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference runs June 9 to 11 in Las Vegas and is the premier conference for CPAs. If you were unable to attend or just want to see what else is happening at the conference, you can explore the social media feeds below or follow the hashtag #PSTECH on Twitter. (Email subscribers can view the live stream on our website.)

 

Your Professional Image - What 10 Minutes on LinkedIn can Do

LinkedinI review LinkedIn profiles almost every day. By now, I have seen at least 2,000, and I just cringe when I see things that could or will hinder someone’s professional image.  I am not in a position to advise people individually, so this blog is the next best thing.

Keep in mind that LinkedIn goes beyond looking good for recruiters.  Even if you are not interested in a new job, your online image still needs attention. If anyone Googles you - a potential client or employer, your company’s VP, a former supervisor, a reporter or even a prospective date - your LinkedIn profile could easily be the first thing that shows up. You want your best foot forward all the time.

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AICPA 2014 Spring Governing Council #AICPAGC14

The AICPA governing Council’s spring 2014 meeting is taking place this week, May 18 to 20. Focused on the profession’s future, the governing Council will discuss topics such as future learning opportunities and continued audit quality. AICPA leaders from each of the 50 states and U.S. territories are attending the meeting. You can follow along with Council action with the hashtag #AICPAGC14 or view the stream below. (Email subscribers can view the stream on our website.)

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Protecting Your Good Name Online

Online-reputationIt is probably understood, but here it is anyway: You should not post photos of yourself doing questionable activities to social media. This is just common sense when it comes to managing your online reputation, right? Yet, you would be surprised how many people forget their professional etiquette when posting. Sure, it is fun to share your weekend escapades with all your friends, but do not ignore the business aspects of your online presence as well.

Thanks to the Internet, you most likely developed an online reputation without even knowing it. Now it’s up to you to protect your good name—or do a little damage control. As Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

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Social Media Fear? To Quote the Eagles: “Get Over It”

The Eagles band from California. From left to ...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw the Eagles play the PNC Arena in Raleigh a few weeks ago. You know… Hotel California. Desperado. Witchy Woman.

It was a rocking show from a band—and a brand—that has been going at it for more than 40 years. I’m a huge fan and I wanted all my friends to know I was there.

Which is why I was pretty disappointed to see signs at the security gate, banning phones, texting, photos and videos inside the arena. I thought it was a joke, but… no. The Eagles were dead serious and the arena staff was fully empowered to enforce the rules. Several times, I saw ushers scolding concertgoers, keeping them from posting selfies from this historic event.

Come on, guys! Take it easy!

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Second Screen Gold: #Sochi2014

Olympics-sochiSocial media has the power to connect people across the globe who are interested in a common topic. Over the past few weeks, millions of users flocked to social media to share insights about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

As with other high-profile televised events, using social media gave viewers the opportunity to create a very interesting ‘second screen’ experience during the Olympic Games.  According to Mashable, the term ‘second screen’ refers to “…the use of an additional monitor (e.g. tablet, smartphone) while watching television. It allows the audience to interact with what they’re consuming whether it’s a TV show, video game or movie.”

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Avoid These Holiday Social Media Scams

Scam-alertAccording to USA Today, the holiday season is a big time for online scams, and this year the focus will be on phones and social media. While most of us can spot spam in our email inbox, social networking scams are becoming more common and aren’t quite as easy to detect. Research shows one in 10 users have fallen for a social media scam. And to be honest with you, I am one of those who have been duped. It seemed so simple: share an image on Instagram, add a hashtag and BAM…free Ray Bans. Needless to say, I never received the sunglasses.  Luckily, I quickly came to my senses and changed my password.

It’s easy to get caught up in a bogus offer, but remember if it seems too easy to be true…it likely is!

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We Give Thanks for These Apps, Blogs and Social Media Tools

Mobile-appsIt’s the season of thankfulness. And adding to the list of family, health and happiness, I’d like to share some of the blogs, apps and social media channels that we really appreciate.  Friends and coworkers helped me compile a list of technology tips and tricks that make work and life a little easier.

Mobile Apps

Dan Nestle, senior communications manager at the AICPA, likes "Flipboard and Zite for news gathering."

Chris Ekimoff, CPA, CFE has two favorites: a travel app, TripIt, and, "of course, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without ESPN’s Fantasy Football app."

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How CPAs Can Leverage Social Media

Today I am live blogging from the 2013 Digital CPA Conference and the social media session, "How the Digital CPA Leverages Social Media," with Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, Executive Director & CEO, MACPA. Tom shares his experiences as one of the top social media leaders in the CPA profession since he started with his blog in 2006. He updates us with real stories of CPAs and adds the latest research on social media. He also highlights more resources to get you started, including e-learning, and on-site training available from the Business Learning Institute. (Email subscribers can see the live blog on our website.)

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Help! I Have a Bad Review on Yelp

This week I had the pleasure of discussing social media with CPAs at a CPAConnect meeting in Nashville, TN. At the end of our session, a gentleman approached me with a very interesting question: “What do you do when you get a negative review on Yelp?”

YelpYelp is a website with local search, social networking and discounted deal content. The site includes business listings, directory information, and user generated reviews. Yelp is increasingly popular for people seeking services, including CPAs. Not sure if anyone has reviewed you or your firm? Do a simple search on the site to find out.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Meet the Brains Behind @AICPANews

Hello_my_name_isAICPANewsTwitter has increasingly become the go-to place for industry news. Recently I sat down with James Schiavone, AICPA media relations manager and the brains behind the @AICPANews Twitter account, to discuss what he has learned from managing this thriving social media channel.

Q) The @AICPANews account was stated in March of 2009. More than 3,500 tweets and 17,000 followers later, what have you learned?

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SlideShare: An Introduction for CPAs

SlideShare is a slide deck hosting service that is gaining a lot of ground (and traffic) in the Web 2.0 space. Sometimes referred to as “the YouTube for slideshows,” SlideShare is a valuable source of information on just about everything.

Using SlideShare to find something.

If you are a visual person like I am, you may learn information much easier when it is presented in the format of simple slides with images than you would by reading an article or whitepaper. From XBRL to using social media for business, SlideShare has a vast array of content valuable to CPAs.

How do you find the content? Simply go to SlideShare and enter your search term.

Search for any topic on SlideShare

You can also follow users or presenters to see any content he or she uploads regardless of topic.

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Social Media: Time Sink or Productivity Booster?

During a recent live chat about social media on the AICPA Facebook page, we asked participants, “Do you think social media is a time sink?” 50 percent said, “No,” and the other 50 weren’t so sure.

Time Sink graph

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In the News: Tax Breaks on Home Sales

Home-saleJust yesterday, The National Association of Realtors announced that its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 6.7 percent to 112.3, the highest level since December 2006.

With many people considering placing their home on the market, a timely Wall Street Journal article examined the taxes and tax breaks available when selling a home. According to Melissa Labant, director of taxation at the AICPA, these rules can be complicated and people often misunderstand or don’t take full advantage of the benefits available.

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7 Tips to Help Others Find Your Videos on YouTube

Youtube_logoThere are tens of thousands of hours of video being uploaded into YouTube every day. Don’t let the hard work you put into producing a video for your firm or practice get lost in cyberspace.  Implement a few basic optimizations to make it easier for users to find your videos as they browse and search.

1. Use keywords in your filename
Rename your video’s filename to match the topic of the video. For instance, if your video is about small business accounting, rename your video file from “video.mp4” to “small-business-accounting.mp4.”

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Create and Manage a Thriving Social Media Presence

Meet the brains behind the Journal of Accountancy social media program

It’s been a milestone month for the Journal of Accountancy on social media! Not only did the Journal of Accountancy Twitter account (@AICPA_JofA) add its 20,000th follower and 8,000th tweet, their Facebook page reached 16,000 likes and social media has driven 110,000 visits to their website. Wow! That’s what I call ‘thriving.’

Today I feel like Toto in the Wizard of Oz; I’m pulling back the curtain to reveal the brains behind the Journal of Accountancy social media program. Only it’s not a man with a funny mustache running the show….

Meet Megan Pinkston, senior editor and social media extraordinaire. She’s sitting down with us to share her secrets to success.

Megan Pinkston

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An Introduction to Pinterest

Pinterest_badge_red
Pinterest, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways
.

Have you had a chance to try out Pinterest yet? You should! If you are a visual person, this image-driven platform may really hit home for you like it does for me.

 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a fast-growing niche social networking site that has generated a lot of buzz and media coverage. With over 15 million users, Pinterest is the fifth most visited social media site in the US, and generates more referral traffic to other websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

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What I Learned from 10,000 Tweets

TweetingEarlier this month CPA Letter Daily’s Twitter account (@CPALetter_Daily) reached the milestone of 10,000 tweets. And with more than 15,000 followers, we’re one of the most popular AICPA Twitter accounts. Despite these milestones, I don’t know the secrets of Twitter any more than you do, but there are a few things I learned along the way to 10,000 that may help you with your Twitter opportunities. Here are seven easy-to-follow tips:

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Social Media Time-Savers for Busy Season

Time-to-save-time

The work is piling up and you may be thinking, “There is NO time for this social media stuff, right?!” Wrong. There are a few simple ways to streamline the process and keep your social accounts active when busy season really gets ramped up.

Copycat: Let social do the work for you

Sure, it can take some time to scour the internet for useful information, articles and links to share with your social networks. How about letting your social networks do the heavy lifting for you? Follow and connect with your favorite thought leaders, associations and publications, and then share what they are sharing. This allows you to be a curator, passing along interesting and valuable information from the sources you trust. Check out these AICPA social properties and see if any of the content would be useful or interesting for your network.

 

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Use Social Media, Don’t Let It Use You

Social-mediaThe AICPA’s Forensic and Valuation Service Conference, held Nov. 11 through 13, involved several sessions that were taught the “un-conference way.” These sessions were unconventional in their approach and involved peer-to-peer interactive learning. One un-conference session I attended was Tom Hood’s “Getting an ROI from Social Media via ROA (Return on Attention).” Tom is the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs and is considered a top thought leader in accounting.

From the moment we entered the room, we were thrown headfirst into the world of social media, as Tom encouraged us to sign into the gosoapbox event. Tom kicked off the session with a survey of attendees’ social media habits. In our group, 11% did not use social media at all and 71% viewed social media as a time sink, a valid concern for professionals who already have very demanding schedules. 

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Twitter Delivers the Full Picture of a CPA Conference

Perhaps I sound like a broken record...

But believe me, if you attend conferences and aren't on Twitter, you are missing out. Case in point: the Digital CPA Conference last week. I got to the hotel in Washington D.C. (ahem...I mean Maryland. Right, Tom Hood?), logged in to my computer and discovered Twitter was already all aflutter with #DigitalCPA activity. If you know me, you know this made me very happy!

Follow a conference hashtag for the inside scoop.

By following and participating on a conference hashtag, you get to see the full picture of what's happening. People are sharing their favorite quotes, new ideas, what they are learning and my favorite... pictures.

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3 Ways to Improve Your CPA Firm’s Website

Website marketingCPAs excel at providing exceptional service once our clients are in the door – but actually getting them in the door is another story.

With the advent of social media and the ever-important search engine rankings, CPAs may find the world of marketing more challenging.

Your company website is your #1 marketing tool.

Think about it – when you need something, what do you do?

You Google it (or at least most people do).

If you click on a website in the search listings and you don’t like what you see or are confused – you bounce. You leave the site, which is what many of your potential customers are doing if your site isn’t up to par.

Let’s say that a potential client lands on your website.

What do they see? Do they know what to “do” once they land?

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CPAs: Broadcast Yourself with YouTube

Crying stickmanPicture this: It was April of 2012 and my baby boy was due to arrive any day. The nursery was ready. My bag was packed. There was only one thing left to take care of: the car seat. I had heard horror stories of how hard they are to install, so I had been procrastinating. Time was running out, so I opened the box and unfurled the instructions... I stared blankly at a piece of paper that had been folded one billion times, with directions printed in every language known to man. Since I am a well-grounded professional adult, I will not admit here to tears, but let’s just say I was overwhelmed. You see, I just wanted someone to show me how to do it. And those stick figure illustrations with confusing arrows just weren’t cutting it.

Enter YouTube.

With one simple search of the make and model of my car seat, I had dozens of friendly faces showing me exactly what to do. There, not so hard after all.

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Wrap Up of AICPA Fall 2012 Governing Council Meeting - Day 1

The first day of the fall meeting of the AICPA governing Council kicked off on Sunday. Follow the "read more" link for a look at the day through the eyes of social media. (If you're viewing this post through our email subscription, depending on your email client, you may need to click through to read the story.)

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How to Leverage Google Places for Your CPA Firm

Google placesLast time I talked about how to use local search to get your CPA firm better prominence in search engine result pages. I want to take a deeper dive into one of the more useful local search engine optimization tactics: Google Places.

Since Google is the leader in search engine usage (66.4% market share), its best to start your local SEO and marketing tactics with Google Places. Your listing in Google Places will not only provide a quick spot for your potential clients to find you online, but will directly affect your search engine result page ranking and how your firm’s listing appears. So let’s walk through the process to setup a Google Places page for your CPA firm.

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Optimizing Your CPA Firm for Local Search

More than 167 million people will shop online this year. Social commerce sales are expected to total $9.2 billion by the end of this year and could climb to $14.25 billion in 2013 and $30 billion in 2015. Consumers are not just shopping for the latest gadget; they’re buying everything from groceries to professional services, including those offered by your CPA firm.

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4 Social Media Etiquette Tips for CPAs

Social mediaIf you have had your business for any length of time, you know the importance of using the Internet for promotion. Even if you work for a financial firm, you may be called upon to participate in the online promotion of initiatives for the corporation. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These sites offer ways to widen your customer base, network with other professionals and communicate easily on forums that people already use on a wide scale anyway.

Many people have separate social media accounts for personal and professional use, and making the distinction between the two is key to establishing a professional online reputation. Understanding the rules that apply to personal and professional realms is vital to making the most of social media outlets in both respects.

Here are a few suggestions on etiquette when it comes to social media ventures.

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Beyond the EDGE: Twitter Enhances CPA Conference Experience

Last week, I attended the AICPA E.D.G.E. conference in Orlando, Fla., and was excited to see some conference attendees all-a-flutter over Twitter. In fact, several speakers and attendees were chatting and getting to know each other on Twitter before the conference even started.

When I arrived in the exhibit hall, the first person I met, one of the conference speakers, said, “Hey. I recognize you from Twitter. It’s so nice to meet you in person.”  Next, I met an exhibitor who said the same thing; he had immediately recognized me from my profile picture. Since I had already had interactions with both of them online, we had an immediate rapport when meeting offline. Strengthening online relationships by connecting in person is just one of many ways using Twitter can enhance a conference experience.

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4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Online Presence

Manage online presenceIt’s important for any CPA firm to have a strong presence online. According to Local Search Usage Study: Bridging the Caps, From Search to Sales, 70% of consumers go online first for local business information. Are potential clients finding your firm? Not only do you want to be easy to find in cyberspace, but you also want to present yourself as an expert and trusted financial advisor. A simple website is a start, but is not enough to give you an edge in today’s competitive environment. In order to find new clients, and keep the ones you already have, focus your efforts on ways to boost your online presence. I have found that even small efforts go a long way toward a more prolific online presence.

Here are four steps to raise your online credibility and widen your client base in the process.

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Going on Vacation? Your Social Media Activity Doesn’t Have To

The word like on the beachKeep your social media channels afloat; schedule content while you are away from the office.

You’ve set your out-of-office message, changed your voicemail greeting and, in your mind, you may already be on the beach listening to waves crash against the sand. Back to reality…there’s one more thing to take care of before you go!

Continuing your activity will help you stay engaged with those fans and followers while you are away.

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Some Garlic Sauce for Your LinkedIn

Vegetarian personLima beans, broccoli, and mushrooms are among Americans’ most hated foods according to a recent survey.  I’m right there with them.  But I have found that mushrooms and broccoli are not so bad when smothered in garlic sauce or maybe topped with crabmeat. 

What does any of this have to do with social media? Many people think of social media as something they know they should do, like eating broccoli or Brussels sprouts, but it’s still difficult to swallow.  Perhaps you started a profile and joined a couple of groups at some point but you haven’t been active in months. Or years.  

Just like eating vegetables is a must to stay healthy, an online presence is a must for a healthy career, especially if you are considering changing jobs or want to expand your professional or client base.  “If you’re not on it [LinkedIn], you’re not in the game,” says Mark Lee, a tax director and author of blogs and professional journal articles about social media.

So here is my version of garlic sauce to tempt those of you who are leery of getting involved or have dropped out. 

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Creating Social Capital for Not-for-Profit Support

Ask any non-for-profit development director and they will tell you there are two ways to fundraise: 

  • Ask 1000 people for $10
  • Ask 10 people for $1000

Which is the easier task? In terms of time and resources spent, certainly option B is the easier option. But in terms of broader reach and influence over a large audience, option A is a formidable contender because of something called social capital. Social capital is a concept that points to the power of networks to build a powerful entity, such as support for a cause, political candidate or even a corporate brand.

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CPAs: Changes to Facebook Pages on March 30

Many of you have seen the update to the new Facebook Timeline format on your personal profile. Now, Facebook is rolling out those changes to business pages, as well. The updates take effect on March 30, so the time to start planning is now! Here are some ways the new layout will impact your business’s Facebook Page.

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Why Social Media Participation Can Be Good for CPAs

Social mediaCPAs may justifiably be wary of sharing personal and professional information on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  After all, many CPAs spend their days verifying facts in the form of numbers – and adding “notes” in financial statements when there is any question of the veracity of those facts.  How then could these same CPAs be comfortable tweeting about the newest changes in the LIFO accounting procedures or writing a blog post on whether book authors should deduct their home office on their income tax returns?

Welcome to the brand new world of online relationship building, where being willing to “put yourself out there” on social media can help you connect with current and prospective clients.

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Use Video to Showcase Your Firm’s Personality

Lights. Camera. Snooze.

Video is a great medium for firms to educate and inform staff, clients and potential employees. But sometimes the content can be a little mundane. Why not take those formal interviews and how-to series to the next level?

Pull back the curtain and let people know what you are really like. 

Put a face to your firm. What are your employees passionate about? Is volunteerism important to you? Showcase your staff or fellow CPAs giving back to the community, like the Virginia Society of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society did in their CPA Day of Service videos.

 

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Blogging: How to Conquer Writer’s Block

Blogger writer's blockOr is it "blogger’s block?" Hmm…I digress.

Has this happened to you?
As I sat at my computer pondering a topic for my blog post, my mind was both blank and full at the same time. There are so many topics to choose from, how can I narrow it down to just one? That’s when it hit me like a bolt of lightning…how about a post about writer’s block? Funny how that works.

I hear it often from AICPA members…they know that blogging is a valuable resource, but they aren’t sure where to start. “What do I write about?” “How will I come up with enough content to write a blog consistently?” Here are a few ideas to help you keep the ideas flowing:

Scan your inbox. Chances are people come to you for answers to questions. Scan your inbox and see if there are any common questions you could answer in a blog post.

Read, read, read. Books, news, Tweets, other blogs and trade publications can be a great source for blog post topics. Share an article and give your impression of what you read (be sure to link back and cite the original source).

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6 SEO Tips for CPAs

Last month we talked about getting started in search engine optimization (SEO) and the importance of having the right tools at your fingertips for SEO. This month I want to focus on six specific tips that you can do right now to increase the ranking of your website in search engine result pages (SERPs). Any one of these tips could be a post on its own, so I’ll stick to a high-level summary.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask them in the comments or email me directly. Some of these tips may require a technical solution, so be sure to consult with your webmaster before making any changes if you’re not comfortable doing them yourself.

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HOTI: Carrier IQ; 12 Days of Christmas Gets Expensive

We asked our bloggers to tell us what they found interesting on the Internet this week. What would you add to this list?

Jina Etienne, CPA - I re-tweeted this post from the Colorado Society of CPAs, it generated a lot of interest and comments. “So... what's so great about being a CPA? 5 reasons here.” I even got a response from a former client whom I had recommended get her CPA. She’s finishing up school now and will take the CPA Exam next winter!

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In the News: Financial Literacy, Social Media

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving holiday and has safely emerged from their tryptophan induced coma. It’s been a busy few weeks for AICPA and the profession, with lots of interesting news coming out. I’m particularly thankful (see what I did there?) to be able to spotlight a couple of my colleagues on the Communications Team who were mentioned in the media recently.

WLIFE award LogoMelora Heavey, AICPA senior manager – communications (and AICPA Insights blogger) spoke to Fox Business about some of the ways that companies are taking steps to develop a more financially literate workforce – which serves to benefit both the employees and the organization itself. “Companies are trying to manage insurance costs, and having a workforce that has a thorough knowledge of their benefits and options help them to do this,” says Heavey. How prevalent are these programs? A study by the Society of Human Resource Management found that 30% of organizations surveyed  offered one-on-one financial/investment advice, 24% offered in-group or classroom advice and 22% offered online advice. Companies interested in implementing financial education programs for their own employees can find free resources at wlife.org, the website for the Workplace Leaders in Financial Education Awards, a program co-sponsored by the AICPA and SHRM.

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The Basics of SEO for CPAs

SEOThe World Wide Web has been around for 20 years now and has fueled a number of new careers, from Internet marketer to YouTube sensation. One such new career is specializing in search engine optimization. SEO is the science of getting a website or page a better ranking on search engine result pages (SERP). With more than 130 million domain names worldwide and a countless number of web pages, competing for a top spot on a SERP can be a daunting task.

It’s not as easy as building the “Field of Dreams” of websites. Just because you build one doesn’t mean visitors will come. One has to promote that website and you will compete with other similar sites for positioning whether it’s to just land on the first SERP or the first site listed. Additionally, SEO rules are constantly changing to keep up with search engine algorithms (which are, of course, secret).

The first step is getting your website to show up in SERPs, we’ll tackle how to get your website a better ranking in a future post.

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Social Media and Job Seekers

Dear Smarty Pants, Braggarts and Potty-Mouths… A word to the wise: you never know who is listening.

I am often taken aback by the things I see people posting on social media. I understand the need to vent or an attempt to be funny, but what you put out there in the public domain could be costing you your career. In a recent survey, 95% of employers said they use social media to screen potential employees. Yes, 95%! Yikes. From inappropriate photos and comments about previous employers to proof an applicant was less than truthful about qualifications… employers are getting an eye full!

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Groupon's IPO; Siri Talks Back; Facebook vs LinkedIn

We asked our bloggers to tell us what they found interesting on the Internet this week. What would you add to this list?

Heidi Brundage, CPA, SPHR - I had the pleasure of opening the North Carolina Association of CPAs first ever Professional Women’s Conference on Wednesday. More than 200 women were in attendance; it was a day of awareness, networking and encouragement! This post from the Harvard Business Review reminds me that we have so much work to do to bring awareness to the lack of advancement of female CPAs.

Stacie Saunders - On Thursday, Facebook announced it has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Labor and three employment-related agencies in an attempt to decrease the country’s unemployment rate using social media — a project that may eventually include a Facebook jobs posting system. What does this mean for LinkedIn? We will have to wait and see!

James Schiavone - The iPhone 4S wasn't the announcement many Apple fans were expecting, but it did come with one surprise, Siri. The personal assistant, called Siri, makes life easier with reduced typing and heightened potential for your most meaningful exchange of the day to be with your iPhone. I thought I was all cutting edge using my Android to talk-to-text, but apparently I can be edgier and get useful answers to real life questions spoken back to me. Siri is still in beta and promises to become even more advanced in future versions, but folks are having a lot of fun testing it out.

Gregory J. Wright, MBA - Groupon finally filed for its IPO this morning, but is only seeking a valuation of $11.4 billion, less than half the $25 billion it sought earlier this year before their accounting was called into question.

 

CPAs: Showcase your Volunteerism with LinkedIn

CPAs are passionate about giving back and lending their expertise through volunteer work. But how many of your peers, coworkers or clients know about your volunteerism or the causes you support? There was no area to feature these accomplishments on LinkedIn…until now!

Highlight your Passions

In early September, LinkedIn launched a new feature allowing users to add volunteer positions, causes they care about and organizations they support. It’s simple to use. Here’s how:

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LinkedIn Backs off Social Ads and Improves Mobile App

LinkedIn LogoThrust into the spotlight

Until recently, LinkedIn has managed to stay out of the spotlight when it comes to privacy. In June, however, LinkedIn decided to opt in millions of users to a privacy setting, allowing their names and pictures to be used in social advertisements. Social advertisements often include names and/or pictures of people you are connected to who recommend the product or service.  It went relatively unnoticed for weeks…and then the firestorm. In early August, the blogosphere and news websites lit up with the information. LinkedIn users were not happy.

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