If you have been around Social Networking circles long enough, chances are you have heard of “The Big 3”: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While the first two social networking sites mentioned outnumber the users on LinkedIn, don’t disregard using LinkedIn because it is considered the most prominent business-networking site for professionals including Accounting Firm Partners. Compared to other social networks, majority of those who are in LinkedIn are there for professional reasons.
Being on LinkedIn provides Accountants with an immeasurable opportunity to enhance their networking success. It is simple and it’s free. Further, being a LinkedIn member will provide you with Google recognition and ranking.
1. Although LinkedIn allows you to post your educational and work background in it, resist the urge of making it look like your CV. Unless your primary purpose of joining LinkedIn is to find a job, potential clients might not be so interested in kilometric KRA’s (Key Result Areas). Instead, focus on your strengths and in areas where you can help clients and potential clients solve their problems. Why are you the best accountant qualified to help them?
2. “Linked In Open Networking (LION)” or “Trusted Partner Networking (TPN)”? Like many other Social Networking sites, there are options as to how to magnify your network. Some professionals choose to be an “open networker” (everyone can invite them or venture capital (visit this website link) connect with them) while others would rather connect with someone they know or has been recommended to them (trusted partner networking).
It all depends on what your objective is. If your aim is to grow the size of your network and gain more exposure by sheer numbers and you are not really particular if all your connections are those that you know personally, then you might choose to be an “open networker.”
Trusted Partner Networks (TPN) in contrast are networks built based on real connection. A person is added to your network because you really know each other or someone in your network can vouch for both of you. While the Trusted Partner Network will not give you the numbers as opposed to be a LION (Linked In Open Networker), those in your network are sure to know you and can give you a recommendation if you ask them. In the end, the network goal of a TPN is quality over quantity.
3. “Can you recommend me?” Whether you are on LinkedIn for your next job or for your next client, this particular network allows you (your skills or your services) to be recommended and rated by others. Ask people for recommendations. And voluntarily provide recommendations to others. They are powerful. Recommendations let people know you are a great resource, a valued professional in your field and give you more credibility.
“LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 2 November 2010, LinkedIn had more than 80 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.” (Wikipedia)
So don’t hesitate to engage the use of LinkedIn when considering Social Media for your accounting firm. Create a profile and build your connections.