From the July 2012 Issue.
Whether you already use social media or haven’t started yet, the odds are that you’re doing some things offline or by email that can be leveraged into social-media activities. Integrating your offline marketing activities with your online ones helps you get the most out of both types.
Start with an inventory of all your current offline 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 newsletters: What communications do you send? How often? Who sees them?
- Print newsletters: How do you distribute? How often? 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 benefit from the findings?
- 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?
- Attending events or seminars: What events do you attend? Who else attends?
- 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 incredible visibility, demonstrating your credibility to a much broader audience. Here are a couple of examples:
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-registration 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.
- Video- or audio-record the session.
- Have a good photographer capture speakers and attendees during the session and while networking.
- Have someone sit in to write a media-style recap of the event that includes interviewing attendees about their most valuable takeaways.
Keep things rolling after your presentation:
- Upload your slide deck and handouts onto SlideShare (attract new subscribers 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 written recap.
- Distribute your summary post to all attendees, 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.
You can even leverage just being an attendee at a seminar.
- Ask for the event’s Twitter 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 Twitter 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.
- 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, Twitter, Facebook, or by email.
- Take photos of yourself with others, especially clients and industry leaders, and share on Twitter 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 benefit 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 professional.
See inside July 2012
InFirm: Communicating IT
There’s no doubt that information technology impacts every aspect of today’s accounting firms and most firms do a pretty good job of identifying opportunities where new technologies can improve their practice.