April 14, 2014

5 Ways Certified Public Accountants Can Improve Their Google+ Engagement

Essential Elements of Google+ Engagement for CPA’s and Accountants

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Google Plus for CPA’s and Accountants presents an enormous opportunity to showecase your skills, become an authority and network with peers and prosects.

Opportunities arise, however, when the rules of social media engagement are followed. Ignoring the rules because you think you know what you are doing, diminishes your ability to get a thing out of the time and money you spend. In this regard, Google+ is no different than any other social network. In fact, Google+, in some ways, is less forgiving.

To harness the power of Google+ you must consider what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and how to go about getting it done. Failing to do all three results is not only a waste of your time, but will result in a missed opportunity where opportunity is in abundance, for those with an open mind and open “ears”.

Essential Elements of Google+ Engagment for Accountants

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, in “5 Essential Elements of a Useful Social Media Plan”, writes that the key to determining how you plan to use social media marketing, tactics and tools, lies in “tying your actions to meeting your stated marketing and business objectives.”

His advice provides a powerful punch for those wanting to start engaging on Google+.

The goals you have for your firm include both your targeted growth rates, the strategy you will use to achieve your goals and objectives, and the plan you will create to help you stay focused on the achievement of your objectives. Aligning clearly defined business goals and objectives, with social media engagement in Google+, separates success from failure.

When you know what you want to achieve, and how you plan to achieve it, your engagement on Google+ becomes more targeted, less wasteful and ultimately a better contributor to the execution of your overall strategy.

For example, if your goal is to add 10 clients a year, and your strategy to do so is to focus your efforts on providing accounting services to real estate attorney’s offices, Google+ engagement contributes to the achievement of your goals when you focus on aligning with, and engaging with, people in the real estate attorney arena. 

Productive engagement on Google+, like any other social network, requires you to:

google plus engagment for certified public accountantsListen to What is Happening in Your Industry

Social media, beyond just being social, provides a rich stream of content that both you and your clients will find relevant. On Google+ you will find not only streams of useful content, but also the ability to participate in those streams by commenting and engaging, while you are consuming market data that helps you better serve your clients. 

Follow the content that makes you a more informed professional. Also, follow the content that applies to the industry of your clients. 

Identify those who are creating the “conversations” in your area of expertise. Follow them. Comment on their posts. Contribute to the discussion. Ask questions. Learn.

Use your eyes as your ears and “listen” to the buzz created by those who have influence.

Filter Content to Cut Through the Noise

Not all content is good. Not all content is relevant. Filter out the bad to become an incredible resource for your clients, prospects and other industry experts.

Your expertise creates the filter used to select the content most relevant to you and your audience, as well as that content that stands above the rest as higher quality.

Create Your Own Content

You need to create content. Content drives people to you. Content also validates your credentials. Know your audience, understand their needs, observe their behaviors, and create content that is congruent with all of the above. 

A good blog, for example, eat’s the breakfast, lunch and dinner of your competitor. A good blog also sustains the energy level of your engagement. 

Google+ loves content. Google+ loves expertise. Google+ love insights. Google+ loves utility. 

Google+ will love you if you provide all of the above.

Share Your Content and the Content of Others

Sharing trumps link dumping. Link dumping is self serving. Yes, you want to share your content. Sharing only your content guarantees either a small following, or a following with little substance. Sharing the content of others opens up the doors of collaboration, and the pathway to building more effective relationships in the Google+ arena.

When you “listen” to what is happening, you acquire a collection of content that not only enriches your experience, but presumably will enrich the lives of the people you serve.

So share my friend.

Sharing good content, and sharing in the right way, presents you as an expert and also aligns you with other experts who will appreciate not only that you shared their work, but provided meaninful insights from your perspective on the topic at hand.

Engage with Clients, Prospects and Influencers

Relationships built on Google+ provide the fuel for sustained long term engagement. Engagement, over long term, feeds the needs of your clients and prospects to both consume useful information, as well as, judge your ability to serve their needs when it comes time to retain the services you provide.

Success results from developing relationships with the people that find value in what you do. The relationships you build create the communication channels you need to build awareness of your services, while making it irresistible to choose you when the people you want to attract need what you offer. 

Valuable Resources 

Google Plus for Small Businesses

Google Plus Pro Tips

Google Plus Profile Optimization Checklist

Why Every Marketer Should Use Google Plus


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