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Presentation on theme: "AN INTRODUCTION FOR NAEA MEMBERS"— Presentation transcript:


2 What is Social Media? Social media is the use of web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue between network groups, consumers and businesses in a public forum Similar to a web board, social media allows Internet users to comment and participate with other users publicly on the Web to start a conversation on related topics

3 Why Use Social Media? Stay up-to-date on industry and association news
Boost your marketing efforts without breaking your budget Brand your practice in your local area Increase client communication and referrals in a public forum for others to see An opportunity to introduce yourself to new clients An opportunity to establish yourself as an industry expert amongst your clients and colleagues Provide proactive customer service

4 Is Social Media Just a Fad?
Social media is no longer marketing’s new thing – it’s simply part of the way marketing is done today Think you can sit the social networking craze out? Consider the following statistics…

5 Social Media Statistics
98% of online 18-to-24 year-olds already use social media each month according to a Experian Simmons report -- an important statistic if EAs are hoping to reach a younger audience The greatest growth sector is among older Americans. Today, nearly 3-in-4 online seniors use social media in a typical month as do 82% of those ages 55-to-64 As of 2011, Facebook has more than 500 million active users and 30% of the entire Facebook user base is aged 35+ (Facebook)

6 Social Media Strategy: Determining Your Objectives
Who are you trying to reach? What are your goals/objectives for each social networking platform? What are some goals/objectives you would like to achieve with your social media program? Setting up a social media strategy is important or you’ll find yourself running around in circles and left feeling that all this online networking stuff is just a huge waste of time. One thing that a lot of business marketers struggle with around the entire topic of social networking is trying to jump into the next new thing without enough analysis of what they should focus on first. Therefore, you’ll first need to figure out how you want to utilize social media by establishing a social media objective for each platform. Establishing an objective for each social media platform will allow you to build a successful social media program. Ask yourself some preliminary questions to establish your objectives. Who is your target audience? Are you trying to reach new clients or network with other professionals in the industry? What are their demographics? (Age group, Socio-Economic Status, Education, Interests). Is your client base mostly individuals or small businesses? Establishing this will be important so you can determine what type of content you’ll publish. 2. What will you be using each social networking platform for? Do you want to spread content and expertise to new audiences? Do you want to grow your business or simply keep your current clients engaged and satisfied? Is your objective to help increase awareness about enrolled agents to the taxpaying public? Is your objective to help market your tax practice and services? Are there any other objectives you think might be relevant or does anyone have any questions or comments about establishing your objective? You can have more than one objective, but it’s important to make sure that each objective can co-exist in order to see a return on the time you’re investing in your social networking initiatives. For each social networking platform that you use, it will be important to establish objectives for each – every social networking platform is used differently and will not be able to accomplish all the same objectives/goals.

7 Social Media Strategy Plan Manage Listen Network Join Engage
Once you establish your objectives you can start putting together a strategy for your social media program -- laying down a ground work for a social media strategy will be important so you can start moving in the right direction. One way to begin laying out your strategy can be with an easy six step process that starts off with setting your objectives: Plan – Set your social media marketing objectives and understand what it is you want to accomplish with each platform. Listen – Take a look at what other people in the industry are doing. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, start reading other tax blogs, if you’re thinking of creating a Facebook business page, check out other Facebook business pages of tax business owners or small business owners in general to get a feel for common trends, writing styles, and the look and feel of other pages. Join – Start joining and setting up your profiles on each social network. Open accounts on different social networks. Engage – Start commenting on blogs and Facebook posts, “tweet” to other people on Twitter, and add people to your network on LinkedIn, start “liking” other Facebook pages, and answer questions. Network – Take your efforts to the next level and start being proactive. Tell your clients you’re on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re at a networking event, make sure to mention your presence on these online platforms as well. Manage – The most important step which can be time consuming, but will be important to create a successful social media plan and schedule.

8 Picking Your Platform: Where You Should Be
Once you have your objectives set, picking which platforms you need to be on will be the next step. There are many networks out there and sometimes this can be the most confusing part – so which social networks should you join? Let’s go over the major platforms and their purpose.

9 Facebook: What is It? Facebook is a social network where users can create profiles with photos, lists of personal interests and contact information Users can communicate with friends and other users through private or public messages and a chat feature They can also create and join interest groups and “business pages" (formerly called "fan pages”), which are maintained by organizations and businesses as a means of promotion

10 Personal Facebook Profile
Allows individuals to create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, pictures and other information including automatic notifications when they update their profile Before creating an official page for your business, a personal account needs to be created Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. In addition, pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. Once you have set up a page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won't be able to see that you are the page admin or have any access to your personal account.

11 Getting Started on Facebook

12 Getting Started on Facebook
To create a personal Facebook profile, go to and review the sign up process Once an account is created: Set up your profile, add photos, and “like” pages that interest you

13 Getting Started on Facebook
Once your profile is set up: Understand Facebook privacy and set up Facebook privacy settings (read more on Facebook privacy settings here: Facebook’s privacy default allows the public to see your posts, likes, pictures, etc. Understand that it is important to maintain a professional image on Facebook and be aware of who might be looking at your profile Find and “add” friends Post status updates, comment and participate in the online conversations taking place

14 Facebook Terminology Profile: Your personal page. It contains your photos and videos, a list of your friends, your recent activities, and anything else you choose to include on it. Wall: A featured section inside every Facebook profile and business page that allows people to post public messages to you. News Feed: A continuous stream of updates about your friends’ activities on Facebook. It appears on your Home Page.

15 Facebook Terminology Status: A feature that allows users to inform their friends of their current whereabouts, actions, or thoughts. Like: A feature that appears as a link next to something you see on Facebook that allows users to let others know they appreciate that something, whether it be a video, a comment or something else.

16 Facebook Business Page
Allows business owners and organizations to create a similar profile page for their business that allows networking with customers/clients while giving more privacy and an opportunity to brand their company separately from their personal Facebook profile Facebook’s Help Page on how to use Facebook Business Pages Link to create your Business Page

17 Facebook Business Page
Become familiar with Facebook Business Pages by “liking” NAEA’s official Facebook Page Click the “like” button to follow NAEA’s Facebook updates

18 Facebook Business Pages
Once familiar with what a Business Page is, members can create a page to promote their own practice Facebook’s Help Page on how to use Facebook Business Pages Sign into your personal Facebook account, and go to

19 Creating a Facebook Business Page

20 Creating a Facebook Business Page

21 Creating a Facebook Business Page
Once a page is created, set up your business page as you would your personal profile, but substitute your business information instead Add your company logo as your “profile picture,” location, hours, business information, background, company photos Begin to add content and share your page with clients and others you want to connect with

22 Facebook Business Page
Profile Picture Wall Post a Status Update

23 Facebook Business Page Wall
Share links and information relevant to your audience “Like” a comment to show recognition or appreciation

24 Facebook Business Info Page

25 Facebook Business Photos Page

26 Why Use a Facebook Business Page?
Allows you to create a flexible business outpost on Facebook Connect and be in touch with your clients and potential clients on a more personal level Allows those connected to you to suggest your page to their friends – a great networking tool Allows visitors to see what others are saying about your company and services

27 Things You Need to Create Your Facebook Business Page
A personal Facebook account (profile) A Facebook objective/goal –who is your audience and what do you want to achieve? Content A schedule, time and consistency

28 Twitter Twitter is an online service that allows anyone to say anything to anybody in 140 characters or less These messages, or Tweets, are public and available to anyone interested in them Twitter users subscribe to your messages by following your account. Followers receive every one of your messages in their timeline, a feed of all the accounts they have subscribed to It is a great network for what is called “real-time internet,” the conversation that is going on at this very moment In simplest terms, Twitter is a free service that allows anyone to say anything to anybody in 140 characters or less – it’s the “what are you doing right now” of online sharing that permeates online social communication. It is a great network for what is called “real-time internet,” the conversation that is going on at this very moment. After creating an account for you or your tax practice, you will have the ability to follow other “Tweeters” to stay up to date on what is going on in the industry and post your own messages. Twitter can be a way to connect and network with others in the tax industry and is a steady stream for ideas, content, links (that you can post on your other social networking outlets for content), resources, and tips focused in your area of expertise. Twitter is a good place to share, get ideas, and establish yourself as an industry expert who is “in the know.” Remember to identify your social media strategy and objectives to decide if Twitter is the right tool to use.

29 Why Use Twitter: Possible Objectives
As a business, you can use Twitter to quickly share information, gather market intelligence and insights, and build relationships with people who care about your practice. Some possible objectives: Stay connected with up to the second updates and network with others in the tax industry Keep your clients and potential clients up to date with the most current information that’s relevant to them Instant access to what’s being said, this minute, about your company and services Extend the reach of your thought leadership; blog posts and other content

30 Creating Your Twitter Account

31 How to Use Twitter Once you create an account, you’ll be given a home page, profile page, and Twitter handle (username) i.e. NAEA’s handle or From these pages you can find other Twitter streams to follow, post your own messages, and watch the public stream of comments flow by

32 Twitter Terminology Tweet: When you post or write your 140 characters on Twitter and hit send, it’s called a tweet or tweeting Handle: Your Twitter name and part of your Twitter URL. i.e. @tax_experts Follow: The act of adding someone to your list of people you are following – this makes their tweets show up on your homepage

33 Twitter Terminology Replies: This is what it is called when someone writes a tweet directly at your handle, Thank you for posting the updated PTIN information! Retweet: This is a tactic of republishing someone else’s tweet – the original tweet along with the author stays intact, but you are basically showing someone’s tweet to your followers- many people find this a great way to add content and acknowledge good stuff from folks they follow

34 Twitter Terminology DM (Direct Message): This is a message that is sent directly to another user. They must be following you for you to DM them, but this is a very useful tool for private messages Hashtag: This is a way people categorize tweets so that others might use the same tag and effectively create a way for people to view related tweets – it will look something like “#tax” in many of your cases

35 How to Use Twitter Use as a lead generation tool. Find people in your area who are tweeting about “tax” and reach out to them As with all of your other social media platforms, make sure to identify at least one objective from the “Why Use Twitter” slide, identify your audience, and focus your efforts on learning how to use the tool to that end

36 Who Should You Follow? To make Twitter useful, you need to follow others and begin to have others follow you While you can upload your current contacts (a good place to start) and search for people you know on Twitter, there are sites to help locate people with common interests: Twellow is like a Twitter phone directory that sorts people by industry Tweepsearch focuses on searching Twitter bios and profiles to help you locate Tweeters who are interesting to follow

37 What Should You Say on Twitter?
Whatever your answer, it needs to be 140 characters or less – make sure whatever you say, you’re targeting your audience and reaching your objective that you establish in your social media marketing strategy If you’re trying to reach new clients or keep your current clients informed, keep them updated with information that is helpful and relevant to them

38 @Tax_Experts: An Example
Handle or Username Tweet

39 @Tax_Experts: An Example
Hashtag Retweet

40 Building Your Twitter What is Twitter?
Twitter Glossary Best Practices Case Studies Resources

41 LinkedIn LinkedIn is the largest online network specifically created for business professionals, used by many as a digital resume It has much more of business participation and is great place to network with other business professionals

42 LinkedIn As is the case with any social network, it’s important to take time and get to know the culture and accepted norms – lurk a little bit! Use the time to build your profile and your network of current friends so you can see firsthand examples of how people connect and reach out on your chosen network From there you can begin to contribute and seek out connections

43 Why Use LinkedIn? Find clients, help, and deals. For the tax industry, LinkedIn is a great place to locate prospects and network with partners Build up buzz. Once you’ve established a following within LinkedIn you can begin to promote specific happenings around your tax practice Visualize connections. Your profile lets visitors know exactly how they’re connected to you, which builds a degree of trust between the visitor and yourself

44 Why Use LinkedIn? Give feedback and research. Use LinkedIn as a resource for research and feedback. Simply putting questions out to your group is a great way to get a feel for areas where you want input. Receive and give recommendations. LinkedIn allows you to request, receive (and give) recommendations from your colleagues and clients – your connections will be able to see first hand what your business contacts have to say about you and your services!

45 LinkedIn Resources
LinkedIn Learning Center New User Starter Guide Step-by-step guide to building your LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn for Small Businesses Starter Guide

46 Social Searching A social search engine is one that lists small businesses and allows people to rate and review them An online directory with answers, recommendations and user experiences Social search sites ask members and visitors to rate their experience, good or bad, with a business and post for others to view

47 Social Searching No cost involved and benefits outweigh the little bit of work you may put in to start building your online reputation Smart small businesses are starting to encourage online reviews – merely point out to your happy clients that they might want to share their positive experience!

48 Social Searching Other businesses are printing and using their online reviews offline or in other marketing material Coupons and offers are a great way to get noticed, too!

49 Social Search Engines (A social search engine specifically created for accounting and tax professionals) Craig’s List Judy’s Book Insider Pages

50 Tips for Content Creation
On Facebook, list your services and include a link to your website On Facebook or LinkedIn, encourage your clients to post their testimonials or recommendations Post articles from local publications you contribute to Ask and answer questions Hold contests and offer discounts to your fans to encourage engagement

51 Tips for Content Creation
Post articles that detail the benefits of using an EA or other industry related articles Post links and information that benefit your clients, i.e., tax tips, deductions they may not know about, etc. Sync your social networks – link to your Facebook and Twitter on your blog, and link to your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter

52 Tips for Content Creation
Repost and retweet other people’s great content to your followers and subscribers as it builds your overall reputation for good content sharing Talk about who you are, what you’re working on or educational sessions you’ll be attending – shows your professionalism and how you’re working on improving yourself and services

53 Tips for Content Creation
Subscribe to IRS updates Subscriber Preferences Page e-News for Tax Professionals IRS Tax Tips IRS Newswire and more Set up Google Alerts with important key words Follow blogs and Twitter feeds of industry information leaders

54 Managing Your Social Media Platforms
Following an automated routine or schedule provides insight into how you can best integrate your social media strategy into your overall marketing plan For each social media platform, develop a plan/schedule for certain tactics that you will perform on a daily and weekly basis and stick to it Maintain a list of content ideas for posting

55 Create an Editorial Calendar
Week 1 Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Blog Blog post on EITC Facebook Share new blog post Share photos from NAEA National Conference Twitter Link to IRS news LinkedIn Start topic in NAEA Linked Group

56 Tips to Promote Your Social Media Platforms
Include links to your platforms in your signature Include links to your platforms on your website and in your client newsletters Add social networking “badges” or logos on your business cards, brochures and other marketing materials

57 Tips to Promote Your Social Media Platforms
Place Facebook ads using Facebook’s own social ad feature Verbally tell your clients about your social media platforms and ask them to follow you! Be present, post great content and people will find YOU

58 Social Media Wrap-Up Value can be created and benefits reaped when technology is used to facilitate social interaction As long as you follow your plan carefully and you use the tools that are available, client relationships can be strengthened through social media


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