How to get the most out of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has established itself as one of the most popular social networks for business professionals. Many of us have joined LinkedIn, added information to our profile and connected with colleagues. Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize that there is so much more you can do with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is like any other network, it takes active involvement to be successful. My last article, Seven Essential LinkedIn Activities, focused on activities that will help you get the most out of LinkedIn. One of my recommended activities was to join LinkedIn groups.
In this article, I will outline seven essential LinkedIn Groups:
Your Company’s Group — If your company has a LinkedIn Group, join it. If your company does not have a group, start one. A group can be used by your company to engage employees, clients, referral sources, prospective clients and other fans. You can engage members in active discussions, promote events and post jobs.
AICPA — The AICPA maintains several groups on LinkedIn. Among them are the AICPA group, the Young CPA Network and AICPA Tax Section. You can use the LinkedIn search tool to quickly find a list of AICPA groups. Joining these groups will allow you to connect with other accounting professionals and share in the information exchange.
State CPA Society — Similar to the AICPA, state CPA societies are using groups to encourage interaction among their members. These groups should be easy to find. They are promoted by e-mail or a link from the society’s website.
SocialCPAs — This group, found here, is dedicated to helping accounting professionals learn about social networking. This group has had some very active discussion around social networking applications, policies and best practices. Please consider joining this group if you want to learn more about social networking.
Your Practice Group — Most accounting professionals have developed expertise in specific areas of tax and accounting. LinkedIn Groups have been created to allow people to find and interact with other accounting professionals that share similar expertise. As an example, there are almost 1,900 groups that are related to tax topics.
International CPA Association — Accounting firms around the world have built associations that provide member firms with resources to help them serve their clients. These associations have started to use LinkedIn groups as a way to allow employees to interact with other member firms. Often, the associations limit access to their group to employees of their member firms.
Your Competition — Do your competitors have a LinkedIn Group? Are they using LinkedIn to interact with their customers, employees or referral sources? You should be aware of their activity. You might even try joining their group!
It doesn’t take long to join a LinkedIn group. In the time it took you to read this article, you could have easily joined several groups. If you have questions about using groups, check out the LinkedIn Learning Center. It has a section, found here, that provides details about starting, managing and participating in groups.
I hope you take the time to join some of the groups mentioned above and become actively involved!
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Barry MacQuarrie, CPA is the director of technology at KAF Financial Group. MacQuarrie has extensive experience working with CPA firm technologies and has expertise in social networking, workflow, process improvement, disaster recovery planning and paperless office solutions