Social engagement is part of any solid digital marketing strategy leading to successful professional and firm growth. Every business is built on the strength of personal connections. It’s important to understand that much of what used to happen in conferences, on the golf course, and at networking events is now also happening online. Your presence — visibility, reputation, and personality — will directly impact whether you are a known and trusted entity. If you have yet to establish yourself and your firm as a leading voice online, you need to make a plan to do so.
For executive level engagement on social media, LinkedIn and Twitter are the two best platforms. Of these, LinkedIn is far and away the most effective to quickly see results without producing a lot of content.
At Winding River Consulting, LinkedIn profile optimizations, company pages, and ads are part of our comprehensive approach to enhancing a firm’s online presence. We start with your company page, then work with each leadership team member. This is a proven way to show up in the right place in front of the right people on social media. Connect with us to learn more about LinkedIn packages.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
One of the first places to start as you activate a more strategic approach to LinkedIn is profile optimizations. LinkedIn is inherently personal, with the algorithm favoring personal profiles and interactions over company pages. This means that you need to take some time and effort to analyze and improve your leadership teams’ LinkedIn profiles.
Here are seven updates you can make to improve your personal LinkedIn presence. For your convenience, we have circled the relevant images and areas referred to with a black marker.
1. Pick a Professional Profile Picture
Your LinkedIn profile picture is your first impression. It’s also how people searching for you recognize that it is in fact you. Pick a photo where you are wearing neutral business attire, against a single-color background, that is taken using headshot dimensions as outlined by LinkedIn (400 x 400 pixels)
2. Use Social Proof in Your Cover Image
The second (and only other) graphic option you have on a LinkedIn profile is your background banner. Consider using an approved, branded firm logo. This is also a good place to display some form of firm or individual social proof. This can be a logo or symbol of an award,strategically placed over your branded graphic background (at the end of the arrow on the example we’ve provided here). Another good option is for a banner with social proof would be an image of you presenting at a large event or in a boardroom. Think about what this picture conveys, and how it provides immediate visual proof of your expertise and leadership. As with your headshot, this space requires a high resolution image.
3. Pick the Perfect Headline
Your LinkedIn headline, or tagline, should be a brief summary statement that casts a vision for your role and skills. This is the most important text on your entire LinkedIn profile, and should provide a brief description of who you are, supported by an actual title. You don’t want people to have to meticulously analyze it to figure out what you mean, so don’t make it complicated. But you also don’t want it to just state the facts, so try to keep it interesting. When working with clients, our team pays particular attention to keywords and other elements of content for SEO to elevate your profile.
4. Refine Your “About” Section
The “About” section of text will provide a preview of you and is expandable, meaning you can write several short paragraphs. This area of your profile should be part biography and part narrative. Often when we write these, we describe the professional journey of the individual, as well as including t key phrases that identify your strengths. This is a good place to expound upon accolades, awards, and credentials, as well as detailing your current impact on your firm, the profession, and community.
5. Add Featured Content
This is an optional section on LinkedIn, but we strongly recommend utilizing it. Add videos, links to articles, podcasts, and other appearances where you have generated thought leadership content to show an array of your ideas and clearly establish that you have a prominent voice in the world of accounting.
6. Be Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn records your recent activity in a block beneath your featured content. This sends an immediate signal to profile visitors about whether you are active on LinkedIn. If you want people to engage with you, you have to engage. It’s an important practice, and one that will determine whether LinkedIn supports your firm’s online presence (or not).
7. Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations
A last LinkedIn profile optimization tip is to ask for, and give, recommendations. These provide a testimonial bank, and they don’t all have to come from clients. Think of people in your network who love your work and would be willing to rave about you – referrals, community partners, professional organizations. It’s an important way to showcase your abilities without it all coming from you.
Execute a LinkedIn Strategy for Your Accounting Firm
Accounting firms of the future will take social media seriously. It’s not just a passing fad, and it’s not just for casual observation. Systematic, organized efforts — beginning with LinkedIn profile optimizations — are the most effective way to get results.
You may have never started, tried and given up, experimented sporadically, or in another phase of interest about LinkedIn. We can assure you that it’s worth it, as the top firms in the world are actively engaged on this platform.
From idea to execution, we can help you find success on LinkedIn.
In fact, why don’t we connect there?
Gary Shamis, CEO
David Toth, Director of Growth