On Monday, LinkedIn showed off its new ‘Follow Company’ button. What should your accounting firm know about this tool?
To some extent it’s a welcome but simple leap from the ‘Recommend’ button it replaces. The change, however, represents a great opportunity for CPAs to enhance their social media marketing as well as a sign of the vast potential held by both content marketing and LinkedIn.
Adding the button to social media pages and the company website should be a no-brainer for accountants and firms with a LinkedIn profile. It’s a free and easy way to reach willing audiences – what’s not to like there? Add it by going to the platform’s Developer section and following instructions found there. The users who click your button will read updates from your company on their home pages. Using it well is the next step, and to do so you’ll want to keep in mind user trends.
Who uses LinkedIn? Traditionally it has been job seekers, recruiters and networkers. Increasingly though, LinkedIn has been gaining users and positioning itself as a full social/professional networking community. As such, it’s an ideal environment to use for expanding your voice within the industry and establishing thought leadership while adding to your circle of professional contacts. The followers you reach here are a self-selected group likely to be interested in your company as a potential employer, a potential service provider, competition or just a source of useful industry information. Tailor your updates to these focused and industry-aware readers rather than the more general and socially oriented crowd you’ll typically interact with elsewhere.
And what about my claim that the development is fraught with deeper meaning about the future of content marketing? The answer is contained in Mashable’s article about the introduction of the Follow button. “Internal research shows that 70% of LinkedIn’s members follow or would follow a company on LinkedIn and 60% expect industry insights as well as news from the companies that they follow.” Aha! These numbers illustrate users’ clear understanding and approval of the content marketing contract: I’ll support you publicly, and in exchange you will educate me about the industry and keep me in tune with happenings at your company. That’s exactly what you offer by sharing advice, updates and articles, your own or by colleagues, in content marketing.
A relationship between marketer and marketed benefits both parties when content marketing is done right. LinkedIn’s growing roster of regular users seem to be highly attuned to the process and its value, so grab a ticket, add your Follow button and hop on – this is one train your firm can’t afford to miss.