SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Changing the Way You Do Business? 5 Great Tips From SXSW!

After five days of non-stop sessions at South by Southwest (SXSW), the world’s largest interactive, online, social media, and tech conference in the world, I am eager to share this year’s themes and key takeaways. In the short time since last year’s SXSW Interactive conference, it is incredibly apparent how quickly technology and the online world changes, adapts, and improves our lives and businesses.

Here are 5 key takeaways I learned at SXSW that could change the way you do business.

  1. Content, content, content!  Have you ever heard the expression, “content is king?” Well this is true now more than ever. Content strategy, creation, and curation were covered in multitude. Creating good content is not an easy task, but thought leaders shared some helpful tips:
    1. Create a content strategy that includes workflow, substance, structure, and governance revolving around your core strategy.
    2. Experiment with different types of content: text, photos, graphics, videos – and be sure that all content is flexible and tailored to your audience and platform with a specific goal to achieve.
    3. Write with a journalist mindset. Content is all about real-time marketing, storytelling, and an editorial point-of-view.
    4. Do more with less. Increase the quality of your content, not quantity. And it’s smart to re-use and re-purpose good content.
    5. Don’t forget to use a little humor.
    6. Is your content compelling to readers? Visible to search engines? Linkable to partners? Shareable through social media? And transferable to mobile devices? Make sure it is!
  2. Social media is here to stay. It’s evolving and becoming even more personalized. Integrate social media efforts into the entire marketing plan, and turn your employees into your online activists. And how do you prove ROI? That’s still a burning question among all the experts… My favorite tips include creating your own value system, benchmarking, and paying attention to the final outcome of your efforts.
  3. Data is no longer boring. Data is now fun, interactive, and visual! All companies have mounds of data that can be interpreted visually to create stunning infographics, interactive charts, and useful, eye-appealing content.
  4. Search engines aren’t what they used to be. How do you improve your company’s Google or Bing ranking? There are many solutions such as creating great content, focusing on the user experience, including meta descriptions, leveraging social media, and much more.
  5. Future technology is really cool and a little creepy. Creating an online, automatic, and personalized alter ego from online data is already possible. Google Plus Your World is changing and personalizing our search results based on our profiles, searches, and friends’ online activity. Augmented reality is soon going to become reality. Instead of revolving around your mobile phone, your phone will revolve around you. And location-based technology will be even more interactive and automatic.

I hope you find value from these takeaways, or at least start thinking about this evolution of business! If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to attend two opportunities on March 27th:

Finally, thank you to everyone who participated in #ILoveAccountants during SXSW! It was a fun ice breaker, and it was interesting hearing everybody’s responses.

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Aubrey Swanson is the social media coordinator at Kaufman, Rossin’s Miami officeKaufman, Rossin & Co.is one of the top CPA firms in the country. She can be reached at aswanson@kaufmanrossin.com. Connect with Aubrey on Linkedin. Follow Aubrey on Twitter.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

#ILoveAccountants

Why Do You Love Accountants?

There are endless possibilities as to why you may love accountants. They save you money, they help you avoid an audit, they help you make sense of that shoe box full of receipts… Whatever the reason may be, we want to know (in 140 characters or less)!

In just two days, I will be traveling to Austin, Texas for my second annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference – the largest social media, tech, web, and start-up event in the world. Besides engaging in six speaker sessions from 9:30am till 6:00pm for five days straight, meeting hundreds of new people, and attending countless events, I’ll be encouraging complete strangers to tweet why they love accountants with the #ILoveAccountants hashtag!

Why?

1. SXSW is a social media hub. So why not conduct a fun Twitter campaign?

2. Although SXSW attracts the most social media-friendly people in the world, it’s still a rarity to see professional services, especially accountants, in the mix of it all. We want to make a CPA presence in Austin!

3. I’ll be wearing a different, brightly-colored shirt each day with the caption, “ASK ME WHY,” on the front and “#ILoveAccountants” on the back – it’s bound to be a conversation starter!

4. We really want to know your answer.

So why do you love accountants? Tweet us at @KaufmanRossin with #ILoveAccountants!

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Aubrey Swanson is the social media coordinator at Kaufman, Rossin’s Miami officeKaufman, Rossin & Co.is one of the top CPA firms in the country. She can be reached at aswanson@kaufmanrossin.com. Connect with Aubrey on Linkedin. Follow Aubrey on Twitter.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Why Should You Attend SXSW?

It’s that time of the year again… Time for 30,000 web, tech, and marketing enthusiasts to gather together for five days of non-stop panels, events, networking, and learning.  I’m talking about South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference – the “it” conference among social media, tech, start-up, and innovative companies around the world!  The opportunities at SXSW are endless, which is why it’s incredibly valuable for Kaufman, Rossin & Co. and me to attend.

SXSW is the world’s technology hub.  All the latest and greatest in tech, innovation, and social media are there offering an invaluable, one-of-a-kind experience.  My world of social media evolves and changes every single day, and SXSW exposes me to the forefront of social media and technology – preparing me for what’s to come. The sessions held at SXSW help confirm my current strategies and ideas, teach and prepare me for what the future holds, and inspire me with creative new ideas to implement once I return to Miami.

As for the SXSW crowd – imagine thousands of the most brilliant, creative, inspiring minds in one city.  Authors, professional speakers, CEOs, representatives from Fortune 500 companies to the innovative start-ups – you can’t beat it! Not to mention the networking opportunities at SXSW are priceless.  Interactive attendees come together for the love of technology. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn from them, and what you could offer them.

Still not convinced?  Hear first-hand from last year’s SXSW speakers, attendees, and exhibitors.

If you’re planning on attending SXSW this year, be sure to read Christine de la Huerta‘s, VP of rbb Public Relations‘ Digital Park, article in The Miami Herald for tips on making the most of your SXSW experience.

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Aubrey Swanson is the social media coordinator at Kaufman, Rossin’s Miami office.  Kaufman, Rossin & Co.is one of the top CPA firms in the country.  She can be reached at aswanson@kaufmanrossin.com.  Connect with Aubrey on Linkedin.  Follow Aubrey on Twitter.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

7 Key Takeaways from the SXSW Experts

South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) is one of the leading social media and technology conferences in the world. This 5-day conference hosts some of the most influential and innovative speakers on social media and business. Here are 7 key takeaways that I learned from these SXSW experts:

  1. Be enchanting. Guy Kawasaki, author, speaker and co-founder of Alltop.com, encourages everyone to be enchanting in his new book, The Art of Enchantment. Being an enchanting person will help make others embrace your product/service, and ultimately, make the world a better place. He offers 10 tips to help you become enchanting: 1. Achieve likeability 2. Achieve trustworthiness 3. Get ready 4. Launch 5. Overcome resistance 6. Make enchantment endure 7. Present well 8. Use technology 9. Enchant up 10. Enchant down.
  2. Consider your target. Helen Klein Ross, brand fictionalist, emphasizes the importance of  thinking about your target market when engaging through social media. Your voice must be representative of your brand and who you’re talking to.
  3. Leverage your small business size/mentality to build personal connections. Becky McCray, founder of Small Biz Survival, motivates small business owners to take advantage of your small size to build personal connections and relationships with your customers online and offline.
  4. Keep your product/service consistent but surprise and delight your audience. Justin Cox of Razorfish advises businesses to be creative in your digital advertising while still maintaining your brand’s image and message. Brand consistency is important but you have to do something to keep people excited.
  5. Customer service through social media has become the new marketing. Barry Moltz, speaker, consultant and author, says companies are growing today because they’re utilizing social media to provide great customer service. Social media has given anybody and everybody a way to voice their positive AND negative opinions about your brand. Do you know what your customers are saying online about your brand?
  6. Giving is a great business strategy. Beyond being a selfless act, Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver at TOMS Shoes, stresses the importance of how giving can also be used as a great business strategy to retain employees, build a community of customers, attract the right investors and make the world a better place.
  7. Letting your employees be part of something bigger is the greatest competitive advantage. Blake Mycoskie lets every one of his employees participate in a shoe drop where they’re able to experience first-hand what it feels like to put a new pair of shoes on a child’s feet. This enables his employees to understand the real motivation behind their work. And here at Kaufman, Rossin, we too understand that happy employees translates into happy clients.

So what are you doing to help grow your business? We’d love to know!

Aubrey Swanson is the social media coordinator at Kaufman, Rossin’s Miami officeKaufman, Rossin & Co. is one of the top CPA firms in the country.  She can be reached at aswanson@kaufmanrossin.com. Connect with Aubrey on Linkedin. Follow Aubrey on Twitter.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Why in the world is an accounting firm attending SXSW?

As you’re reading this, I’m hopping on a plane to Austin, Texas. Why? I’m attending the biggest, most innovative, tech-savvy, social media and interactive conference in the nation – South by Southwest (SXSW)!

You may have heard of SXSW, as it refers to one of the most popular music festivals in the country. I will be participating in the 5-day interactive and film portion. Each day of the interactive and film section is filled with media-rich content relating to technology, social media, metrics, mobile apps, web development, forecasting and much, much more! This information is presented via panelists, speakers, workshops, book readings, organized meet-ups and social gatherings. It’s actually an incredibly overwhelming process just to prepare for this social highlight of the year! Each day  has programs that run from 8am to well past midnight including the film premieres. Sessions for each day are organized by topics, time and location (Austin Convention Center and participating downtown hotels). But within each allotted time frame, attendees must choose from one of the 30 – 40 different presentations to attend – all very useful and interesting! See for yourself by clicking here to visit the SXSW schedule. The conference ends with the Interactive Awards which has been phrased as the “Grammy’s” of social media. After all, Twitter and Foursquare were launched at SXSW!

So you may be wondering… why in the world is an accounting firm attending SXSW? Shouldn’t Kaufman, Rossin & Co., one of the top CPA firms in the country, be participating in conferences relating to accounting, tax, audit, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), etc?  While these conferences reap tremendous value for our accountants at Kaufman, Rossin, we also want to see beyond the numbers.  Our firm is dedicated to innovation and providing valuable resources for our clients, prospects and community.

One major way Kaufman, Rossin has embraced innovation is by hiring a full-time social media coordinator – me! The Firm recognizes the importance and value that an online reputation brings to our brand and its ability to strengthen relationships. Therefore, SXSW is the perfect opportunity to learn how to think outside the box and be fueled by the latest tech and social media trends.

I will be absorbing heaps of information within the next week, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you. Be sure to check back for a recap of my experience and some creative ways I’ll be documenting my trip!

Aubrey Swanson is the social media coordinator at Kaufman, Rossin’s Miami officeKaufman, Rossin & Co. is one of the top CPA firms in the country.  She can be reached at aswanson@kaufmanrossin.com. Connect with Aubrey on Linkedin. Follow Aubrey on Twitter.