When it comes to social media, “a common misconception is that you have to be on all platforms,” said Jennifer Guo, Account Executive, Talent Solutions at LinkedIn. Instead, she advised, “decide which is your priority platform” and stick with that. Guo was the first of a four-member CFA Toronto Society panel speaking in the gallery of the TMX Broadcast Centre on the evening of May 21, 2014 on the topic “The Impact of Social Media on the Investment Process.”
The event, sponsored by the Equity and Derivatives Committee of CFA Toronto, was introduced by Chris Sheridan, Senior VP, Institutional Sales at Horizons Exchange Traded Funds. The moderator , Eric Lam, of Bloomberg LP, posed a succession of questions to the panellists—as well as to the audience, of whom he asked, “who has a Twitter account?” (less than half the audience) and “who’s on LinkedIn?” (everyone, from what we could see). As for an account on Pinterest… no hands could be seen.
The informal consensus was that LinkedIn was an effective “personal branding tool.” Guo said, “LinkedIn is not just a place to put your resume” and forget about it. “You should keep it as a biography of yourself.” She suggested writing it in the first person and taking time to craft a “personable” read.
Moderator Eric Lam admitted, “I tend to think of LinkedIn as ‘Facebook for professionals’,” a thought which caused many heads of the audience to nod. Guo laughed, saying, “that’s our one-liner, too!” But it’s more than that, she made clear, encouraging attendees to check out the Publisher platform within LinkedIn. “This allows long-form blog posts.” LinkedIn members receive recommendations to articles based on their preferences, and they can follow Influencers (or become Influencers themselves).
“How many people are following a certain company through LinkedIn?” Guo said that her company has the means of measuring the prominence of a certain brand, relative to competitors, in the social media universe. A metric called the “talent brand index” shows how a company is perceived in the market for prospective talent.
In response to a question from the audience about reaching traditional investors, Guo said her company has tools available to “measure the most effective path of decision makers” at a company, via the LinkedIn Sales Solutions group. As well, there is publically available information that can be used to segment prospects by age, gender, and geographic region.
Lam asked panellists for parting words of advice. “Be authentic,” said Guo. Don’t be afraid to share a joke. Post personal thoughts “intermittent with professional content.” ª