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Are blogging and social media worth the time investment, as a senior finance exec?

Scout Young's Profile

Answers

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

Depends on what you want to achieve?

If you want to make sure you are known in the finance community that might provide you with your next big opportunity then you should definitely be active online. You don't have to write a weekly blog or be everywhere at once, but rather you should write when you have something on your mind that you would like to discuss with the finance community or present a solution to a common problem shared by many.

On top of this you should show your network that you can provide leadership and/or functional guidance on many topics which can be done simply by sharing articles, blogs and other content which you find interesting. These days you can easily share on LinkedIn or Twitter what is on your mind. The more others see you as a resource towards solving their own issues the more ROI you will get from your social media investment.

However I would say its important to have a strategy in mind once you start on this journey as well as consistently provide insights to your network i.e. don't just be active once every 3 months. No one will remember that.

Topic Expert
Mike Caruana
Title: Director of Financial Services
Company: Diamond Resorts International
(Director of Financial Services, Diamond Resorts International) |

Absolutely! You may want to visit McKinsey's website (www.mckinsey.com/insights) and see what some senior executives have recently said about this exact topic. Great stuff!

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

You know, from my perspective (and I blog, and write and share, etc) the jury is still out as to whether it makes a difference for a C-Level person (to heavily invest in social media) in a position which isn't a true market leader.

Who is really going to listen to yours truly (Chicken Little) saying "the sky is falling" when the CFO of Mega-Fortune 100 Company says "All is well".

Unlike Chicken Little, I may be right...

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

Wayne,

While you might not gain the credibility of a Fortune 100 CEO/CFO in a matter of 3 months social media presence I don't think that should be the idea either. The idea must be to show your network what value you can add in a consistent way. If you do this well I am sure you will be known to a broader community fast.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Has anyone done a study to back up both your and Cindy's claim(s).

BTW, the study must be about CFO's, not other functions or broad based. It needs to be diverse in both company size and industry, not just hi-tech or low-tech companies.

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

Wayne,

Truth be told I don't know of any studies and can only rely on my own experiences (although I can't claim to be a hot shot CFO just yet). I find that a consistent approach to your social media presence increases your exposure to a wider audience and whether you are an accountant, finance manager, controller or CFO, I can't see why you shouldn't be able to get a good return on your investment.

Who would benefit most from it would of course be worth a study. Maybe the return is declining the more senior position you hold. Perhaps it's the other way around. I am sure it wont be long before someone actually conducts a study like this as there are more and more cases out there.

Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

In a word, yes. Longer answer is, your social media strategy should be driven by your goals.

However, when recruiters are asking "what are you doing to maintain your executive presence online" as part of the interview process, the importance of a well-branded executive digital footprint can no longer be ignored. And trust me, they know - generally - the answer before you state it.

http://www.cfo-coach.com/?p=2948

Topic Expert
Samuel Dergel
Title: Director - Executive Search
Company: Stanton Chase International
LinkedIn Profile
(Director - Executive Search, Stanton Chase International) |

Yes. We do know.

Not only do we know, it could very well be the reason we are speaking with you about the opportunity in the first place.

Topic Expert
Samuel Dergel
Title: Director - Executive Search
Company: Stanton Chase International
LinkedIn Profile
(Director - Executive Search, Stanton Chase International) |

In short, invisibility is no longer an option for successful CFOs.

Your employer gains from your visibility.

Your career gains from your visibility.

You do not gain from being invisible and under a rock.

You have a choice. Engage and thrive or disengage and disappear.

Noah Chaimowiz
Title: COO
Company: Jobbook.com
(COO, Jobbook.com) |

Some people are broad thinkers who can share good strategic tips to others, some people are more self focused and just want to do their jobs and go home, not interact with more people online.
For a long time i would argue with my friends in Finance to build an online audience, but it turns out they want to actually spend time with their wives and children.
It takes all kinds

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Maybe some also see the "fad" aspect or the lost "independence" aspect of many of the social media "advances".

Case in point (especially those who are/were in/around the military) - there are several journals where there has been a long standing agreement that viewpoints expressed have no negative consequences on one's career.

This agreement has allowed an exchange of ideas that could not take place otherwise, either between conflicting ranks (juniors to seniors, enlisted to officer) or services (Navy to Army, Coast Guard to Marines). No one group has all the answers and without the ability to express new ideas, organizations become static.

I know people who won't chime in on certain discussions (or hold back full force of opinion) for fear of retribution somewhere down the road to their career.

Maybe we need to step back and rethink this social media phenomenon, and what it really can or does do for oneself.

Anders Liu-Lindberg
Title: Regional Finance Business Partner
Company: Maersk Line Northern Europe
LinkedIn Profile
(Regional Finance Business Partner, Maersk Line Northern Europe) |

Noah,

That's personal choice and social media is probably not for everyone anyway. Perhaps they can just as well find their next opportunity via their personal IRL networks which they keep up to date with through their kids, church etc.

However I think it is fair to say that they are missing out on many other opportunities. I think what is important here is that you make a conscious choice and accept the consequences of that.

Keith Richmond
Title: CFO
Company: GreenRope
(CFO, GreenRope) |

I agree with Anders. Just like this site, investing your time brings awareness and insight to your network of peers. Social media offers dialogue and the exchange of ideas on various topics. I wouldn't invest heavily into blogging or social media, but a presence should be established. LinkedIn has value if you connect to the proper group and where you can share your insights and experiences.

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