Staying connected through professional groups and social networking sites is the best way for accounting and finance managers to enhance their professional visibility, according to a new survey of CFOs.

The survey, by Robert Half Management Resources, found that 28 percent of the 1,400 CFOs it interviewed by telephone said professional groups were the best way to enhance visibility, while 22 percent cited active participation in social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Fifteen percent voted for publishing articles in trade and business journals as the most useful way to enhance professional visibility, while another 15 percent cited volunteering or participating in charitable work, and an additional 15 percent opted for speaking at industry events or webinars.

Robert Half Management Resources offered the following five tips to help executives manage their digital networks:

Join the discussion. LinkedIn features many professional groups that can help professionals share expertise, stay connected and keep pace with new developments. Likewise, Twitter and Facebook are useful venues for keeping pace with the latest industry news. Leading accounting and finance trade organizations, as well as many alumni groups, have a social media presence, for example.

Be selective. Your network is only as strong as those with whom you're connected. Be selective about whom you invite into your network. Give careful consideration before introducing a member of your network to a colleague.

Be complete and personable. Be sure to fully complete your profile and include keywords that can help people find you on LinkedIn or Twitter. Avoid details that are too personal, though, if you plan to use these networks for professional reasons only.

Pay it forward. Retweeting others’ posts on Twitter or answering questions on LinkedIn discussion groups is a great way to strengthen your network and enhance your reputation as an industry resource.

Conduct a self-audit. Privacy policies on social media sites are subject to change at any time. Therefore, it’s prudent to recheck your settings and review the policies of individual sites on a periodic basis to ensure your personal information remains private.

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