Twitter ye not...why accountants can't ignore social media
SOCIAL MEDIA has always been something, for me, to approach logically and calmly.
Do I need to be on Facebook? No, if I really want to speak to my friends I’ll call them up (call me old-fashioned).
LinkedIn? Yes, really useful – I can keep track of what other business and finance hacks are up to, and of course some of my key accounting contacts.
Twitter? Haven’t been bothered, but decided to give it a whirl anyway.
My early thoughts are that it’s a really impressive tool that allows real-time tracking of, well, whoever you want really.
But avoiding a scattergun approach, I’ve stuck with the strategy of linking up with contacts that will provide useful commentary and updates about the profession.
The aim of my “tweets” has been to, quite simply, interact with anyone else providing updates about the profession. The overall target is to improve my understanding of what’s going on in the big wide world of accounting, and let everyone else know what I and Accountancy Age are up to. Of course there have been some more “relaxed” tweets along the way as well, sometimes just sharing a good joke.
For accountants and firms looking to take the leap into social media interaction, then there is plenty advice out there. Tax Advice Network founder Mark Lee has posted plenty of good advice and thoughts on the topic, while accounting PR experts Kelso have undertaken some interesting research that suggests practices need to step up to the social media plate.
My advice, for what it’s worth, is that social media is too big to just ignore. Spending some time understanding its virtues, and its dangers, is time well spent. For some it will be incredibly valuable and open up great marketing and networking opportunities, while for others it will be a waste of time – or worse open their company up to reputational damage by making indiscreet statements in the public domain.
Make a decision – but don’t put your head in the sand. Perhaps I will give Facebook a try after all…
Follow me on Twitter at @goonerreed
For more about the topic read Accountancy Age’s social media feature.