The SEC Twitters, Why CPAs Must Too
Follow the action online with Facebook and LinkedIn. Learn what CPAs are doing online: Join the survey; get the answers.
February 19, 2009
While many CPAs are still getting used to the idea of blogs and instant messaging, many others are rushing to deploy the very newest, bleeding-edge technologies for operational productivity and client service.
CPAs and CPA firms are increasingly turning up in such venues as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Plaxo. More and more firms are blogging, podcasting and even YouTube-ing for fresh recruits and for new clients. Individual professionals are expanding their career-management and client-referral networks at leaps and bounds. And now we’re seeing a rush to Twitter, the “micro-blogging” platform.
But what is social media? How do you use it? And why should CPAs care?
WHAT ARE CPAs DOING ONLINE?
For the answers, we went to Tom Hood, chief executive of the Maryland Association of CPAs and a pioneer in the new connectivity technologies.
“CPAs should care about social media for two important reasons,” he says. “One, it significantly increases the ability to connect to more people, manage relationships and deal with the ever-increasing volume of information in our lives and, two, it can be a terrific tool for recruitment and retention of the millennial generation.”
Hood thinks about social media as a tool to speed up the ability to build and maintain relationships. “In all of the generational work we have done with students, young professionals and our core membership,” Hood says, “this area is probably the largest gap between the generations. It is the digital divide you often hear about.”
In this generation gap, the young have a clear advantage and a huge potential. “The average college student has close to 1,000 relationships in their “network,’” Hood notes. “Compare that to the relationships we had as college students and it was maybe two dozen.”
Here's Hood’s guide to the new world of social media for CPAs:
Then there are blogs, podcasts and wikis, which are “incredible communication and productivity tools,” according to Hood.
The millennial generation, often referred to as "digital natives," have grown up with the internet and social media. “From Instant Messages (IMs), to texting, to Facebook, MySpace and other social networks they maintain these huge social connections,” Hood says.
“They have learned to use these networks as filters for information, sources for questions, referrals and getting things done. Talk to any of them and they will tell you that it is how they survive and deal with information overload.”
“I think,” Hood says, “that we could learn a lot from the younger generation about these tools if we took on a fresh and open perspective.”
Hundreds of thousands of accountants, tax professionals, finance executives, accounting students and CPAs are already blogging and podcasting, texting and IMing, Twittering and Linking In. If you’re still getting around to getting on board, don’t be embarrassed; Facebook didn’t even exist until about five years ago.
But now the pace will only quicken with a tough economy driving wrenching change. What are you doing about it?
What are CPAs doing online? Join the survey; get the answers.
Contact Rick Telberg by e-mail.
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