Social Media for accountants – my take

At the recent Cloud Advocates seminar – Cloud Accounting for the 21st Century – debunking the myths one of the speakers was Mark Lee known to many in the social media sphere as an enthusiastic user of Twitter and consummate blogger. He gave an entertaining and perhaps slightly controversial presenatation on Social Media for Accountants and posed the question – does social media work for professionals? (my words).

The gist of his argument was that whilst many accountants now use social media, did they get any benefit from so doing. Apart from the overriding (and not unimportant) consideration that it is fun. (As Ben and Jerry say in their mission statement –” If it ain’t fun, don’t do it”). I must say that I found his argument somewhat surprising and I am not sure that I entirely agreed with all the points that he made.

As many professionals will agree, networking in its many forms is an essential component of business generation and over the years has become more popular and widespread. I have lately been travelling to a number of meetings of international associations – most recently Kreston International in Budapest – where I have spoken to accountants from all over the world about the Cloud and the benefits therefrom. These meetings are a great opportunity for the international firms to meet and network and the networking is probably more important in the long run than the actual conference sessions.

And in many respects is that not what social media is – another form of networking. Getting your name out to a wider world and expressing views and opinions which might not otherwise be heard. Importantly those who will be reading your comments etc are users of social media themselves and if they are looking for an accountant or professional advisor are possibly more likely to choose one that is social media savvy.

Social media is an excellent medium for getting your name and message heard –  will it generate new business – well. like chicken soup, it won’t hurt.