How Social Media Transforms Firms to their Core

Young people holding social media logosWhat’s all this tweeting and liking about?

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

Now it’s time to understand the social media business approach, how Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can help your business.

First of all, stop calling it social media! Using “social” to gen­erate new customers is a new way of doing business in today’s digital world. Most firm owners don’t understand that when you combine social media with cloud, the effects become multiplied. We’re talking Internet 3.0. Are you ready to get there?

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You don’t do social media — you become a social business. Being social is going to impact your firm at its core. Once you get started and it becomes part of your DNA, it’ll be less about strategy and more about culture.

Start Exploring And Learn

Social learning is the ability to gain information exponentially faster than ever before. We have Google; a lot of us read blogs and other online publications to get our news. With social learning, commen­tary can happen in real time — which is awesome and essential if you want to stay relevant. Social media, especially from a tax per­spective or accounting perspective, allows you the ability to learn from your peers and it gives you a sense of community. You have influence among a circle of professionals. It allows you to fulfill your needs and share events and an emotional connection.

You don’t have to go to an AICPA meeting or an Illinois CPA society meeting to learn something new or connect. You can go online and get these things in the middle of the night. That’s one of the things about social business that’s really leveled the playing field for women.

Information is accessible all the time, not just during normal office hours.

Social media gives me a connection to my CPA peers. It’s taken the place of today’s CPA society for me. All the newfangled ideas, cutting-edge approaches and the early cloud adopters, they are all on social media. It’s how the New Firm movement started. State CPA societies, except for a few exceptions such as the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), are a minimum five years behind. Five years! They are just now starting to really talk about cloud technology because they are driven by membership and most of that membership is a broad base of middle — not early — adopters.

State societies are doing what they do — serving the mainstream, which doesn’t include the radical practitioners.

It’s All Over My Twitter Feed!

Let’s be real: You’re going to get the very latest industry and tax news from social media. In real time. No longer do you have to wait for the CCH update newsletter to be delivered to your inbox.

Aside from the latest news, social media will expose you to other firms and thought leadership. Most members of the accounting industry like to share and learn from one another. I have had multiple opportunities to connect with business leaders I would have never met before if it hadn’t been for connecting online.

One of the benefits is that your social media stature is only good as your peer stature. Eight years ago I would have said some of my social friends were above my social stature but now they’re peers — that’s the beauty of social media.