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CPA's – Using Social Media

     -     Aug 5th, 2009   -     Accounting Marketing, Social Media Marketing   -     0 Comments

In the August edition of the Journal of Accountancy there is a great article that highlights how CPA firms and related groups are using social media tools to communicate with and engage clients, prospects and referral partners about relevant topics and issues. The piece focuses on how the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) leveraged social media to communicate with members about the pending IRS review of tax preparers and what it would mean for the profession.

The article is centered around a question and answer session between Mr. Tom Hood, MACPA CEO and the magazine. Topics such as the value of such activiity, how to measure return and what type of strategy the Association is using are all discussed and addressed.

An excerpt from the article is listed below:

JofA: What are some of the risks CPAs might face using social networking for business purposes, and what strategies can be used to mitigate the risks?

Hood: I would start out saying the benefits far outweigh the risks. I would put the risks in three categories. One, there’s a security risk. Any of these open social environments are tricky from a network security perspective. So your network folks have to really watch that. Second would be abuse by employees or people in your organization. So setting policies on appropriate personal or business use is [one] way you can mitigate that risk.

And then the third one is image, or public relations. The thing about social media is that everything accelerates. So if you get out there and people are saying bad things about you, it could get even worse. Now the flip side of that is if you’re not out there, you won’t even know what they’re saying about you, and you won’t even have a chance to respond.

So the strategy should be: How can I engage that criticism and respond to it in a respectful way that says that I’m listening? If you can actually do that, the research says that you’re going to win customer loyalty.

I recommend reviewing this article if you are just starting out or thinking about how/why your firm CPA firm should invest the resources in this type of marketing. It provides good ideas and simple start up strategies to get your firm thinking and moving in the right direction.

Click here for a copy of the full article.

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