Social Media presents us with new opportunities but what makes it so compelling?
I first started to explore social media when I left public practice in 2006. I remain an enthusiastic, if now more informed and selective, user.
When I am asked I do recommend that accountants should explore the possible uses of Social Media. And that they should consider each platform separately – from two perspectives:
1 – Where are your clients active online; and
2 – Where might you be able to ‘listen’ to and to communicate with prospective clients and advocates etc.
I understand the reluctance I frequently encounter from accountants who feel they have neither the time nor the interest to ‘play’ on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn. The largely unspoken rationale is quite simple. Why all the pressure to engage on social media? I doubt that many of my clients, prospects and influencers are active there. But even if they are, so what?
In the past we never thought it necessary to join clients’ tennis clubs, football supporters’ clubs, local pubs or any other groups where the same people socialised in real life.
It is this attitude that has long informed my view that you do NOT NEED to get involved in social media. You have never NEEDED to socialise with clients etc. But have you ever noticed that many of the more successful accountants do like to socialise?
Social Media makes it easier for them and thus increases the pressure on you to do the same. Social Media makes it easier for more of your competitors to compete with you for the attention of YOUR clients, prospects and referrers.
Social Media also makes it easier for you to engage with these same people even if you would never have felt comfortable joining their clubs or going drinking with them.
So perhaps what has changed is the ease with which we can build and maintain relationships online now rather than only face to face as was the case before social media.
What I do think is worth most accountants doing these days is to have a decent profile on Linkedin. This isn’t, to my mind, a social media website. It’s much more of an online business networking platform. You don’t have to do anything there but it makes sense to have a decent profile there if you want to generate new clients and/or are looking to expand your circle of influencers and introducers.
There’s a free download available from my website with tips and advice on building a decent profile on Linkedin. Please help yourself and connect with me there.