Study Examines Social Media Usage
Inovautus Consulting, SocialCPAs and the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) have released their study, "How Accounting Firms Use Social Media Today," examining how accounting firms and those that serve the public accounting profession are using social media.
The survey results were consistent with other, similar studies showing that few accounting firms are using social media well. While public accounting firms, state CPA societies and vendors/consultants to the accounting profession are embracing social media, there is still considerable room for improvement.
By and large, the survey points to the fact that most responding firms are still struggling with the basics.
“There’s an interest in social media,” says James Stork, vice president of product development for Drake Software. “But accountants still primarily view it as a way to stay personally connected, not as an advertising tool. Social media provides a way to communicate with the client base, but has been less effective as a means of new client development.”
The results, summarized by Sarah Johnson Dobek, Founder & President at Inovautus Consulting, included:
- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the most widely used social networks, with LinkedIn being the #1 network adopted.
- Video and Google+ are the channels being focused on most in the coming year.
- Activity on the social networks is still relatively low, with few organizations posting only a few times per week. Posting frequency was found to have a direct correlation to results.
- Social media management is still being done manually rather than through the use of tools and technology that help organizations leverage their impact more efficiently.
- There are still large percentages of organizations that do not have social media policies or that have not provided training on social media.
- Very few organizations are advertising on social media.
“As the survey notes, time constraints are a big factor, because most firms are trying to handle it manually,” adds James Stork. “The management of social media is relegated to existing staff, rather than using external vendors or new hires. There is little or no training, no use of auto-posting tools, and no serious way to measure a direct return on investment for social media. Firms aren't convinced that the return on social media is greater than the investment in time and money.”
Source: Inovautus Consulting news release at http://inovautus.com/2014-socialcpas-survey-study-results-releases-accounting-firms-use-social-media-today/