Is social media a useless distraction for accountants?

According to Seth Godin it can be. 

So should we be challenging the fixation the accountancy profession seems to have with social media? 

I believe so. 

Here’s why. 

There’s a valuable distinction between ‘real relationships’ and ‘fake relationships’. One is valuable to both parties (you and your clients) the other is not. Real relationships require more than digital ‘followers’, ‘friends’ and ‘likes’.

How does social media become a distraction?

It can become a distraction because accountants are pre-disposed to like it!

If there’s any truth in the caricature of a typical accountant then it makes sense that accountants typically prefer email to phone calls and meetings. Like email, social media is another form of scalable, time-efficient, arms-length communication. However it isn’t the best way to nurture meaningful relationships. Social media arguably nurtures transient, fake relationships rather than real, meaningful, worthwhile relationships. Yes it can be easily measured (which appeals to accountants) but doesn’t necessarily help you build stronger business relationships with your clients.

Or does it?

Here’s Seth Godin’s views in this in a short 2min video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0h0LlCu8Ks&feature=youtu.be

You might view this video as ancient history because it’s from 2009, but wait!

In the last 8 weeks we have been inviting accountancy firms to share their lead generation marketing numbers for the last 12 months.

102 firms have contributed so far.

For every 1 firm that has generated more than 20 converted leads from social media 16 have generated more than 20 converted leads from client referrals. 6 firms generated more than 20 converted leads from introducer referrals. So real relationships are up to 16 times more valuable than ‘social media’ relationships it seems. 1 firm has made social media work well for them so it has potential but nothing like the potential real relationship building has for your firm.

Very soon we’ll be sharing the full Marketing Audit results with all the contributing firms. If you would like to see the results for free please complete the marketing audit herehttps://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AccountantsMarketingAudit

So, is social media a ‘useless distraction’ for accountants as Seth Godin suggests or does it deliver ‘real relationships’ for your firm?
In what ways does social media help you build real relationships?
How do you use social media to strengthen client relationships, introducer relationships or prospect relationships?

Paul Shrimpling
Remarkable Practice

Creator of ‘Business Bitesize’ – cultivating a greater flow of new clients for your accountancy firm through profitable word-of-mouth –http://www.businessbitesize.com/

Author of ‘Bamboo Marketing For Accountants’ – the route map to marketing success for accountants in practice – http://www.bamboomarketingforaccountants.com/

And let’s get LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulshrimpling

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