Accountants' Social Media Use Focus of SocialCPAs Survey

By Jason Bramwell
 
When CPA Barry MacQuarrie started the SocialCPAs Social Media Survey in 2010, he said social networking was still relatively new to the accounting profession. The self-proclaimed "social media enthusiast" was curious about how accounting professionals were using such sites as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
 
"The survey was started basically out of a desire to help CPAs understand what their peers were doing with social media and allow them to tell us how they were using social media. We accumulated all of information so we could take a look at what the accounting profession was doing as a whole," MacQuarrie, director of consulting for Braintree, Massachusetts-based KAF Financial Group and founder of SocialCPAs, told AccountingWEB. SocialCPAs helps accounting professionals and their firms learn how to use social media to increase brand awareness and generate revenue.
 
Three years later, on May 31, 2013, MacQuarrie launched the fourth installment of his survey to measure accountants' social media use  and he's seeking more insight from the accounting community before the survey is closed on August 30. Results of the survey will be released later this year.
 
The 2013 Social CPAs Social Media Survey includes thirty-three questions, such as the following:
  • What are your goals for your social media efforts?
  • What are your biggest concerns about social media?
  • On an annual basis, how much training has your company provided with regard to social media?
  • Does your company have a written social media policy?
  • Which site is most important to your social media strategy?
For the 2012 survey, MacQuarrie received responses from roughly 800 accounting professionals from a variety of firm sizes in the United States and seventeen other countries, a 22 percent increase over 2011
 
Besides press coverage, MacQuarrie credits accounting associations and state CPA societies for helping to publicize the survey each year. But what baffles him is the number of people who found out about the survey through e-mail.
 
"One of the survey questions is, 'How did you hear about the survey?' As many places as the survey is publicized, whether it's in my blog [on SocialCPAs' website], on an association's website, or posted on Facebook or Twitter, it's amazing the amount of people who say their original engagement was e-mail," he said. "It shows that you can't ignore that population."
 

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