Accountants' Social Media Use Focus of SocialCPAs Survey

LinkedIn Is King
Early results from the 2013 survey show that for the fourth year in a row, LinkedIn is the number-one social networking site used by accountants. More than 90 percent of accountants who completed the survey in 2012 and 2011 use LinkedIn, and more than 80 percent reported having a LinkedIn profile in 2010. 
"Facebook has received some bad press recently about its privacy settings and other things. It's also viewed as a personal place. LinkedIn is viewed as safe, and accountants feel more comfortable there," he said. "It's also viewed as business related. I also think there's some peer pressure to using LinkedIn. CPAs are seeing their peers talking about it, how they're using it, and how they've been successful with it."
As a search tool, LinkedIn can benefit accounting professionals and firms by helping them identify business leads. "For example, if a thirty-person CPA firm can identify a prospective client, there's a good chance someone within the firm is connected with someone at that client," MacQuarrie said. "It's a simple task for everybody in that CPA firm to open up the prospect's company page on LinkedIn and see what connections are there."
LinkedIn is also used by many accountants for career advancement. "It's funny to watch the increase in the amount of LinkedIn activity for people I know who have left a job and are looking for a new job," MacQuarrie said. "By all means, people are definitely using LinkedIn to search for jobs."
In the past two years, more than 40 percent of accountants said they almost never update their Facebook status, which MacQuarrie said is a missed opportunity. "I found that there's a ton of interest in watching what other people are doing. The number of people looking at status updates is significantly higher than people who are posting updates, which to me presents an opportunity," he added. "If a large percentage is watching and a small percentage is posting, it's pretty easy to get recognized. When I do social media training, I call this a golden opportunity for people to use that vehicle."