The role of accountants in social media, by Jenna El-Khalili

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Successful accountants and accounting firms need to be both socially responsible and responsibly social in order to survive in today's tech savvy world. It is crucial for accounting firms to demonstrate that they are keeping up with the times, and that they understand modern ways of communicating with each other, their clients, and potential clients. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to do this is to utilize social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Using these social networking sites is inexpensive and a relatively simple and effective way to create a presence in the social world. Furthermore, a firm's' presence on a social networking site can easily lend itself to creating and maintaining a global representation of the firm and will expose the firm to all age groups. In addition to getting a firm's name out, social networking sites can help a firm show up on search engine searches. For example, Google has many factors which determine how close to the top of a search a company's website appears. A few of those factors are the number of links a website contains, whether the website utilizes blogs, and whether a firm is mentioned in or a part of a social networking site. Therefore, using social networking sites can be an excellent marketing tool, and can help make people more aware of a firm's existence.

We are rapidly approaching a world in which having a decent presence online, especially for accounting firms, is of the utmost importance. Social networking is particularly valuable for accounting firms because it is a relatively new strategy that may be able to make or break firms. During the 1990s, accounting firms who did not keep up with technology were forced to shut down their practices or merge with other firms who had the initiative and resources to invest in capital expenditures for technology. This same principle holds true for the modern social media revolution. The difference now is that the strategy is not money needed for capital, but creative marketing techniques that are needed to capture a worldwide target market. Utilizing inexpensive and frequently visited social networking sites is truly an innovative and cost effective way in which to create a presence in the world and market an accounting firm. Accountants and accounting firms who do not take advantage of social media will no longer be part of the new cutting edge generation of accountants that are bound to survive.

About the author:

Jenna El-Khalili, of West Lafayette, Indiana, is a sophomore attending Purdue University working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting. In high school, El-Khalili's mother encouraged her to take the accounting classes that were offered, and it turned out that she loved them, so when it came time to choose a major, she chose accounting. Upon graduation, she plans on earning her CPA and working for an accounting firm.



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