CHAPTER 6

Reach New Audiences: Social Media

I do quite a bit of speaking on various accounting marketing topics, and nothing elicits as many eye-rolls as the topic of social media. Until recently, at each engagement I would have more than one accountant argue with me that it was a temporary phenomenon, something that would fade away over time. (Some said the same thing about email back in the day, too, and look what happened there.)

If you are one of the people who views social media with a hefty dose of skepticism, I have bad news for you: it’s not going away. In fact, it is becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives, and I expect its impact and use will continue to grow. Undoubtedly, it will evolve over time, and the platforms we use may change (anyone remember MySpace?), but social media as a method of communication is not going anywhere.

In this chapter, we will discuss social media from its humble beginnings to how it has grown to become a part of our daily lives, focusing on its pros and cons and how your firm can use it to increase awareness and grow.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA

For some people, social media seems like a relatively new thing, but it’s actually been around longer than you may realize. Back in 1997, a site called SixDegrees allowed users to create profiles and list friends much like Facebook does today, thus becoming the very first social network. In the early 2000s, sites like Friendster and MySpace joined the fray, and in 2003, LinkedIn started ...

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