Should social media be an integral part of the Accountancy world?

Should social media be an integral part of the Accountancy world?

A recent Bloom worldwide survey provides some interesting insights about what leading brands in the Finance and Accountancy industry think about how social media impacts them, their business, and their customers. According to the results, it’s all about adapting communication and engagement, with 92% believing these to be the biggest opportunities that social media can offer.

The top strategic social media objectives were to increase overall engagement, awareness and audience base. However there were also some interesting ones including the very basics, such as buy-in from management/board and even creating a social media strategy.

Barriers identified in successfully integrating social media into an overall business strategy included limited understanding of the benefits, lack of resource and, especially within the Finance and Accountancy sector, a risk averse internal culture. 46% of respondents rated these as the key factors against them in embracing social media, while 36% cited lack of budget and internal expertise as well as limited cross department working.

Other challenges identified for businesses included FCA and PRA regulation, concerns about the risks and privacy, giving too much away to competitors and lastly negative publicity.

Leslie Walters, MD of Arlington Resource Management, a specialist Finance and Accountancy recruiter, says, “In the ever increasingly digitally focused world in which we now live, to continue to ignore or just pay lip service to social media is to severely limit your options in terms of business development, recruitment and client interaction. Social media was over-hyped in its early days just as e-commerce was during the dotcom boom and bust, but as e-commerce has become mainstream, so has social media. It has had an overwhelming impact on the way we communicate both commercially and personally and to ignore it, while it won’t mean your business will close tomorrow, could mean the difference between growing and stagnating.”

In conclusion, the dominant theme throughout the Bloom survey was that increasing engagement and communication with customers is really key. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to implement a social media strategy, without a vast impact on existing resource. Utilising the main ones favoured by the Finance and Accountancy world (Linkedin, FaceBook and Twitter) will pay dividends with a little time and focus.