Having grown up in Milwaukee I can’t imagine 2/3rds of Milwaukeeans are jumping into social media, let alone 2/3rds of the financial and accounting population. If they are, it appears as though they’re not really listening to our advice and should be taking this “transparency” in new media thing a notch or two up.
The Milwaukee Business Journal says that two-thirds of Milwaukee area accounting professionals use LinkedIn and Facebook but not necessarily for business. Trying to balance their professional personas with their real lives as protectors of the public interest, they’re understandably sketchy when it comes to diving head first into the Twitter.
There are really no excuses at this point. Plenty of brands have figured out how to gently skirt the line, stand way back behind a wall of professionalism, interact with just about everyone, make it entertaining with self-deprecating stabs at the “boring accountant” stereotype and completely push the envelope until it falls off the cliff. It’s fine, everyone’s doing it and so far no one’s getting sued.
That statement isn’t entirely true, some companies have taken to suing complainers which is always a great way to drum up business and make people want to give you their money. For those of you afraid of social media, that translates into behavior not to engage in. Being a “sue first, ask questions later” sort of company is always a bad idea so don’t do it.
And if you’re going to put someone in charge of handling social media, make sure it isn’t someone overworked and angry at your company who might tweet that they want to stab the client. Other than that, I’m not sure where this fear of social media comes from but it appears that many Milwaukee accounting professionals don’t understand that your brand is only what you present it to be. As long as no one is threatening to physically harm anyone in your stream, you’re pretty safe as far as whatever else you decide to do. Share links, talk to other professionals, really grow a pair and send a photo of your awesome cube arrangements. Whatever, just get involved and stop acting like it’s a larger, more frightening deal than it actually is. It’s just another way to get business done.
Accounting professionals who lack the non-mandated-by-the-AICPA cojones to jump into the new media game are sort of underestimating their own professional ability to judge what is appropriate and what isn’t. That’s an individual choice for brands, firms and representatives of companies as they interact online but it’s disrespectful to the profession to imply that we as a whole don’t act right on the Internets. Please. The niche is large enough that one may bring whatever they want to the table and mostly not get rejected nor the shit sued out of them for tweeting client Social Security numbers. Don’t we know how to behave?
I’d hope so.
So stop being afraid, Milwaukee accounting professionals, it isn’t going to bite (you in the ass later) because you know what’s right and what’s wrong. You’re a fucking professional, dammit. Let me know when you’re on Twitter, I might follow you.