When and Why To Use Social Networks to Draw in Accountants

Chapter 6 is all about talking, but more importantly, if and when to talk to the groundswell.  The authors provide some advice as to when brands should use social networks to talk with their customers to gain ROI (return on investment): (a) use the Social Technographics Profile to verify your customers are in social networks, (b) move forward if people love your brand, (c) see what’s out there already, and (d) create a presence that encourages interaction.

For accounting firms big and small, and the provincial governing bodies of designations (CA, CMA, and CGA), their current market is full of Critics.  These organizations must also constantly be hiring and bringing in new blood to their organizations or face stagnation, and loss of human capital due to eventual retirement or post-designation exits; this new blood is mostly made up of Joiners, as they are soon-to-be post-secondary graduates (most designations require a 4-yr bachelor degree, or at least the equivalent experience and coursework), between the ages of 21-35, and have been around technology for most if not all of their life.  Because of this classification, accounting organizations would do very well engaging with their market through social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Now it is harder to determine how to act based upon whether people love the accounting industry’s brands because, no one really likes accountants (don’t lie, you were all thinking it).  People find accountants a necessary evil, which is better than being an unnecessary evil.

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Am I an Accountant or a Consultant? Tell Me What My Brand Is

I feel like I should be prefacing all of my blog entries with a reference back to my Social Technographics Profile of accountants as Critics because it is true; we can be critical, and I find that in most of my blogs entries and thoughts so far I have been, and it seems at times, I need to be.  Or maybe I should rename my blog: “Critical Accounting Student: You Have Been Warned”.

In this post, I am going to focus on the procedures featured in Chapter 5 and apply them to a non-online groundswell; rather I will focus on the process of listening, and on the general aspects of the groundswell: people, technology and economics.  Chapter 5 of Groundswell is all about listening to the groundswell, and essentially tells us that we may have an idea of what our brand is or means to us, but it is the opinion and perception of our brand by the people that tells the truth.

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Is the ICAA at the “POST”?

Chapter 4 of Groundswell covers an interesting method for tapping into the groundswell, the POST method: People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology.  As this is an accounting focused blog, I thought we’d try this method out on one of the accounting designation governing bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA).  As a little backstory for those who do not follow accounting news (*gasp*), the ICAA are the only governing body of CAs in Canada that has removed themselves from the accounting designation merger (CPA) talks. Continue reading

How do Accountants fit into the Social Technographics Profile?

In Chapter 3 of Groundswell: Winning in a World of Transformed by Social Technologies, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff mention their use of the Social Technographics Profile, a tool developed to distinguish the groups of users/consumers who are involved in the groundswell (p. 43); unfortunately they provide an outdated link to the tool on page 59 and readers are led to a 404 page.  Within that profile there are seven defined groups that consumers can be a part of:

  • Creators
  • Conversationalists
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators
  • Inactives

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