For firms that still think there is no return on investment for social media … it’s time to wake up and smell the ROI coffee. I’ve been active in social media for some time now, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The key is to be active on a frequent basis. In other words, you have to embrace social media and make it a part of your daily routine. Only then will you start to see ROI. I make social media a dedicated part of my routine, and within the past few weeks I’ve earned a new client and had two existing clients reach out to me through social media channels. One client posted on my Facebook page that she needed an extension. I was able to immediately reply, “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!” I also posted a re-tweet to LinkedIn, reminding clients of the deadline to file corporate returns and extensions. A client responded, “Thanks Jody. This is a timely reminder!” My point? Social media represents another channel to reach clients and respond to them in real time. In both examples, my clients were very happy. I was able to file an extension for one, and for the other provide a much needed reminder of the looming tax deadline. Through social media, I have the ability to communicate with clients on a regular basis … outside of phone calls, emails and my website. And the more touch points we have with clients, the “stickier” the relationship. And you want that stickiness! Communication has to go both ways. As our clients’ trusted advisor, it’s important to touch base and see what they are up to from time to time. With social media, it takes seconds to reach out to clients, offering helpful information or a simple jolt of praise to share in their successes. We are their advisors, so knowing what is going on in the life of the client is critical. Remember, we are also a referral-based profession. Clients that feel connected to me are more likely to refer others to my firm. And don’t be fooled, small business owners expect this level of interaction and use of social media tools. Today’s entrepreneurs are those in their thirties and forties, and they are all aware of social media and its importance. Just this week, I acquired a new client who was referred to me. The prospect had identified three other CPA firms, as well, but she picked me because of our reputation for service and because I have a Twitter feed! It only takes about 10 to 20 minutes a day to maintain a solid social media program. I do it over coffee! Once up and running, firms will see a return on investment.