The 5 Stages of Social Media (Grief) Acceptance

Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been around for several years now, and we've covered the subject as it relates to professional tax and accounting firms several times. But a recent Forbes article (10 Myths about Social Neworking for Small Business) reminded me that even when faced with sound logic, adaptation can be a burden. I've put the challenges of accepting new technology and social media into a context similar to the 5 Stages of Grief (it seemed appropriate): (X = whatever your current marketing and client communications are; Y is social media) Denial: As in, "We just started doing X last week, now we've got to do Y, also?" Anger: As in, "Really!?! I don't have time for this stuff. It's just more on my plate! And besides, I still have to do Y!" Bargaining: As in, "Well, maybe if I work harder or spend a little more money on X, I won't have to do Y?" Depression: As in, "This is too much. Every year something new. I can never keep up with it all. Maybe it's time to go become an actuary." Acceptance: As in, "Okay. Y (social media, remember) is probably beneficial and doesn't really cost much, if anything. I'll just have to find out more about how to do it." To get you started on the "finding out more" part, a great resource is, of course, CPA Practice Advisor. A quick search for recent social media articles on the site results in some specific how-tos, and how-don'ts for accounting firms, most of which are geared toward you or someone in your firm doing most of the tweeting/interacting on social media websites. A few coaches/trainers are also available to help firms maximize their strategies, like Geni Whitehouse, and fellow blogger Scott Cytron. There are also other options for those who see the potential value in social media, but still don't want it on their plate.  From marketing professionals that specialize in serving accountants, and tech companies that have helped accounting firms with their websites, who now offer to perform their social media functions. CPA Site Solutions recently announced their service. It was about 15 years ago that most professional firms started using email and a couple of years after that, many firms had their own websites. In 2011, a professional website is a necessity, and that's not going to change. Nor is social media just a fad. To paraphrase the Forbes "10 Myths" article, social media may be the new shiny red apple, but it isn't going to replace your website or your other marketing and client communication methods. It will enhance them all, and your practice. What do you think about social media adoption by small and mid-sized tax and accounting firms?