Sand If you ignore social media, will it go away?

We think the answer is an emphatic, “No!” (See Bill Sheridan’s interview with Rick Telberg.)

And we think that is the wrong question. The right question is, how can we harness the power of these new, mostly free tools to help us as CPA professionals?

That is why we had a special four-hour session at the MACPA’s Beach Retreat in Ocean City, Md. (Here is a copy of my presentation and pictures.) This post is for the brave participants who wanted to go deeper into the tools and how they might use them (and for all of you who are starting to think about this phenomena a bit more).

Note how we used social media to connect and share all of the content and information (Flickr for photos, Slideshare for presentations, blog, and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

Here is how to get started:

  1. Educate yourself. Use our free, online, self-directed learning program for social media (15 minutes a day for 35 exercises) —
  2. Create your digital footprint. Create profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google.
  3. Start listening. Use Google Reader or Bloglines to begin reading thought leaders in your profession or areas of interest. (See Week 6 on RSS and newsreaders.) 
  4. Continue listening. Create your Twitter account and follow your profession and areas of interest. (See Thing 18 and follow us on Twitter — MACPA, Bill Shreidan, Tom Hood.)
  5. Start publishing! Create a blog (Typepad, Blogger. Tumblr) and record your thoughts. (See Week 2: Create your blog.)
  6. Share. Recognize and promote the people you find interesting. Remember to be authentic, show some of your personality, and provide value first and foremost.

Want more? Join us for the MACPA’s Technology Conference and AccountingWeb Live on Sept. 13-14, where you can lear about social media and mingle with the AccountingWeb bloggers’ crew.

Some resources to get you started:

Join our MACPA online communities:

Read our blogs:

Our Twitter lists:

Recommended books:

Articles mentioned:

Sample social media policy for CPAs: