Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Where Does the Time Go?

The other day I received a message on Facebook and it congratulated me on my “anniversary” per se, in that I have been a member of that social media platform for eight years.

That was a fact that both surprised and disturbed me.

The disturbing part was that I have little or no idea where those past eight years went. To think my youngest daughter who is four months away from graduating college had just turned 13 when I decided to take the plunge and officially become a “poster.”

About the only thing I do recall about my initial enrollment was having a verbal knock down drag out with the IT director of my then employer who wanted my staff to opt for a Twitter account instead. Facebook, which at the time had roughly 150 million users was both overrated and doomed to collapse within two years was his professional opinion.

I’m glad I politely said no. Hmm maybe it wasn’t all that polite.

In any event, some 1.9 billion users later, Facebook has become the largest social media platform by far. By contrast Twitter has some 317 million active users – certainly nothing to dismiss to be sure.

My next leap into the social media arena was LinkedIn, where my connections now number into hundreds and in full disclosure I turn down as many invitations as I accept. I follow a simple rule; if I don’t know your or have never heard of you, the request gets tossed into the electronic circular file so to speak.

I regale you with my not-so-brief personal history with social media because during that time, I’ve seen CPA firms do the proverbial 180 degree turn on their attitude toward the various platforms.

Many sarcastically used to refer to the practice as social “notworking” and implemented system “blocks” preventing their respective staffs from access.

But that was then and this is now.

According to the AICPA’s National MAP Survey the use of social media in recruiting and retention efforts is spiking almost exponentially. Now, 75 percent of firms with revenues over $5 million employ platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to augment their traditional recruiting strategies.

For firms generating $10 million and above in billings, the percentage of social media use rose to 83 percent. Sadly many firms below those revenue figures choose not to use social media as a hiring tool and in my humble opinion put themselves at a tremendous disadvantage when vying for potential staff against their larger competitors.

Again it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. Maybe now it’s time to change my profile picture – there’s just so long you can get away with using your college graduation photo.

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