A new study by tax prep software provider Drake Software reveals that tax preparers have taken to certain avenues of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, but that most still have these communication and network tools on the to-do list.

The study, “Social Media and the Tax Professional,” by Drake senior vice president James Stork, surveyed 1,230 tax professionals in the Drake community. “In the long run, will you have a choice [but to accept and use social media]?” Stork writes. “For large business-to-consumer companies it is almost a requirement; however, small businesses have just as much to gain and are gradually becoming enthusiasts.”

Among the findings of the survey:

  • Facebook and LinkedIn head the social media preferred by respondents.
  • One out of four tax professionals “wants to get in the social media game, but needs to learn more before getting started.”
  • Of those who are using social media, 76 percent don’t have a content plan or schedule.  14 percent post content weekly, 6 percent post monthly and only 4 percent post daily. “Most are getting their feet wet, but haven’t taken the plunge,” the survey reports.
  • Most respondents spend nothing on social media.
  • Of the respondents who have used social media, 9 percent said it was “very effective” and better than traditional channels; 37 percent said it was as effective as traditional channels; and 54 percent said it was not as effective as traditional channels.
  • Of those who said it was not as effective as traditional channels, 46 percent spent nothing on marketing via social media, and 31 percetn indicated that they either didn’t have the time, the desire or the know-how to implement a social-media strategy.
  • Word-of-mouth and community involvement were listed by most respondents as dependable avenues of advertising.