[IMGCAP(1)] CPAs are always trying to get me to quantify what I get from using social media as an engagement tool, aside from just sales. 

Some don’t understand its inherent value; others think I am just wasting my time.  

They are wrong.

I do my own social media. I am the voice and brand of New Vision CPA Group, my firm. This week I had two extreme examples of how social media, really social business, had a cool effect on my firm.

Because of my Twitter presence and recent blog, commentary on Accounting Today, an editor from Inc. Magazine reached out to me directly for a quote on the whole Turbo Tax e-file issue. My last blog was about my thoughts on how CPAs should react to the current e-file conversation.

The editor reached out to me directly. She wanted a quote. I did not call her and I don’t have an expensive PR team trying to get me in national publications. I just have a big mouth, an opinion and social media presence.

Can the social naysayers tell me what the value of being quoted in Inc. is in the height of tax season? 

I don’t think they can.

Even if my phone doesn’t ring with a new customer, that’s OK.

They saw my article, my name, and the name of my firm.

Now, what is the value of that quote to my brand? What is the value of that article in a prospective client introduction package? What is the value of that quote to my current client base as part of a newsletter of what we are up to or a print out while they wait for their appointment? 

I can’t quantify it, but I do know that quote to our small firm is priceless.

If that wasn’t enough…it gets better.

In the article, I defend Turbo Tax. The article goes online in the midst of all the drama with Intuit and its data breach investigation. I am “friends” – yes, “friends” - with Brad Smith, the chief executive of Intuit on Facebook. I have actually met him IRL (In Real Life). 

Is he someone I would call or send an email to during the ordinary course of business?

Probably not. Would he respond? Hard to say. But what I can say is that at one point back in the day, I shook his hand – and other than our firm’s business with their products, he’s not someone I would do day-to-day business with.

After all, he is a busy guy.

He was also in the midst of a huge crisis.   

Well, I took my Inc. article and I posted it on his wall telling him that I wasn’t a big fan of Turbo Tax (it is somewhat of my competition), but he shouldn’t have to take the heat for a data breach. 

I had his back.

Well, guess what? He responded and thanked me. Yes, in the midst of all the drama. Do you think that touch point with a customer (AKA, me) had a positive effect?

You bet it did.

So here is the chief executive of a publically-traded company connecting to a customer who spends a significant amount of money on their various products and one who doesn’t always drink their Kool Aid.

Tell me again why you are not social?

It won’t happen overnight, but I guarantee if you give social a chance, you will see similar events unfolding for you as well.

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is the CEO and Principal at New Vision CPA Group and author of The Radical CPA at theradicalcpa.com