Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

The social media tipping point has arrived

I've been talking to CPAs about the power and importance of the social movement for years now, and I'm still getting a lot of empty stares in response.

It's astounding, really. I get the whole "late adopter" thing, but come on. Social has turned our world upside down, and some of you still aren't taking it seriously? How blind can you be?

"Whatever," I've been telling myself. "They'll keep ignoring it until we reach the point where it can't be ignored anymore."

Brace yourselves. We've officially reached that point.

In fact, writes's Adam Bluestein, the social movement has grown so big that it will begin contracting in response. More and more frequently, business folks will turn away from social behemoths like Facebook and LinkedIn and embrace smaller, niche social networks to get their work done.

"People aren't likely to flee Facebook outright," Bluestein predicts, "but they will increasingly augment their online social experience by using other networks whose size, privacy, and more customized parameters are better suited to specific tasks and goals."

The MACPA is getting ready to roll out just such a network, called MACPA Groups. It will give CPAs the opportunity to connect, collaborate and share resources on any business- and accounting-related topic you can imagine. Whatever your area of interest, there'll be an MACPA Group that meets that need. You'll be hearing a lot more about Groups in the near future.

Here's the point: Social isn't just about socializing anymore. It's about surviving.

Think I'm overreacting? Think again.

  • Google Chairman Eric Schmidt raised eyebrows at a 2010 tech conference when he said, "Between the dawn of civilization through 2003, there were just five exabytes of information created. That much information is now created every two days." How do we deal with that flood of information? With apologies to Clay Shirky, we find better filters. True, social media contributes to the glut of information, but it also delivers to us the information we need and lets us ignore the rest of the crap out there. It's a perfect social filter. If you're not using it, you're either drowning in information … or you're woefully uninformed.
  • We're all experts at something, right? Social media lets us turn that expertise into thought leadership. It's the most powerful personal branding and marketing tool that's ever existed.
  • Things are changing faster than ever, and our only hope of staying on top of that pace of change is through constant, lifelong learning. And since almost all learning is social in nature, social media has quickly become our most important teacher. The bigger our networks, the more opportunities we have to learn from others … and to conquer change. 

So consider this your wakeup call. If you're not committed to becoming more social, more collaborative, more human, you're a relic. You're endangered. You're on the fast track to irrelevancy. In the harshest terms possible, you simply don't matter anymore.

With a new year -- a new era -- bearing down on us, make sure you matter. Be social.


Bill Sheridan