You’re an accountant and wondering why you should be on Twitter. What is all this you hear about tweeting, retweeting, hashtags and mentions? As an accountant you’re often buried deep in figures all day long and have the unfortunate tag of being boring or the bearer of bad news when it’s tax time. It doesn’t need to be this way though and being on Twitter can help; not only changing the perception of accountants but also gaining attention to you and your business which will hopefully lead to new clients.
Why you should be on Twitter
#1. It’s very simple – it’s where your possible clients are.
#2. It’s also where your competition is so you need to be there too.
#3. There are 230 million active users on Twitter worldwide. 27% of the adult population in Ireland are on Twitter. These include businesses.
What should your bio look like?
This will vary if you are a firm of accountants or acting alone.
#4. If you are a firm then the bio will incorporate the details of the practice, using a Twitter name that is as close to the name of the company as possible. The avatar will probably be the company logo and profile background a corporate view of your business.
#5. If you are solo then you
can be a bit more adventurous with your bio and include your hobbies and interests – detracting from the boredom when readers see the word accountant.
#6. Let people know there is more to you than just a number cruncher.
#7. The avatar should be a good and clear headshot of yourself but the background on the profile could be a bit more fun – to show the lighter side.
What does the Twitter terminology mean?
Twitter has introduced a new language and terminology that is helpful to understand when you are starting out.
#8. A follow is when you click to follow someone on Twitter so you see their updates.
#9. A tweet is 140 characters long (including spaces) and can be an update about business, news, your life; a link to something interesting you’ve read, seen on tv, happening in your area; or just a chat with friends. Basically it can be about absolutely anything but of course it should be interesting to others. Imagine being in a room and just talking rubbish – you’d get some funny looks.
#10. A Retweet (or RT) is when someone shares your tweet with their followers. This is great to attract more attention to yourself from others that aren’t necessarily following you. It can also help to gain more followers.
#11. A reply is when someone tweets you directly with your @twittername at the beginning of the tweet. This is often used like a conversation and only people following you AND the person tweeting you will see these tweets (apart from looking directly at your timeline).
#12. A mention is when someone uses your @twittername in a tweet but not at the beginning. This way everyone following that person can see the tweet so it’s a good way to get noticed by people that aren’t following you already. This often happens on #FollowFriday (or #FF) when people recommend others to follow. NB. This doesn’t work if you put the @twittername at the very beginning as it defeats the object as only people already following that person will see it.
#13. A Direct Message (DM) is a private chat with another tweeter – only the two of you can see the chat. This is best used for personal conversations between friends.
#14. A #Hashtag is often used to follow a conversation that lots of tweeters are involved in. It can be about an event happening like a conference, a news story, sport or even TV. It can be about anything basically and if the same #hashtag is used in all tweets then they can be followed easily.
To find out more about Twitter strategy and terminology this is a good post to read: Twitter for Business – The Ultimate Guide.
What should you Tweet about?
#15. Try not to tweet about Accountancy all the time. It really will lose you followers. You need to sound interesting to people so they want to hear from you more. The main rule on all Social Media sites is to be engaging.
#16. Share interesting links – doesn’t all have to be about accountancy – anything interesting and helpful is good
#17. If you have tax tips then share them – people would like to know how to save money
#18. Never do a hard sell or constant sales tweets
#19. Use Twitter to link to your blog if you have one – a 140 character Tweet can lead to a lot more of your information to share
How to use Twitter effectively
#20. Use #hashtags to search for topics relevant to accountancy that you may be able to help answer. There are always questions being asked on Twitter and if you know the answer then why not help someone out.
#21. Don’t be distant – reply to people as soon as you can, especially if they are asking advice because they could easily get a reply from another accountant sooner and that’s a potential loss of a possible future client
#22. Join in conversations – it may even be about something you’re all watching on TV, but it makes you seem more accessible than the accountant sitting behind his desk. Even if you haven’t worked for someone there is a chance they will still recommend you to others that are looking for an accountant. That’s because you’ve engaged with them and they will know what you do from your bio. You’d be surprised how often this happens if you engage with people regularly.
#23. Become the go-to person for advice on accountancy. If you’re seen helping people you’re more likely to get recommendations and build up your network and profile
#24. Use a platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that runs in the background on your computer or smartphone so if someone tweets you then you’ll know straight away and can respond. This also works with any #hashtags you are tracking. This way you don’t have to be sitting on Twitter watching it all or you’ll never get any work done.
#25. Be the expert everyone talks about. One way to do this is to hold a Twitter advice clinic regularly. It is best to do this at the same time every week or month so it becomes a regular occurrence. Advertise it well in advance and use a #hashtag so everyone can follow the conversation. The #hashtag will gain attraction plus the message will spread and people will be pointed in your direction if they need advice. Some people may not want their questions public so offer to take it private on DM or email if needs be.
I hope this advice has been useful. If you have any suggestions for Tweeting Accountants please let us know in the comments below.
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