"heading down to the apple genius bar to get my iphone fixed12:02 PM Apr 12th, 2008 from web"
So, humbly went my first Twitter post back just before Tax Day in 2008.
Well, it’s been over a year, and I’ve been watching and learning the twitter thing. And in the last 16 months, my how much has changed. According to TechCrunch.com back in April 2008, there were about 1.3 Million Twitter users. Today, estimates range from 20-30 million users, of which, the top 5 % of users count for 75% of the traffic or use of twitter. Add to that, according to mashable.com, 60% of twitter users quit within the first month.
In other words, 60% don’t quite get it. And for a while, I wondered why I was Tweeting myself… I mean, in addition to a blog, I’m now more active on my Facebook page, and I wondered: “Do I need another website to mess with? “ “What’s the point? will I get traffic to my website at the CPA Marketing Center?
But my primary question is: “How can I be more relevant and helpful to the CPAs and Accountants who need or want marketing help?” – and can I do it through Twitter?
Over the past several months, I’ve been watching Twitter carefully, and considering how Twitter works for CPAs and Accountants… of course, there are the inane posts such as “Dropping Little Joey off at T-ball practice, then to pick up the dry-cleaning…” – and Lord knows, a ton of spam posts from everything from network marketers, celebrities, and people that make me want to say: “WTF??? – why are these people tweeting this stuff?”
Twitter is sort of like the Wild West- or the early days of blogging… right now, twitter growth is so fast that it’s hard to keep up. And just like in the Gold Rush Days of 1848-49, the wild growth attracts a bunch of “unsavory” characters. But don’t let that put you off Twitter. Just as easy as it is to follow someone, you can unfollow them with a click.
Right now, I’m in “growth mode” on twitter – searching for and adding relevant followers who might be interested in and benefit from Marketing insights specifically aimed at CPAs and Accountants. Let’s face it, in today’s tough economy, as CPAs (or any profession or business for that matter) finding and keeping clients is the lifeblood of your organization.
But before I share the tips, let's get rid of the "I don't have the time to tweet" issue: If you can send a text, you can tweet. Simple as that - enable Twitter mobile, and updating your feed is as simple as sending a text. And the account only takes about 2 minutes to set up. So there, let's get tweeting.1
So now, I’m going to share 5 tips for CPAs and Accountants to Tweet by:
1. Tweets must add value. Whether you’re on topic sharing tax or accounting advice, or sharing a link to an interesting or informative article – If you think it’s worth sharing; tweet it. Sometimes even posts that are specific to your interests or hobbies may be relevant to your followers, as they give insight as to who you are. Remember, people do business with people they: “Know, Like & Trust” – so be upbeat, personal, and gain trust by showing expertise & sharing relevant content.
2. Tweets must be timely. You may have heard that Twitter is now becoming a major source for breaking news. Whether it’s a disaster or election results, word spreads on Twitter fast. Twitter is the rumor mill on steroids. And if something cool just happened for you and a client, (i.e. “Just finished a successful Audit Defense w/ a client, saved the client $33k! full story here: link) by all means: Tweet it.
3. Tweets must be spam free. Spam is generally unsolicited email communication. It’s considered bad form to send personal messages via Twitter directing them to your website… if it’s relevant info you want to share – share it with everyone. Also, it’s my opinion, that “serial tweeters” or those who post 5-10 posts to their feed in immediate succession are generally spammers. I periodically go through my twitter feed and ‘un-follow’ those Tweeters.
4. Keep your followers RELEVANT: With so many people on Twitter spouting off mostly random, inane stuff ( 40% of posts are useless, 37% conversational, 8% pass along value; link: Computerworld.com article ) if you don't maintain your list with relevant people, you're just adding to the noise. I'd rather have 100 relevant readers (CPAs & Accountants) than 10,000 people who don't have the slightest interest in what I have to say.
5. Prune Your Followers Regularly: There are some people you don’t want to follow you… you can block them, or just delete them. One problem with Twitter is that it’s a VERY open system. Of course, the openess is a benefit too; as it allows third party applications such as tweetdeck to be easily developed and spread; but caveat emptor – it’s very easy for someone to look at your followers list and basically go out and try to grab your followers. Don’t pay it much mind – but be beware. I think it’s a good thing to go through your list and cut names and Tweeters who you don’t think fit your reader profile.
So as you enter the Twittersphere – give good thought to your purpose on the site. Perhaps your purpose is to generate more leads for your accounting firm. Or to become the “go-to” person in your area for good tax advice. As long as you keep your vision in mind when you Tweet, you’re bound to be successful.
In future posts, I’ll be sharing stories of CPAs and Accountants who use Twitter to grow thier business, and how you can do the same. In the meantime – if you’ve found this post useful, pass it along to your friends in the industry – and feel free to comment below on the story.
David S. Rachford, CPA-Inactive
Looking for marketing strategies to build your accounting practice? Use this blog as a reference to improve your marketing with tested strategies and tactics.CPA Marketing, Marketing For Accountants
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