Part 1 of our two-part series gets you thinking about the benefits of using Twitter for your practice and how to get started.
At MYOB we’re at the tail end of our biggest and best trade show ever. At MYOB INCITE, MYOB and accountants came together to celebrate their industry and share insights, ideas and a vision for a collaborative future between accountants and their clients.
Our data from MYOB INCITE shows that social sharing was up – way up – on last year. More people were tweeting, more people were listening, and more people sharing. This is a terrific indicator that accountants are taking social media seriously.
So, how do you get started? Getting started on Twitter is easy, but getting the best value out of it for your business takes a bit more thought and planning.
Here’s my advice for getting the most out of it.
There’s a range of motivations for people, business and government to be on Twitter. The first step to getting the best value out of Twitter for your business is understanding your motivations for being there in the first place.
- Do you want to stay up to date with news and compliance information in the accounting and business sectors?
- Do you want to use Twitter as a distribution channel for news, content and ideas to your peers in the accounting and bookkeeping industries?
- Do you want to network with and learn from your industry colleagues?
- Do you want to develop your business personality?
- Do you want to attract and engage potential clients?
All the above are excellent reasons for using Twitter. There are plenty of accountants and bookkeepers in Australia and New Zealand who use Twitter to stay abreast of topics that you and your clients might find useful.
Twitter is a great tool to stay on top of regulations from government and get tips from other bookkeeping and accounting bodies.
From compliance dates, product news and broader industry related chatter, Twitter will cover it. It’s a great place to ‘tune in’, if you’re following the right accounts.
Where do you start?
This What’s with Twitter? blog post gives you the basics of getting started on Twitter.
There are also plenty of how to guides online. Here are a couple of useful links:
- Getting started with Twitter, from Constant Contact. Includes usernames, bios, pictures, plus some advanced functionality such as scheduling
- The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter, from Mashable. Includes Twitter terminology, direct messages and some broader strategic thinking
How you engage with Twitter is up to you. Listen, tweet, retweet, favourite, reply – take it at your own pace.
As time goes on, your usage will evolve. You might slowly transition from the silent kid at the back of the room to the presenter running the show, contributing to trending topics, curating lists or even starting a trend.
Who should you follow?
Like real life, Twitter is only as valuable as the company you keep. Who you follow and engage with will ultimately determine the experience you have.
Unlike Facebook, finding where to start or how to behave might not be clear.
When you sign up, you’ll be given a list of popular accounts (such as celebrities, radio stations or news sites), but that’s all pretty generic. While they might be interesting enough, following those tweets might be more of a time-killer than a networking, productivity and a potential lead-generation activity.
A range of people, businesses and organisations tweet for different reasons. To find those that will provide the most value to you, think about why you’re using Twitter and what outcome you want to achieve.
For instance, if you’re a bookkeeper looking to learn tips and tools of the trade, following other bookkeepers will help you achieve your goal.
If you’re an accountant hoping to network with other professionals, following industry bodies will give you a great starting place.
Use the search function in Twitter to find people, topics or organisations that interest you.