Last week we looked at 13 things your accounting firm can and should post on Twitter. Now that we’ve gotten you started, we’re going to hold you back a little by helping point out a few things you should never do on Twitter!
(Oh, and feel free to peruse a previous post on some generic tips for what to do and not do on social media in general.)
Here are Karen’s “Do Not’s” for Twitter especially:
1. Don’t push your services.
This is a classic accounting firm mistake – based on a misunderstanding of how online marketing works. Share. Give. Tell. Talk.
- Bad Example: “Need accounting services done for your small business? Call us, we can help”
- Good Example: “Just signed up with Xero so you can get your bookkeeping done faster! Excited! Read more”
2. Don’t tell people to phone you.
Same example as above. This is Twitter. People are scrolling through tweets on their phone. At best you can hope for a follow, or maybe a click through to your website.
3. Don’t post generic industry stuff.
No matter how interesting the new tax tables are to you, the accountant, your prospective client could care less – unless you make it interesting.
- Bad example: “HMRC issues statutory regulations for ex-landlord 123xos registrant ownership points in SSP” (In case you’re really confused, I totally made that up)
- Good example: “Landlords and letting agents! Are you declaring all your rent income? The tax man is cracking down – read our blog post.”
4. Don’t send a generic direct message to every new follower.
Now, this is completely personal opinion. If someone out there has discovered that this is actually best practice and gets you better results, I am happy to be entirely wrong. But I for one have never clicked on these generic messages, and they only serve to make me feel like they don’t know me and don’t care.
5. Don’t send all your tweets at the same time.
If you get on Twitter at 5pm and retweet twelve things and tweet six things yourself and follow ten people, nobody will pay attention to what you’ve said because most of them will miss it. Use Hootsuite or some other social media control panel to manage your tweets and your other social media content.
6. Don’t follow everyone who follows you.
First, it looks desperate. Secondly, you can only follow about 2,000 people before Twitter puts a halt to things (until you’ve got enough followers). Thirdly, you won’t read or care about their tweets if they’re not the right people to follow. And finally, Twitter is pretty smart about who and how it recommends followers. If you follow every single person who follows you – including the business coaches, SEO experts, marketeers, spammers, and companies in random countries – then don’t be surprised if that’s all you get in terms of your own followers.
7. Don’t just boast about yourself. It’s fine to share good news – but keep a balanced approach.
- Bad examples: “Just signed another client!” – “Just had my 700th person sign up for my awesome new course!” – “Our business has won 73 awards since 2007!” – “We have the best coffee ever!” (Actually, that last one is okay by me, but only if it’s true.)
- Good examples: “Meeting with another creative agency this afternoon in London – looking forward to it! We’ll bring the biscuits! [tag your client]”
Incidentally, the Guardian has come out with “12 things not to say on Twitter in 2014”, and some of them are hilarious. It may not be as relevant for accountancy firms since many of you don’t post such things, but hey! Have fun reading it!