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A practicing accountant confesses that twitter doesn’t work (for him)

posted in: Social Media, twitter | 6

An unnamed accountant has written the following confession for AccountancyAge. It accords with my perception of the position many firms of accountants are in or will find themselves in:

Having spent a great deal of time and effort on new social media methods of marketing it was a happy day when we recently acquired a client originating from Twitter.

We have had lots of initial enquiries, loads of conversations, even a few meetings but to finally sign up an actual client was a real joy.

A couple of us within the firm have been so desperate to prove that the new social media marketing methods actually work when it comes to acquiring business, that we have probably spent a disproportionate amount of time on it just to prove the point.

In the cold light of day it probably hasn’t been worth it so far and I’m sure at the next partners’ meeting the issue will probably be raised.

A huge amount of time has been spent learning and putting into practice the new methods – and on a cost-per-hour basis the return at the moment just isn’t there.

I am still convinced that Twitter and Facebook are great ways to market the practice but I will probably have to admit that now is the time to delegate the task of tweeting and posting to staff who have lower charge out rates, or maybe even administrative staff.

Regular readers will know that I am not surprised. I have often questioned whether the time that some professional advisers devote to twitter and other forms of social media is worthwhile. Often it seems unfocused, overly promotional or unsupported.

Twitter and other forms of social media can be worthwhile activities but only when the adviser (or those at the top of the firm) understand enough about what it involves, what it requires and what it implies. What will not be worthwhile is the approach that the unnamed practitioner suggests his firm will now adopt – delegating tweeting to a junior member of staff.   This MAY be all the biggest firms need to do. But for most it wil simply mean that a more junior person is the one wasting their time instead of a partner.  Far better to review the firm’s strategy and to ensure that its social media activity is more focused going forwards.

What do you think?

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Mark Lee

Mark is a speaker, mentor, facilitator, author, blogger and debunker. Mark Lee helps professionals who want to STAND OUT and be remembered, referred and recommended using his 7 fundamental principles to ceate a more powerful professional impact, online and face to face.

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6 Responses

  1. James McBrearty
    | Reply

    Yes, it’s important to have a goal when using Social Networking.

    I’ve also come across many people spending huge amounts of time online, thinking they are working when actually it’s ‘notworking.’

    For some, delegating their SN to a professional or suitably experienced person can also be a way forward.

  2. Andrew Diver
    | Reply

    Delegation of social media to a junior member of the team: an interesting concept, I suggest more risky than beneficial.

    To tweet is to permanently publish content (in the name of the business) on a website which has over 100m users. It is a heavily viral environment where a mistake can be shared with thousands before the junior member has managed to reach the managing partners office to explain what has gone wrong.

    You should ask whether you would trust that junior member of the team to issue press releases or publish articles in newspapers & magazines?

    If delegation is the solution, care certainly needs to be taken in the scope of comments, who to engage with or endorse (through retweeting). When you start pulling together a policy you might determine that the advantages that social media offers are largely negated by the need for appropriate controls.

  3. Accountant Sutherland
    | Reply

    It maybe not working for him but it works for my job. Social marketing is not just by tweeting and your done, it also about finding the right audience, tweeting the right phrase, and tweet tweets that you know will be retweeted since retweets are much heavier. But these concerns should be manage by an internet marketer and not an accountant so maybe that’s why it didn’t work for him

  4. christina makhoul
    | Reply

    I have not picked up any clients (that I am aware of) through twitter, but I have a library of articles that I can go back to via my postings there. I have also found an accountant who does IRS returns for my UK based client which I found via twitter, which has worked well. I see it as a long game and only post something (usually a link) when it interests me – or possibly my followers some of whom are clients. Hopefully I have only devoted a manageable proportion of my time to social media as I prefer face to face contact for prospect conversion

  5. Toni Hunter
    | Reply

    Hear hear!
    Social Media can not be delegated or outsourced in my view. Our audience wants to engage with US not our marketing team.

  6. paul martin
    | Reply

    (A non-accountant speaks) I would not have found this site but for twitter, nor would I start to do business with someone not on Twitter

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