The accountancy profession in the UK has over the last year fully embraced business social media website LinkedIn, according to research from Kelso Consulting.
In line with this research AccountingWEB also reported a significant uptake from its members as well as the growth of the AccountingWEB LinkedIn group.
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LinkedIn has been a valuable way to alert contacts and clients of tax issues. I post items to a blog and clients can use an RSS feed directly but for those who prefer not to use RSS the LinkedIn updates are ideal.
But I don't see the need to bare my soul to the LinkedIn world and so my profile is quite slim - just relevant business details are included. Why should anyone care where I went to school? I don't.
"I'm a big, big fan of LinkedIn and find it works incredibly well for building relationships with people. LinkedIn presents a massive opportunity for accountants to get more clients.
Of course, the key to making it work is to know how to use it.
There are some great videos on 4P's marketing for accountants YouTube channel. For example this video shows accountants exactly how to use LinkedIn advanced search to get more clients..."
My experience was an absolute nightmare. I was unable to accept the invitations for some unknow technical reason, so of course the reminders started to cascade and the more people were ignored the more they emailed me and it was becoming embarrassing.
It took me several weeks to get any apparently meaningful response and when it came it was useless.
It had to threaten them with various legal rantings to get them to close the account.
I avoid it like the plague but have put staff members on it and benefit indirectly.
I am using other social media assiduously so am not a Luddite but on this one even the resident geeks in the office were stumped.
Perhaps I will return one day but no doubt the bug that took an instant dislike to my name will still be lurking in the shadows.
Bottom line is that I am probably an exception to the rule and it was one of thsoe things
LinkedIn is a very useful tool to make contact with new people/network and keep up to date with the latest accounts/finance news locally and globally. I personally enjoy taking to likeminded people where we can discuss relevant issues affecting our job roles and industries.
AccountingWeb has given us the perfect opportunity to network more with this article
Be great to connect, and to encourage others to do so
Been on Linkedin twice now over several years, experience both times the same, pestered by people wanting to link with me to find they are mortgage brokers, IFAs, other people who clearly want to sell me something or even friends, family and clients that I email & talk to regularly and who only want to link with me becasue, presumably, the system has discovered we are already linked in other ways and are offered a button to push.
In judging that the profession is "fully embracing" Linkedin does that include my half-hearted, account (maybe both attempts?) or is it just from the huge majority of the profession that find it of use?
If having fully utilised ICT (without Linkedin) for nearly 30 years makes me a Luddite then I'll put it on the bottom of all my emails.
Interesting that a lot of accountants Linked accounts were describe as 'dead' or 'half-hearted.' Some use LinkedIn merely as a reference database.
I created an account as contact details for someone I wanted to get in touch with were apparently in that database. I did not give any permissions to review my computer etc - very naive.
Within minutes it had taken email details from my system and I received email requests apparently from people I know - but that I know no longer use that email address or are long gone (sadly)
If I get requests I now immediately delete them - if they appear to be from a friend I ring to see if it is real - and have only had one that was - and it was sent by mistake.
I do not do facebook or twitter, friends sites etc - if there is something my friends and family want to tell me that is not the way - but I am not a Luddite. Just selective in the technology I use
I've just "enhanced" my linked in - looks very nice - I now have hundreds of "useful" connections and to date not a sausage of work from it! Here's hoping Tt
Although I personally have indeed embraced LinkedIn I am conscious that many accountants have reservations.
Having said that, many of their reservations are based on misconceptions and misunderstandings. For example, I am rarely pestered by users on LinkedIn - despite being connected to far more people than most other UK accountants. I have over 1,600 direct connections on Linkedin - many with accountants around the UK. There are certainly far more of them registered on Linkedin than there were this time last year.
I think many people, including many accountants are not really aware of WHY it may be worth their while to set themselves up properly on Linkedin or of HOW to do this - so that it works for them. We are all different in this regard. What works for me is not the same as what works for accountants in pratice.
Just yesterday I was chatting with an accountant who told me he's had no work through LinkedIn. I'm not suprised as his profile misses out loads of key elements. He's fallen into the trap of thinking that somehow work could flow simply from having a profile on Linkedin. That's about as likely as getting work from having a one line ad in the wrong section of a Yellow Pages directory.
Accountants who want to gain a better understanding of WHY and HOW to use Linkedin may find one or both of these half day seminars of interest.
Better no account than a dead or half-hearted one.
I appreciate there may be benefits if used correctly, but it is not in my way of working so no point having it.
Also, I assidiously avoid any program that is pervasive on my computer without express pernmission. I was on Twitter for about 5 minutes, but when my screen went hyper-active automatically loading God knows what I ceased and desisted and will never return!
As an aside, I would mention the KLM debate about their intended disclosure of facebook accounts to other passengers on the same flight - I would advocate using separate unlinked e-mails for purchase contacts and for social media contacts.
Firstly let me declare that I am not an accountant but someone who works closely with accountants for the benefit of their clients. Our experience of Linkedin has been positive with none of the negatives detailed above.
Linkedin, as far as I know, is not invasive to your computer unless you allow it to be i.e. give it permissions. One observation I would make is a lot of accountants do just seem to join groups with other accountants and at this level of participation are not likely to meet or talk to any prospective clients.
As a slight aside I talked to an accountant on twitter the other day who has 17,000 followers and has seen his business grow enormously through its regular use. Social Media will continue to grow and given its expansion over the last two years it is something which should be embraced because it is and will continue to change the way that people do business.
I am afraid that I disagree that it is not invasive.
I started the process, was asked for permission to access contacts which I denied.
I am paranoid about things like this having access so was experimenting from a little used personal email rather than my work one. I instantly began to get requests from people in my contacts, When I log into my Yahoo page I see update requests from email addresses I know are years out of date and I continue to receive emails asking me to accept contact from saved contacts. Of all of the ones received only one request was genuine and he sent that by mistake!!
I've never heard of such a thing before and I've engaged with hundreds of users of Linkedin who do not seem to have had a similar issue.
Maybe I've misunderstood your problem but I can't think why you would have had such an experience. Anyway, here's an easy way to stop it. You can simply change your 'settings'.
Go to any page of Linkedin while you're logged in and click on your name - top right of the screen. Then click on the drop down menu to access 'my settings'.
Here you can tailor all of the ways that Linkedin might connect with you re emails and re groups and also how other users may contact you. So far as I am aware the ONLY thing you cannot turn off is the email that LinkedIn sends you when someone accepts YOUR request to connect with them.
Please would you let me know (privately if you like) who this accountant is who has both 17,000 twitter followers and who "has seen his business grow enormously through its regular use". Both the number of followers and the impact on his business are unusual to say the least.
I thought I was in touch with all of the most active accountant users of twitter (and indeed have twitter lists of hundreds of UK accountants who have twitter accounts). I can't think of anyone who fits the bill.
Those with thousands of followers have invariably pursued an approach promoted by naive social media and marketing experts to chase '000s of followers by following thousands of people, most fo whom will have no interest in the accountant's services or tweets.
Those who have secured material business benefit from twitter are generally themselves start-up practices who have won new clients who have themselves just started in business.
If there is an accountant out there who is seriously bucking the trend (which I have been monitoring closely for over 3 years) I would love to speak to them. Twitter is fun. Twitter can be useful. But it's unlikely to be a major business generating tool for accountants. And I say that as someone who is a very active and enthusiastic user of twitter.
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