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Is twitter just for twits or does it have a useful purpose ?

Is twitter just for twits or does it have a...

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Who cares what someone has had for breakfast or what opinions someone holds or other trivia ? Is twitter a big waste of time ? Why don't people put all personal details on a board outside their house. They don't speak to neighbours but are willing to tell the world including the state all their personal affairs. Has the world gone mad ?

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By taxhound
24th May 2013 18:59

I would comment...

...but someone might sue me...

 

I think the world has gone mad, thinking that it is ok to say a load of offensive/racist/whatever else rubbish on line and not consider the consequences.

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By Flash Gordon
24th May 2013 19:31

Has the world gone mad?

Pretty much, yes. 

If anyone is interested my breakfast was a bowl of Raisin Oats & More but with the raisins picked out, with semi-skimmed milk. No doubt at this point I'm supposed to add the obligatory 'LOL' because it's so hilarious. Gosh I'm rolling around and I'm sure you all are too. 

Now I'm going to return to the sofa, LOL. Maybe have a cuppa, LOL. 

Wow, I could feel my brain disintegrating as I typed that. LOL. Not. 

 

 

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
24th May 2013 20:11

It's up to you

I've used Twitter for 2 years to gather up to date info on accounts/tax, finance, business and (more interesting) personal interest stuff and never had anything about breakfasts or trivia.  You get who you follow, it's not rocket science.

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By johngroganjga
24th May 2013 20:45

I agree entirely with Paul. Twitter is what you make of it for yourself. You tailor who you follow to your own interests. If you are not interested in following people who tweet about what they had for breakfast - don't! There are millions of other people you can follow.

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By John Collingwood
24th May 2013 23:22

In my very limited experience of it

the name says it all - TWIT...ter

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By BKD
25th May 2013 22:31

Clearly your experience is indeed very limited

I don't use it myself. but my wife finds it invaluable in both her own consultancy business and for the benefit of the CIC with which we are both involved.

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By andy.partridge
25th May 2013 16:47

Potential

It has enormous potential to be useful, in the way that BKD describes, but most of what I see on it is drivel spouted by dull people.

Probably the same people who will be charged with looking after me in my old age. Help!

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By Rachael White
28th May 2013 09:32

From insight gathered on Aweb and my own personal use, when used right, Twitter can be of benefit to professionals, including accountants and accountancy firms. 

For further reading, Mark Lee often has some very useful content on social media platforms, including LinkedIn and Twitter on the site, including: 

Do you need a social media strategy?Online networking for accountants: Choose your platforminspired by an article he wrote 

There are many accountants, including Aweb members, professional bodies, accountancy news organisations and other professionals already on Twitter - so if nothing else, it can be a great - and quick - way of keeping abreast of current affairs. 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
28th May 2013 18:15

Don't believe all the media hype

Thanks for the plug Rachael

@peaky99 I entirely understand where you are coming from. Like you I have no interest in what anyone else is eating. But I never see any of that nonsense on twitter. We all get to choose who we follow. I certainly unfollow anyone who posts rubbish.

I'm very active and enjoy my time on twitter but I agree it is overhyped and the media perpetuate a load of myths about it. This leads to misunderstandings and misconceptions.

Think of twitter like your satellite tv. Is that system full of nothing but cookery and childrens programmes? NO. There are lots of them there but you choose which channels you watch. I choose whose tweets I see in the same way. 

I have written many pieces to debunk the hype around twitter and would stress just two points:

1 - If an accountant is tempted to try out twitter, I recommend doing so, in the first place, by reference to personal interests - NOT to promote their practice.

2 - It is almost a complete waste of time trying to use twitter to promote your accountancy practice. But it can be a fun and useful way to pick up on information, insights and links that may be of interest and of value. There are other potential benefits too but these depend on whether you have clients who use it and whether your wider target audience uses it.

Mark 

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By simon.freeman
31st May 2013 13:06

A fool with a tool is still a fool

This saying is so appropriate for Twitter.  But let's not right off the tool because of the various fools who use it.  My business (www.mkryptor.com) uses it a lot.  It has been very effective and of course it has global reach and as such has brought us leads and clients.  You should also look at it not just from a sending point of view but watching other conversations on twitter and inject your views where appropriate.

We often respond, contact or tweet in response to questions and comments to do with security, email encryption and confidentiality.  You might do the same with people who express frustration with their current accountant or tax problems!  What a great way to identify new clients.

Don't write it off.  Your competition is out there and using this tool and not all of them are fools.

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By peaky99
01st Jun 2013 14:34

But...there seems something senseless in an activity which has as its aim a follow you follow me strategy, akin to Tom and Gerry

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By BKD
01st Jun 2013 14:57

Misunderstanding

peaky99 wrote:

But...there seems something senseless in an activity which has as its aim a follow you follow me strategy, akin to Tom and Gerry

If that is your perception of its only purpose then your scepticism is understandable. Those that know how to use it properly on the other hand ...

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By AdShawBPR
06th Jun 2013 11:31

I like it!

I surprised myself and found I actually really like Twitter.  It's so quick and easy and I don't worry about what people can or can't see about me and who may or may not be following me - unlike Facebook which is a complete mystery to me.

I think it is useful as a marketing tool for accountants and you can very quickly put something out there which others may find very useful - I just re-tweeted the revised fuel rates I got on an email from ICAEW - took 10 seconds and info communicated.  That's 10 seconds of my time, a completely free plug for me and anyone following me is reminded of my existence (which they may or may not be happy about!).

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By Hugh Scantlebury
06th Jun 2013 11:39

LOADS!

We use it to inform customers. We use it for Marketing. We use it to keep us informed. It's fantastically fast for news delivery, albeit you have to add perspective depending on who posted what. We use it to promote good causes. We use it to wind up competitors. It's also important to learn to ignore a certain people (like in real life) It's great to find out instantly why you are sat in a traffic jam (the person at the front often knows more than the RAC or the local radio). We even recruited someone who applied for a job via Twitter. BRILLIANT.

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By Hugh Scantlebury
06th Jun 2013 11:45

..and for those that haven't seen it...

..here's the anglicised version of the 46 Stages of Twitter originally posted originally in 2009 by Shane Nickerson.

 

Hear the word Twitter.  Scoff.Hear it again from someone else.  Scoff again.Hear about famous celebrity who is apparently "On Twitter."  Scoff, but make mental note to check it out.Log into Facebook to comfort self.Sign up for Twitter.Give up because it seems dumb.Loudly criticize others on Twitter.Follow @stephenfry, @afneil, @SallyBercow, @Reuters, @ruskin147 and one other person you actually know.Post tweet that is a variant of: "Trying out this Twitter thing."Attempt to dig a little deeper into Twitter.Notice rampant usage of words: "Tweet," "Twitter," "Twitterverse," "Tweetie," "Tweetdeck," and something called "RT."Scoff again, this time in confusion.Tell friends you "tried that Twitter thing, but didn't get it and it's stupid anyway."Log into Facebook because that site at least makes sense.Read story about Twitter somewhere. Log back into Twitter.  Try to avoid saying Tweet, Twitter, Twitterverse, Tweetie, Tweetdeck, and ReTweet.Respond to @rainnwilson.Curse self for fanning out.Log off for 4 months.Come back, just to see.Post something relatively funny.Get RT'd.Discover that RT means ReTweet.Make it your life mission to get RT'd.Install Twitter app on your phone.No longer ashamed to say "I've gotta Twitter that."Attend events with the sole intention of "Tweeting" them.Pray to get RT'd.Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.Close computer.Open computer.  Refresh.  Refresh.  Refresh.Think in 140 character sentences.Compulsively check phone all day every day.Tweet that you compulsively check phone all day every day.Alienate actual people in your life in an attempt to impress ones you don't know.Lose weight because you forget to eat.Place phone by bed so you can check first thing in the morning.Defend Twitter to the death from detractors.Hear self, and vaguely recognize that you have become "That Guy."Feel like, and start to behave like River Tam.Vow to quit Twitter to preserve sanity.Read this and change mind.  Think to self, "I should twitter that."Recognize irony.Twitter it.

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By alan.falcondale
06th Jun 2013 11:46

sort the wheat from the chaff

good use of twitter is few and far between, but it is useful if you put the effort into setting it up correctly.

I use lists - a lot - and group like minded entries into these lists...traffic reports, local goings on (Police have a lot of useful twitter input in my areas), accounting, engineering, council tenders, et cetera. That makes it easier for when you say want to leave work and check out possible local travel problems.

I would have put the original question more direct as to - is twitter good for your practice?

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
06th Jun 2013 12:00

Horses for courses ...

... saw a good comment on Mock the Week

The gist was that received wisom is you wouldn't tweet to say someone's Mum had just been killed in a car crash, and you wouldn't turn up at a work colleague's house at 11.30 pm to say you've just invented a fantastic toastie.

That said, the sad thing is there are probably those who would do both of the above!

I would add to Alan's comment, good use of e-mails/post/telephone etc. is rare too, and as for youtube, what sort of psycho's inhabit that world - that is where you get the most extreme bile and hatred expressed in the coarsest possible language, along with insults and death threats!

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By dreamcatcher
06th Jun 2013 11:57

To be honest peaky99 I am largely in agreement with you I think the world has gone mad.  I'm in my mid 30's and really don't get the whole social networking thing.  I have no interest what so ever in facebook, twitter, linked in etc.

I only joined Linked in because my employer is redevolping our website and wanted all senior staff to have a link from the website to a Linked in profile.  Also with great reluctance I will need to join twitter soon as my daughters school is moving to notifying parents of events, trips etc by twitter only.  What ever happen to sending a child home with a letter.

I am yet to be totally convinced by the agruments for social networking in traditional accountancy practices, but maybe my general negativity to it all, can't or won't see the benefits.

But seriously who would actually follow their accountant on twitter or facebook for that matter when surely its much more interesting to see what Stephen Fry had for breakfast this morning!

 

 

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By lechiffre
06th Jun 2013 12:51

Any use for Twitter?

No, but then I do have a life!

:p

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By EllieMo
06th Jun 2013 14:57

As worthwhile as you make it

I find Twitter useful and informative, but then I choose who i follow carefully, and stick to those with relevance to my interests.  Which means I don't follow people who only tweet the dull crap such as what they had for breakfast.  Nor do I follow narrow-minded boorish types who mock something without actually ever experienced it themselves.

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By Gilly
06th Jun 2013 16:38

It's what you make it

It's best to be careful not to follow people whose tweets are (in my opinion) utter nonsense, rude or offensive. To learn Twitter I set up an account in my dogs' names (a joint one for them to share), and I have great fun with that, they have a lot of Tweeting pet friends.  As an accountant, I don't use it much but it's good for picking up the odd bit of news.  Most of my followers have been SEO and PR companies of some description. The main things are not to expect too much of Twitter, don't spend too much time on it, join in with relevant hashtag discussions, don't take it  seriously and never, ever click on a link to a Daily Mail article.

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By Jon Stow
06th Jun 2013 18:17

Silly old me!

As a certified fool as per some comments above, I know, or know of. far more accountants, tax people and other business worthies then I did before the advent of Twitter. I have more access to instant CPD from others sharing the knowledge they have. Also, I get business through Twitter. I am obviously wasting my time. Oh, hang on...

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