The time it can take to search and find, or think about good things to say, can often be overwhelming and a barrier to using social media effectively (or at all). After all, with most accountants starting their silly season, there sometimes isn't much time to spare for social media. After a day of wall-to-wall tax returns and annual accounts, I'm guessing the last thing you want to do is happily chat away on social media.
In this post, I will be giving you 4 ideas on how to always have something (meaningful) to say on social media. (For when you are having a break from the tax returns, of course!)
1. Decide on what you will say and what you wouldn’t say upfront
It can often make it easier to have a discussion with your team on what is appropriate or not appropriate to say on social media. When your team knows the ‘rules of the game’ it can make it much easier to them and you to unblock the writer’s block.
Sometimes accountants look down on the chit-chat which happens on twitter. Actually, in real life, this chit-chatting is something that we do all the time, and it oils the wheels of any relationship. Just listen to yourself chit-chatting as you start a conversation with a client. If you give yourself permission to chit-chat and what you will or wouldn’t chit-chat about on social media, it makes it much easier to find you’ve got something to say.
2. Take the pressure off yourself to be perfect, witty or insightful
I strongly believe that some accountants, particularly those who work with senior professionals and C-suite executives, feel that as social media is such a public environment that they have to have their game face on at all times. There is a pressure to be seen to be the embodiment of a perfect business advisor, i.e. insightful, sharp and sometimes a little witty. Actually, the only person you have to be on social media is yourself. Yes, you. You need to show up as the person that your potential clients, clients and intermediaries want to work with. When you give yourself permission to be yourself, it suddenly becomes much easier to say something.
3.Have a store of useful websites, interesting people on Twitter and tweet streams
There are days when even the most talkative people on Twitter feel as if they don’t have anything to say. (Yes, even me!) Regardless of whether you have writer’s block or not, it’s always useful to have a source of inspiration for social media. This could be:
- a content plan, which guides you what to write, tweet and link to (download our free guide to content planning here)
- an RSS reader filled with feeds from blogs and news sites that inspire you to write or comment or tweet links
- a list on twitter with people who make it easy to chat to them, or comment on their content
- a bookmarked list of blogs or website with good content for you to share
4. Use buffer app
I will often scan my key twitter lists a couple of times a day and see interesting content being shared. Sometimes I will retweet the interesting stuff there and then. Other times I will 'favourite' it. Then once a week, I will go through my favourites and put the tweets into a 'buffer'. This great piece of software then shares my interesting content across the week at times when my twitter followers are normally around. This takes the pressure of me always 'having to be there', and always having to have something interesting to say. In fact, if you so wish, using buffer really makes it easy just to go into twitter once a day for 5 mins or so. This is a great tool for those weeks when you seem to be stuck in the training room.
I'd love to hear your ways of using twitter and social media generally in a time effective way.
About Heather Townsend
Heather Townsend is a brand ambassador for the Practice Excellence Programme, and the Founder of ‘The Accountants Millionaires’ Club’. In 2015 the ICAEW decided she was the number one online influencer for the accountancy profession. She is the author of 4 books, including The Go-To Expert, and ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (co-authored with Jo Larbie).
Heather is always up for a challenge. Perhaps that is why she has built a track record of helping accountants grow the size of their practice by 50-200%, often in under two years. Often helping them make partner or equity partner in the process.
Heather is a high profile member of the accountancy profession in the UK. She has worked with over 300 partners, coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. Heather's clients have included: 7 out of the Top 10 UK practices, including all the Big 4 firms.
In 2016 her and her team of coaches have coached:
1) 7 people successfully to partner
2) Professionals from all of the Big 4, from every major continent in the world
As well as helping accountants make partner, she still spends 40% of her time helping small firms, typically under £1m GRF:
1) Create profitable revenue streams from advisory services and reduce their reliance on revenue from compliance services
2) Radically increase their profitability, even if they are a cloud based practice, often helping them achieve a net profit margin of 40%+
3) Double or even triple the size of their practice within 3 years
4) Win bigger and better clients
5) Grow the right team around them so they stop working stupidly high hours and spend quality time with the people they care about
Her articles appear regularly in the UK national and trade press, including The Financial Times, Accountancy Age, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. Heather is also in-demand for her speaking and has recently returned from the South African Accountancy Academy conference.