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Case study: How not to tweet

27th Oct 2010
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Following Elaine Clark’s warning last week not to commit one of social media’s seven deadly sins, we came across the following advice from Adrienne Gonzalez of our US sister site about other gaffes the profession commits on Twitter.

Following a recent controversy about identifying individuals on Facebook, I won’t name any names in this post, but will point a censorious finger in the direction of some habitual culprits as a more friendly warning to mend their online ways.
Auto Direct Messages – One of the most annoying things about Twitter is being assaulted by auto DMs. They are impersonal, if not disrespectful as you’re not really showing any commitment to start a relationship by sending a robotic tweet that only clutters my inbox. Say something to me if you have to, but there’s no need to spam my inbox with your standard DM welcome message.
Hashtag Overkill – Somewhat higher on the annoyance scale is hashtagging everything you write in a completely unpredictable, manic pattern. I’m doubt that #compliance is something people search for often enough on Twitter to merit hashtagging it with every mention. But I’m talking about constantly and excessively hashtagging everything. We know you’re all about diversity and Accounting’s Top Whatever awards but by hashtagging every other word you are merely showing us that you really don’t know how to use Twitter. We expect better out of global accounting firms. I shouldn’t have to name names, you know who you are and you can stop now.
One Handle Too Many – Is it necessary to create 40 sub-accounts that cover each of your divisions, specialties, scams and locales? I get that firms are global and that’s the whole point of the Internet but once again you’re taking it way too far and getting too excited about this stuff. One smaller accounting firm tweeting consistently, correctly and with a joke here and there is far more effective in my view than 67 sub-accounts randomly over-hashtagging for different global firm specialties. I’ll name names this time, @mgocpa is a great example of doing it right without an entire staff of media people running the show. Come on Big 87654, you guys can afford to put a few more bucks in Internet marketing if you are going to do it. Read one of those “How to Tweet” e-books maybe.
We sincerely hope our suggestions are appreciated here. If they aren’t implemented, we may be forced to start calling people out again.

Going Concern is an online tabloid covering the worlds of accounting and business finance. The site, now a part of the Sift Media portfolio, provides original news and insider analysis of the culture, people, and firms that shape the profession.

Replies (4)

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By chrisjoynes
28th Oct 2010 11:38

Twitter and Facebook - not the way to go

I think accountants can make real mistakes with Twitter and Facebook - they are not professional outlets. We use LinkedIn which is a fantastic and very powerful business tool. We used to have a Facebook group but this did not compliment the business so we closed it down.

I would advise accountants to look at LinkedIn - much better.


123 Contracting

Contractor accountants

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Nichola Ross Martin
By Nichola Ross Martin
29th Oct 2010 10:29


Although, the way some people use Linkedin has a lot to be desired - for example changing your profile or whatever in some minor way to ensure that you get a mention.

Time management tip

Reading tweets, RSS feeds etc can be seriously damaging to your wealth. In working hours send all these things straight into spam and then review that folder at times you specifically allocate during the week.

Virtual tax support for accountants:

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By mikewhit
31st Oct 2010 13:47

LinkedIn deficiency

One LinkedIn omission is in the field of privacy control - although I don't mind networking with former colleagues and college pals, I don't really want recruiters harvesting my contacts, so I would really like LinkedIn to have a lower tier of contact to which you could assign recruiters etc, without direct access to your "proper useful" networks.

The same might apply to business clients.

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PAH Accounting Devizes Wiltshire
By Phil Hendy
03rd Nov 2010 14:20

Being professional

 I think some accountants are too hung up on being 'professional'. Yes by all means provide good quality service but have a bit of fun whilst doing. 

Twitter in particular is a great way of showing off your personality and attracting clients. 

Some great points made in the article.

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