If you are to have any hope of securing multiple new clients and introductions through twitter you will do so fastest if you focus your attention on one of two types of other users of twitter. That is either:
- Those in your local area; or
- Those who are active in a niche where your services are clearly targeted.
What do I mean by ‘focus your attention’? Firstly, seeking out those twitter users who fit the right profile and then, secondly, engaging with them. If you simply try to promote your services AT them you will probably alienate them – which would defeat your primary objective.
The ‘right profile’ for you will include those tweeters whom you suspect of being prospective clients and also potential introducers, influencers and referrers.
Why then do I suggest a focus on your local area? Simply that almost anyone looking for a new accountant will look for one in their area. The most common exceptions to this are those people whose business is such that they look for an accountant with relevant specialist expertise regardless of where they are based.
The easiest way to find people with the ‘right profile’ is by using the in-built advanced twitter search facility. You can set this to find out who is posting tweets that include reference to your local area and mentioning any other keywords that make sense to you. For example: Harrow, accountant, accounts, bank, finance, business etc
You can then check out the profiles of these ‘local’ tweeters and follow them on twitter. You can also check out, via their twitter account, who they are following and who else follows them. Again you can check the twitter profiles of such people and follow those that seem to be of interest. In some cases the twitter account will be a local business name – that makes it more difficult to engage with them. The same is true the other way around if you tweet using your firm’s name rather than making clear who you are as a person (as well as being an accountant).
Some of the people you follow will follow you back but this doesn’t mean they are interested in your services as an accountant. They may simply be curious or have a policy of automatically following back anyone who follows them. Personally I see little point in this, but some people do it.
Your objective now is much the same as when you meet someone at a face to face networking group or business event. To start a conversation and then, in time to decide, along with the other person, if it might be worthwhile to meet to discuss how you might help each other. Or maybe you could just arrange a skype video chat.
If you are too pushy or desperate your invitation will be rebuffed. Do not start by posting promotional messages any more than you would start a conversation with a new networking contact this way. It’s rarely a successful tactic.
Do bear in mind too that some people are on twitter simply for fun and will have no interest in meeting a local accountant – especially one that doesn’t standout in some positive way. But that’s another subject for another day.
Edit: And if you’re tempted to outsource this to a junior member of staff or a social media consultant(!) do make sure you don’t waste time and money paying them to build twitter relationships with an equivalent junior or marketing person working for the business you are following! What would be the point in that??!!
What success have you had finding local tweeters or those in your target niche? Do add your comments below please.