Most accountants who become active on social media do so in the hope of attracting more clients.

If this is your intention or you want to evidence your credibility, I suggest that you adopt a consistent business focus across your websites, blogs, online networking and contributions to business forums. It also helps to show that you’re a real person with more to your life than accountancy and tax – although you should try to avoid a situation where there are conflicting views of who you are and what you do – as this causes confusion.  I know. I confuse people!

Careless status updates and tweets can damage your reputation if they suggest a very different level of activity and focus as distinct from your website.

  • One accountant claiming to have quickly established a busy practice routinely posts status updates that suggest he has very little work and perhaps is not the start-up success he claims to be.
  • Another accountant tries to use Twitter to highlight his expertise as a tax adviser. This might have been a good idea, except that his website highlights his expertise is only in the area of corporate finance. In practice he is simply using an automated tool (badly) to promote his services. He doesn’t engage online and is only tweeting ‘adverts’. This is generally regarded as a pointless tactic – whether on twitter, Linkedin, on business forums or on blogs.

These are just two examples from many I have noted online. Please share any others that you have seen or that you would like to warn readers about.

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