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What I Learned from 10,000 Tweets

TweetingEarlier this month CPA Letter Daily’s Twitter account (@CPALetter_Daily) reached the milestone of 10,000 tweets. And with more than 15,000 followers, we’re one of the most popular AICPA Twitter accounts. Despite these milestones, I don’t know the secrets of Twitter any more than you do, but there are a few things I learned along the way to 10,000 that may help you with your Twitter opportunities. Here are seven easy-to-follow tips:

  1. Your followers are out there, and they’re listening. One of the first rules I was told as a budding DJ at my college’s radio station was not to ask on air if anyone was out there. That may sound silly, but at 3 a.m. when it’s just you in the booth and the phone lines are quiet, you’re really tempted to ask just that. Similarly, your Twitter followers are listening. They may not retweet you, they may not reply to your tweets, but they are hanging on to your every word.
  2. Dead air is bad. That is the second rule I was told at the college radio station. The same goes for Twitter. You don’t need to be active 24/7, but sending one tweet every month isn’t going to increase engagement with your followers, unless you’re a celebrity and selling billions of albums. Similar to blogging, you can’t expect to grow an audience if you’re not engaging them on a regular basis. So set aside time to tweet. Which leads us to the third tip.
  3. Find out when your audience is listening. Then release your tweets at those times. You can start simply by identifying the topics you want to cover in your tweets and the audience you want to target with those tweets. For example, if your topic is the stock market, chances are your audience won’t be listening at 8 p.m. ET after the market closes. CPA Letter Daily’s readers are mainly in the U.S., so we time our tweets throughout the workday taking into account U.S. time zones. If you want a more precise assessment, use some of the available tools to help.
  4. Followers love when you mention them. Nothing gets more attention on Twitter than a mention of a follower. A simple thank you or the weekly #FollowFriday can go a long way, and you’ll be surprised by the kind of response you get.
  5. Explore the use of hashtags. You’ll find folks discussing the same topic and a new pool of potential followers. Recently, we started adding the hashtag #quote to the end of our SmartQuote tweets. I was surprised at the number of retweets and followers adding one hashtag generated.
  6. Metrics aren’t scary. Various blogs and websites are dedicated to proving you can demonstrate social media’s ROI. I encourage you to find the metrics that matter to you and analyze them. It can be as simple as the number of retweets or as complicated as conversions from a tweet. Find what drives you and have fun with it. Vizify has a fun way of looking at Twitter data. For example, explore CPA Letter Daily’s most tweeted words and phrases over the last two years.
  7. Create conversation. While many use Twitter for marketing or sales, the fact is that Twitter exists to build relationships through engaging conversation. Yes, you can market and sell your products and services on Twitter, but you’re building a community while doing so. You’re not just sending out an email to a carefully segmented list; with Twitter you’re engaging followers in conversation about your services. So don’t worry about marketing right away, get out there and build relationships.

It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago we launched CPA Letter Daily’s Twitter account. It has come a long way since, and continues to evolve. If you’re not already following us, I encourage you to do so. You may also be interested in the AICPA’s Twitter User Guide for members. You may also want to use the Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit tweets if you’re searching for content. I’d be interested to hear about some of the lessons you’ve learned from Twitter and social media over the years.

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Tweeting image via Shutterstock

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