By Jim Wong, CPA | July 29, 2015

This week, we have guest blogger, Laurie Canning, CSMP, Marketing Director at Brilliant™, taking over for ‘A Brilliant™ Blog — Check In With Jim’ to give insight into using Twitter for business and networking purposes.

I love social media because it exists at the intersection of humanity & technology –Steve Jobs

When it comes to social media in today’s workplace, with the exception of LinkedIn, often times the two worlds don’t necessarily mix. It’s difficult to persuade busy professionals that a social site like Twitter can actually help their careers. They either see social media platforms as strictly vehicles for sharing personal information, or they simply ignore them because they can’t quantify a return on investment for their time.

At the surface, this is all understandable.

But, what if I was to tell you that there are clear and measurable ways to entertain Twitter for use in your day-to-day accounting, finance and IT job functions? Would you then reconsider Twitter as a legitimate business tool?

Right now, you may not hear many staff accountants, financial analysts or java developers boasting about learning new accounting pronouncements or software system updates from 140-character tweets.

However, with Twitter being the second most popular social site in the world, it actually can do just that.

Twitter is a handy, microblog platform that when used to its full potential can be a pretty powerful tool – and a fun one at that.

Below are several points for accounting, finance and IT professionals to embrace when beginning to incorporate Twitter into their respective roles.

Get to Know Twitter Statistics

A common misconception about Twitter is that it’s only used by teenagers, or adults who like to overshare their day-to-day lives. That’s not really accurate. Research shows that the top age range of the site’s more than 1 billion registered users is an even tie between 18-29 and 30-49. Further, the majority of the online community is college educated, with the average yearly income of said users being more than $75,000.

Get to Know Twitter Vocabulary

In order to use Twitter effectively, you must first learn and understand the vocabulary associated with the social platform. The following are key terms and definitions that are commonly used:

  • Handle: Your user name
  • @: The symbol that precedes your user name, with no spaces
  • Tweet: 140 character post that goes out to your followers and is searchable by the public
  • Follower: A user who has opted in to receive your tweets
  • Hashtag: A keyword or phrase preceded with the pound (#) sign, with no spaces, and is instantly linkable and searchable
  • Reply: A public message sent from one Twitter user to another
  • Favorite: Highlighting a tweet that you like, similar to a “like” on Facebook
  • Mention: When you tag / include another user’s handle within your tweet
  • Retweet (RT): The act of sharing another user’s tweet, similar to a “share” on Facebook

Grow Your Network

One of the main functions of a professional in today’s labor market is to network. Peer-to-peer connections are essential to enhance your career. Whether you’re looking for a new job, looking to move up in your role or looking to meet more professionals like yourself, following other people on Twitter is a perfect avenue to do this. You can search key words such as your job title or profession, along with your location, and a laundry list of names will appear. You can also search organizations and associations and follow them, giving you access to even more people to choose from and follow. Chances are, the majority of Twitter users who you elect to follow will follow you in return. You will then be able to see your follower base begin to grow organically. Keep in mind, the average Twitter user has 208 followers. So, this is a good goal to try and achieve.

Note: You cannot follow more than 1,000 users per day, and you cannot follow more than 83 people every two hours.

Stay Up to Date

In addition to people, companies and associations to follow, Twitter is a great place to follow trade publications, government agencies and other important entities that are pertinent to your accounting, finance or IT role. When you follow these parties, you’ll receive important news and information that they share – in real time – giving you access to data and updates at the palm of your hand without the need for a computer or television. This can put you in-the-know very quickly.

Create Lists

Twitter has a useful function called “lists” that allows you to categorize certain followers according to a specified topic. Accounting and finance professionals can organize their peers in a way that best suits their position and responsibilities. IT professionals can do the same for their profession as well. This is easy to do with the following steps:

  • Go to the profile of the person you want to add to a list
  • Click the “Follow” button at the top-right of the page to make sure you’re following them
  • Next to the “Follow” button, click on the gear icon
  • Click “add or remove from lists”
  • Name your list
  • Click “Create list”

Now, you can keep track of tweets coming from just the people you’ve added to the list. If you follow a lot of users, this is a helpful way to sort out tweets you want to see at any given time.

Engage Your Colleagues

For those of you who are already utilizing Twitter in your professional life, encourage your peers to do the same. Twitter is only gaining momentum in the business world – and everyone should consider hopping on the band wagon. Let the popular social media site help enhance your career!

Want to learn more about using Twitter in your role? Contact Laurie Canning at

Want to learn more about Brilliant™ staffing and hiring solutions? Email today.

What are some other reasons Twitter is so powerful for accounting, finance and IT professionals? Comment below and let us know!

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