How to give an unqualified opinion report in 140 characters

Ok maybe the title is a bit misleading, but it made you click though huh? It is also misleading because it is impossible to disclose a full qualified or unqualified report in just 140 characters. I guess you could say “everything’s a-ok #cleanstatements” or “you have a going concern #weareconcernedaboutbeingpaid“, but that does not allow for the sheer amount of information that needs to be shared in such an audit report.

Twitter is a very interesting social network platform that I am both an avid-user of and heavy supporter of. It allows users to quickly post their thoughts and opinions, and share information in a quick format in line with today’s fast paced, instant gratification needing society.

There are many great companies and brands that I have seen listening, talking, and energizing with their followers such as @Starbucks/@StarbucksCanada, @OriginalJoes and @WarehouseOne. I have had excellent relationships with these brands, I have plugged them to friends and family, expressed their advantages and benefits, and when I have trouble, they are there to respond and try to help resolve the issue. They understand their objective of using Twitter to get access to their consumers, and improve their customers’ overall experience with the brand.

Twitter-logo1

The ICAA can take a page out of that book. As I have previously mentioned on other posts, the ICAA was first off late to the game; they launched their social media presence in early September just as their target market for social media (Joiners/Students) were getting back into the swing of school work, projects, exams, papers, etc. Within the first two weeks of September, the ICAA hosts the CA Recruitment Event where potential candidates meet training offices and try to get into their good books and hopefully secure an offer to article with the firm. While the ICAA’s objective might have been to try and access those Joiners, they didn’t think through their launch timeline, they were too focused on getting out there. If the ICAA had been on the ball, they would have launched their social media profiles (Twitter and Facebook) near the middle of the previous Winter semester, so around March. This would have allowed them to talk and listen to their followers, get in the minds of their followers, and plan their strategy to take on the Fall semester recruitment season.

So back to Twitter. ICAA does have a twitter account, @AlbertaCAs and does use it; however, they seem to think that posting about being at an event on the day of the event will get their followers to come on by and visit them… I’m not sure about you, but if I don’t know about an event beforehand, I’m not going. I am all up for being spontaneous, but that is for different situations, not for finding out more information about my potential future career.

I have mentioned many accounting firms and I know of accounting governing bodies that have done excellent jobs of setting strategic objectives and following through on the listening, talking, energizing process. Take note ICAA, of how Twitter and social media should be done.

In Chapter 10 of Groundswell, the authors mention the ranking system Klout. I will say this now, their algorithm is nowhere near as accurate or reliable as something like Google. If you go to my Klout profile, it says that I am influential about turkey, pizza and the Masters Gold Tournament. Really Klout?! I mentioned turkey once, and according to Klout I am a world authority and influential about turkey. All bow down to me, your turkey information goddess. If you couldn’t tell, the sarcasm came out there, and I am clearly unimpressed. 😉

Twitter can be an excellent resource for your brand, if you use it correctly. To start, you need to know what your strategy, mission and vision are. Then you must evaluate whether Twitter will fit into that strategy, and if your target market(s) or those who can influence your target market are on Twitter. If so, how can you use Twitter to help you achieve your goals and objectives? If you do not evaluate Twitter’s usefulness, you will be wasting resources on a tool that your market doesn’t utilize.

To close, here are some links to how not to use Twitter as a part of your brand’s marketing strategy:

Why interns shoudn’t be in charge of your Twitter accounts

2012’s Top Corporate Twitter Disasters

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