Each social media site has its own culture. Every advisors needs to learn how to exist in them or risk getting lost in the crowd.
Have you ever unfriended someone on Facebook? If not, ask your kids because they have. Ask them about the storm that it creates. It is as if you slapped someone in the face
LinkedIn has the easiest out when it comes to relationship management. LinkedIn is the place for business networking but there are a lot of social rules. You do not need to accept LinkedIn requests because it is a place for business. If you receive a request not stemming from a business relationship, its acceptable, though not preferable, not to confirm. This actually helps the platform maintain its integrity through qualified connections, but, if you are looking for a new job or if you start following a company while you are at another company, this can spell disaster for you.
On LinkedIn, groups have rules that you need to follow, if you don’t, expect to get blasted by members. Remember: don’t post silly things about your personal life on LinkedIn. This is a platform is for business only.
Twitter is an underutilized social media platform for advisors. Most advisors have heard of the “Law of Large Numbers,” Twitter is the way to use that principle to draw attention to your website, blog, fan page or publication.
I have had many advisors say to me, “Shouldn’t I have a lot more followers that people I am following?” My answer would be a resounding yes if I was coaching Suzie Orman or Jim Kramer, but for most advisors, the answer is a resounding no.
Here’s why: people look at Twitter differently than Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. It is about scaling your message, if you do not follow people back; they will un-follow you. Most Twitter users have tools that have follower time bombs, which means if you do not follow them back they will immediately un-follow you.
Remember, as a newbie to Twitter and a non-Billboard topping celebrity, you need to draw attention to your message. Traditionally, people you “follow” will in turn “listen” to you. So, until you are a national celebrity, you need to follow the rules and social aspects of Twitter. Lady Gaga does not need to scale her message because her celebrity does this for her. Trust me, without that celebrity status, Ms. Gaga would be following everyone who followed her.
You do not need to have deep relationships with your Twitter followers as you would on LinkedIn or Facebook. Twitter is mean for quick bursts of information. Most people can scan through a hundred tweets in a matter of minutes. The more followers you have, the greater the opportunity for re-tweets and increased exposure.
Many advisors ask, “Shouldn’t it be about quality not quantity?” Sure, but do you even have an audience now? When you do a webinar, seminar, newspaper or TV interview are you sure they are a quality audience. The answer is no, but you still get your message out and hope it falls on the right ears. If you want to ensure you are in front of the right audience at all times, hire a public relations company. That is what they do for you. Advisors need to begin by getting their messages out there. So many people need help and do not really know what advisors do. Broadcast your message for free to as many people as you can through every medium possible.
I am not advocating for you to follow every spam bot out there. The goal is not to get perfect followers; it is to gain as many followers as you can so your message can get to the right people. This is the viral power of Twitter and why I believe you should not be so picky.
You can do this with piggy back tools. Look on Twellow for those advisors, banks, or organizations you want to nest into and use Tweepi or Tweetadder to follow people who follow those Tweeps. These tools will give you an automated ability to follower your competition’s followers.
Another way to find the “right” audience is to do hashtag or keyword searches in Twitter’s search bar. This can help you discover, in real time, who is tweeting about finances or financial needs.
It is critical to learn about every social media tool, to discover how they are different, and to learn how to act in each medium. It’s the difference between standing out and being just another face in the crowd.
Matthew Halloran, MS, Certified Coach, is the co-author of the upcoming Bloomberg book, The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors, and is a sought after coach/consultant for Financial Advisors.