Twitter is arguably the Internet’s most powerful tool for conducting real-time conversations online. An online micro-blogging tool that lets users post short (140 character max) comments, updates, and links - Twitter can be used many ways by financial advisors. Whether your goal is to keep up with industry trends, pass along interesting tidbits, or just boost your visibility online, Twitter can help you do all these things. Here are a few reasons to consider using Twitter:

STATISTIC: 77 of the world’s 100 largest companies maintain a corporate Twitter account. Media outlets are the most active users – Jeff Bullas
TRANSLATION: If the world’s largest companies are all on Twitter – including your competition – shouldn't your business be? What message does it send if you’re not? If you want to build media attention, this is a good place to make contact.

STATISTIC: 64% of Twitter users are between 25 and 54 years of age. – Edison Research
TRANSLATION: Your clients may not be using Twitter, but their children are. Using this tool will help you keep family assets inside your firm when clients pass away.

STATISTIC: 47% of Twitter users earn $50k or more per year; 24% earn more than $75k. Compare that to 33% and 18% among the general population, respectively. – Hubspot
TRANSLATION: Twitter users are wealthier than the general population.

Making the Best Use of Twitter

By establishing a presence on Twitter and inviting people to follow you, you’re establishing yourself as a thought leader in your niche. By opening up an additional line of communication with prospects and clients, you’re increasing the amount of interaction they have with you while minimizing the amount of time and energy you have to expend. By simply following clients or prospects on Twitter, you’re given the inside scoop on what’s important to them and what’s going on in their lives.

Not every interaction needs to be long or in person; sometimes a brief message is enough, such as when you want to post a link to an article supporting your point of view. It doesn’t have to be all business, either. Twitter is great for showing your human side and letting clients know what you’re up to – going to client events, watching a game, or traveling. If creating content seems too difficult or fraught with regulatory hassles for you, you can provide value to your followers simply by sharing links and content provided by others.

Attracting the Right Followers

Here are the basic steps to attracting a qualified following:

  • Import your contacts. Use the “Find Friends” feature by adding your contacts and e-mail address books. Follow those you know and ask them to follow you back.
  • Follow influential people. Take a look at the writers, speakers, analysts, and other influencers you read on a regular basis and type their names into the Twitter search bar.
  • Participate in important conversations on Twitter. Find out where other industry thought leaders hang out. Use hashtags (#) to add your tweets to an ongoing discussion of a topic.
  • Stay on topic. If your main goal on Twitter is to attract clients and prospects, the majority of your updates should be focused on financial topics. The occasional personal update (particularly directed to a client) is great, but stay on message.
  • Tweet a mix of information. While sharing curated content is a great way to get started, Twitter is a very powerful tool to promote your events, newsletters, blog posts, and website resources. For the personal touch, upload photos; research shows that pictures are among the updates that are re-tweeted most by Twitter users.
  • Promote your Twitter account. You won’t get many followers if no one knows you exist. Create links on your website, blog, e-mail signature, and marketing materials.

Twitter and Compliance

Twitter updates are considered interactive communication and are subject to monitoring and archiving, though they do not have to be preapproved by a principal. However, Twitter accounts and profiles must be approved by compliance principal prior to use, as they are considered to be advertising. Ultimately, like all social media, use of Twitter needs to remain within suitability and supervisory regulations and any guidelines set by your compliance department. For more information about social media compliance please visit Social Media Compliance For Financial Advisors.

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