With JPMorgan rumored to be eyeing a minority stake in Twitter that would value the company at $4.5 billion, it’s time for advisors to start taking it seriously. Not surprisingly, like many other aspects of web-marketing and social media, how an advisor uses Twitter is different from most everyone else.
For a financial advisor, having thousands of Twitter followers doesn’t mean much unless you’re reaching the right people. For you, the “right people” means your client base. Chances are some of the people you do business with today are active on Twitter. By establishing your own Twitter identity and inviting your existing clients to “follow” you, you accomplish several things.
First, you maintain your role as thought leader. Consider this - if your clients are active on Twitter, they are listening to (following) someone. It’s in your best interest (and your clients’) to make sure that you are one of the “someones” they follow.
Second, you open up a different type of communication channel. Not every client interaction you have needs to be an hour long meeting. Sometimes a brief message pointing your clients to an article supporting your point of view is enough. Twitter is perfect for this.
Finally, Twitter gives you an opportunity to develop a following of your own outside your client base. These people may someday become new clients! Here are a few ways to attract more quality, and qualified, followers.
1. Participate in the Conversation
Where is the financial community on Twitter? Who are the leaders? What kind of content is being shared and what language are they using? Being a part of your industry on Twitter will connect you to a more relevant audience. To learn what other financial advisors are "tweeting" start here AdvisorTweets - an aggregated, curated collection of what financial advisors say on Twitter
2. Follow People That You Want to Know
Don’t just follow anyone with the hopes that they’ll follow you back. From industry experts to potential leads, follow people that you’re interested in and that you want to attract. Connect with me on Twitter here @TJ_Gilsenan.
3. Introduce Yourself
Social media is like one big cocktail party. If there are people that you are really focused on getting to know, simply introduce yourself. It’s easy and more effective to make a personal introduction. You can also make a comment about their blog or ask a question.
4. Stay Focused
If you’re on Twitter for business keep it industry focused. Don’t Tweet solely about your kids or what you ate for lunch. Although some personal interaction is acceptable, discussing relevant financial topics will attract a more targeted audience.
5. Don’t Rely Solely on Automation
If you use automation tools (e.g. Facebook status posted directly to Twitter), make sure you create pertinent messages and schedule posts over a varied period of time. Automated only posts can look very impersonal and be seen as SPAM.
6. Tweet a Balanced Mix of Information
Include content from your blog as well as your thoughts on market news or links to interesting articles.
7. Join Twitter Discussions
Get involved in discussions about financial topics to draw attention to your expertise. Use the Twitter search tool or search by hashtag (#retirement planning, #stockmarket, #financial) to find relevant topics.
8. Retweet (RT)
Retweet posts that you find interesting to increase your visibility. People who follow the person you Retweet or the hashtag you include will see you as someone with similar interests. Make sure you use the @name when you mention other Twitter users to help build relationships. If others are monitoring conversations about themselves, they will notice your Retweet.
9. Listen to Your Audience
Pay attention to what your audience is talking about. What questions are they asking? What information are they requesting? If you provide valuable Tweets to your followers you will likely attract more quality followers. Respond to questions with quality content and people will see you as an informative resource, follow your Tweets, and may even Retweet you.
10. Promote Your Twitter Handle
Add your handle (your @name) to your email signature, business cards, website contact information and your blog.