Don’t Dismiss the Power of Twitter

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Despite the fact that marketers around the world are increasingly leveraging the capabilities of Twitter, a significant number of advisers remain skeptical towards this social media platform.

When financial adviser clients and prospects tell us that they do not regard Twitter as a viable tool to attract new clients, we encourage them to learn more about its ascending popularity among marketers. These professionals consistently use Twitter to: reach out their key audiences, engage them and build credibility and consensus by sharing content and insights, and ultimately create a following of “brand evangelists” who enthusiastically promote brands they fancy.

As an adviser, you should establish a presence on Twitter to achieve three key goals:

  1. Increase client communication (with a tool more efficient than a phone call or email) for frequent and concise exchange of information
  2. Position yourself as an expert source and a thought leader. As your “followers” recognize and value your expertise and by re-tweeting your content, they become your brand evangelists
  3. Attract attention to your core messages, capabilities and expertise by driving traffic to your Website, blog, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Here are some suggestions that will help you make the best use of this valuable tool:

BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION

Begin by creating a complete bio that clearly describes you and your expertise. Use wisely the 140 characters you’re allowed to explicitly articulate how you can help your clients and prospects address their issues and needs. For more effective brand recognition, set a custom background for your Twitter page that features your logo, Website, contacts and social media identities.

DRAW FOLLOWERS

The most viable strategy to have other people follow you is by following them. Study their inquiries/postings and offer constructive comments. Find out which of your clients and sources of referrals are Twitter users and follow them — with the intent to induce them to follow you. Provide feedback to their postings, encouraging them to share your comments, insights and ideas with their network of followers. This will in turn enable you to attain two important results: a) extend your prospects outreach; and b) increase the number of people who will re-tweet your content.

FOCUS ON CONTENT   

Your goal is a straightforward one: to be recognized as a trusted expert source providing engaging, useful and relevant information. Create concise content—ideally less than 115 characters—so that if your post is re-tweeted, your Twitter identity will remain visible to other readers.  Study your audiences to attain an understanding of the financial issues they face and what type of information they seek to address such problems and craft your input accordingly. In addition to posting your own content, share news and information from media and bloggers that your audience may find valuable (Use services like bit.ly or TinyURL to shorten long links).

BE ACTIVELY ENGAGED

The secret to social media success is enduring engagement. Tweet at least twice a day and possibly at the same time so that your followers will look for your posts. Focus on quality vs. quantity. Ensure that your Tweets are relevant by following reporters who cover both breaking and industry news, paying attention to their content and style. Review what your competitors are posting and do not be afraid to re-tweet their content. Always welcome a new follower—use a brief note with links to your Website, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook page—and if appropriate reciprocate by following them. Most importantly: Be Social! Aside from financial topics, share personal content such as hobbies, interests and community involvements. This helps establish a more personal bond with your followers.

BE ORGANIZED & CONSISTENT

In the beginning, create a list of people and companies you would like to follow. Set a weekly/monthly target for how many followers you would like add. Once you engage, make sure to set a daily window of time (15-20 minutes) to tweet and respond. Don’t forget that Twitter is a core component of your marketing mix and brand building effort. Consequently, make sure that your Twitter identity, (as well as LinkedIn and Facebook) is prominently displayed on your Website, email signature, collateral material and business cards.

As always, questions and comments are welcome.

Claudio Pannunzio
President
i-Impact Group Inc.
Greenwich, Conn.

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