Everyone is reachable on Twitter. Want to hit up President Obama? Try @POTUS. What about his dog? @BoFirstDog. How about that executive at the company you are targeting? You get the point. With some interesting changes around the corner, we think it’s time for advisors who haven’t embraced the network, to rethink their stance.
Twitter just switched from “favoriting” tweets with a star to “liking” them with a heart. While you might be thinking, “wow, big deal,” (insert eyeroll) this is a signal to the rest of the Twitter-verse that many more modifications are on the horizon. Twitter even announced they plan to remove their 140 character limit – basically re-defining the platform and requirement to come up with pithy posts. We’re excited about these soon-to-be changes as they could signal a resurgence of Twitter for the advisor community.
While no one knows exactly how these changes will impact the culture of Twitter, our gut tells us it’s going to be positive. If you haven’t jumped on Twitter yet, we think now might be a good time to join the conversation. We researched over 917 financial advisors who use social media, so before you start tweeting, let us share with you current usage trends, best practices, and benefits.
While Facebook and LinkedIn are walled communities (you need consent), you can “tweet” to anyone. This is a great attribute – but tread lightly. Don’t ask to discuss business the first time you meet someone on Twitter, instead use it as a relationship accelerator. Develop a list of your key relationships and make an effort to like, reply and re-tweet their posts. Trust us, they will notice and appreciate it!
Seeing who your clients, COIs, and prospects follow and who they engage with on Twitter is invaluable intelligence for gauging relationships and sourcing names. As you know, this type of intelligence is the precursor for orchestrating personal introductions. Take note of engagement and ask for offline introductions to their closest contacts.
We’re hoping Twitter’s upcoming changes, allowing for longer-form posts, will increase the ability to be a thought-leader on the platform. Consistently posting content that’s original or curated, around your area of expertise, will help raise awareness about your services and position you as a person who is knowledgeable on that topic. When it comes to optimal frequency, a study by Buffer concluded that three tweets per day is ideal – engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet. By the way, it’s okay to recycle your tweets.
Posting links to your blog, article, or video on Twitter is a great way to drive more website traffic. Using hashtags will allow you to expand your reach and audience – in a targeted manner. Putnam recently put out a list of the top hashtags advisors can use. That said, don’t go overboard with hashtags, two or three per tweet should suffice and not annoy your followers.
At the time of this writing, 6,000 tweets are posted every second. Some of these posts are hints into life events of Twitter users that have major financial implications. The opportunities are out there for advisors to step in and help. We found that 38.6% of Influencers use Twitter to listen for business opportunities.
Take advantage of Twitter’s robust search capabilities and open platform. Go to Twitter.com/search-advanced. Run searches for phrases like “I need a financial advisor,” “I am selling my business,” “I have a new job,” “401K rollover,” and more. You can then enter your location as well as the date range the tweets were posted. Use your search results to strike up conversations with real people. There are infinite ways to find money in motion on the platform, and these clues will continue to grow as the network evolves.
These are just a few of the benefits of using Twitter. With changes around the corner, we’re excited to see the future perks.
Ready to put your Twitter skills to the test? Our new YouTube show, The Stephen and Kevin Show, is fueled by questions from Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to answer a question from you for the next episode, just use #AskStephenAndKevin on Twitter.
Stephen Boswell is the COO for The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors. Kevin Nichols is the Director of Coaching for The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors.