As I stated in my last blog, social media sites can offer financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals meaningful opportunities to network, generate brand awareness, prospect and so much more. The challenge for many of you is selecting the right social media platform.
That’s why I’m breaking down the top five social media sites based on the opportunity versus time/cost. We recently explored YouTube, my #5 social media site, so let’s move on to #4: Twitter.
Twitter – #4 best social network for financial advisors (IMHO)
Twitter is ideal for getting news, gathering intelligence and networking. While you can generate opportunities on Twitter, it takes more time and patience due to several factors: 1) your audience is smaller than Facebook and LinkedIn; 2) it’s not easy to identify your target audiences; and 3) you’re essentially talking to the entire world – can you sell something/help someone in another state or country if they engage with you on Twitter?
Opportunity versus Time/Cost
- Stay on top of news, trends, markets, and a whole lot more: You can literally get news and information delivered to you from any personal or professional interest. To monitor the markets, for example, simply follow those that do nothing but track the markets and Tweet about it. Or maybe you have a favorite sports team, industry or competitor you want to monitor regularly. It’s easy to get that information on Twitter.
- Gather intelligence: Following your clients, friends or business associates is an efficient way to keep a pulse on what’s happening in their world. You can also keep an eye on your competitors without them knowing it via Twitter list. Meeting a new client next week? Why not look for them or their company on Twitter to gain insight.
- Position yourself as a thought leader/expert: Because of Twitter’s expansive reach, it’s the ideal platform to showcase your expertise, especially if you use hashtags in your Tweets. To do this, share “value-add” content regularly about a product, service or solution you want to build your business around. Remember, you’re trying to educate, inform or inspire your audience not sell them. Ideally, you should share original and third party content, engage with others by asking questions and Retweet/Favorite frequently. Who knows, it could lead to a new opportunity.
- Get prospecting leads: It’s more challenging to identify ‘warm leads’ on Twitter than LinkedIn, but it can be done. Here are four ways sales professionals can get leads using Twitter.
How you might leverage Twitter
WARNING: Before using Twitter always, always know your company’s policies and compliance guidance regarding the use of social media.
- Thought leadership/education – Select a product, service or solution you want to build your expertise around, then find 10-15 (or create your own) educational articles/videos and share them. Choose from a variety of sources, give credit where credit is due (i.e. by Retweeting) and mix up the type of content you’re sharing. Also, vary the days/times you’re posting content. Remember, you never know when your audiences are on Twitter, so avoid posting at the same time/day. To help, use a scheduling tool, like Hootsuite, or one provided by your company. (Time: 20+ minutes to find and schedule articles. Additional time is needed if you are creating content and/or need to have it reviewed and approved before it goes out.)
- Engage with your audience – Ask questions, thank new followers, give a shout out to someone, reach out to new people, etc. (Time: 10+ minutes to review/respond to notifications, comment, etc.)
- Social selling – Don’t forget to plug your products or services now and again. Just don’t oversell. Less than 20 percent of your weekly Tweets should blatantly push your products/services. (Time: 5 minutes to create/post Tweets)
- Follow, follow, follow – Generating an audience (a “following”) on Twitter is critical. Use hashtags to find and follow people and companies that share your same interests. They might just follow you back! Also, click on your Notifications tab regularly to see who’s followed you, then follow them back. (Time: 15+ minutes to search/follow new people/companies; check notifications and follow)
Opportunity based Tasks
- Search for relevant hashtags – Put a hashtag in Twitter search to see who’s talking about your products or services (i.e. hashtags for advisors), then, if possible, join the conversation by adding value. Again, avoid blatantly selling, instead position yourself as a resource. Once you establish “credibility,” people will reach out to you! (Time: 10+ minutes)
- Twitter chats – Consider viewing or joining a Twitter chat, which is a group of Twitter users who meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a specific topic. To find relevant conversations, just Google it. For example, search “Twitter chats for small business owners,” then search via that hashtag (e.g. #Smallbizchat). Twitter chats are a great way to showcase your expertise or, better yet, connect with other experts or people participating in the chat. (Time: 15-60 minutes based on chat topic, length of chat, how much you have to contribute)
I hope this information helps you understand the opportunities versus time/cost associated with Twitter and why it ranks as my #4 social media site for financial advisors, small business owners and sales professionals. Next month, I’ll break down my #3 social media site: Facebook!
How are you using Twitter and why? How much time are you spending on Twitter and where are you getting the biggest response? How many social media sites are you managing? I’d love to hear from you, so please share any comments, questions or feedback below or contact me on Twitter/LinkedIn. Also, if you liked this post, please share it or, better yet, subscribe to our blog by entering your email on this page.
For more information, check me out on Twitter, where I regularly share social media tips, advice, trends and more, including how to build your business with social.
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