Four tips for financial professionals on Twitter
By Amy McIlwain
Financial Social Media Marketing
This article series will map out the most advantageous tips for financial professionals on the most popular social networks. Our first article will focus on Twitter, followed by Facebook, LinkedIn and the last post will be a highly-anticipated surprise.
Financial professionals are understandably cautious about using social media since Finra and the SEC have been putting their foot down on regulations and policies. But that doesn’t mean you have to shut the social networks out completely, which is why we’ve put together a helpful list of tips for financial professionals using the most popular social networking platforms.
Twitter for financial professionals
1. Stay compliant. Industry and company regulations regarding social media use seem to be the number one reason financial professionals don’t take advantage of the tools lying at their disposal. Before diving in, however, it is essential that you check with your broker/dealer’s social media policy. FINRA has laid out some guidelines, however everyone seems to have their own way of interpreting them.
Unless you are an RIA or life/health licensed it is ultimately your broker/dealer who has the final say on what you can and can’t do online. Frustrated with your broker/dealer’s slow adaptation to social media? Voice your opinion and educate them on the benefits. Don’t just wait, make it happen.
2. Quality over quantity. Don’t just follow anyone. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of profile descriptions that say “will follow back,” but these are not the individuals you should be looking to add to your social networks (do you really think a 16 year old with a Justin Bieber Twitter handle wants to buy an annuity?).
The purpose of Twitter (and many other social networking sites) is to build a solid networking foundation of prospective clients, current clients, industry leaders and partnering businesses. Simply following someone to build your numbers will not only clog your network, but it will put a damper your social media marketing commitment by blurring the intent, investment and return strategy.
Sure, it’ll take time, but slowly creating an organic Twitter following will produce much more successful results than just following anybody.
3. Quality over quantity (content, that is). Quality content goes hand in hand with growing a successful following. Think of content as the selling point of your social media strategy — it’s what should be attracting and retaining your followers.
The great and maybe somewhat hard thing about Twitter is the large amount of content you should be putting out daily. Twitter is like a radio station — different users are listening in at different times, which means in order to keep your followers happy you should be putting out quality content on a consistent basis. Don’t tweet about just anything, take your time to research relevant newsfeeds that you know your followers would be interested in. Chime in on appropriate conversations and retweet your follower’s content. Set up a content schedule that will ensure you are always putting out quality, consistent content.
4. Creating a community vs. advertising. Stop thinking about your social media strategy as an advertising campaign. Traditional advertising is one direction. Basically, a company with a megaphone screaming their message at you. With social media, it is important to listen first and talk second.
Social media is all about creating valuable relationships, socializing, joining in conversations and building a community with you. Earn their trust by providing content that is of interest or adds value to your audience and participating in the conversations. In order for a Twitter follower to continue to follow a company’s Twitter handle, they must continually produce valuable interaction with that consumer.
It’s not about a campaign, it’s about a commitment the company must make to be informative, interactive and valuable to the consumer. Use Twitter to nurture your commitment to your consumers by retweeting their content, joining in conversations and giving them the type of information they want.
While I’ve only just scratched the Twitter surface, I’ve covered the most important aspects of utilizing the Twitter platform. One last tip is to be patient — growing a Twitter following is not easy and takes time. But trust me, in the end it’s completely worth the effort.
Not only will you discover an interactive platform to create, nurture and build valuable relationships, but you’ll also see your business grow into the social media ecosystem. If you have any questions or would like to share any more helpful Twitter tips send us a message. Stay tuned for our next article on tips for financial professionals on Facebook.