Twitter is a place to create or share a unique voice and to connect with a broader network of prospects. With its short-message format and real-time focus, it lends itself to commentary on current events and brief engagement with other users.
As an advisor, you can use Twitter to enhance your brand and reach a broad network of potential prospects, influencers, and the media by sharing a unique and engaging voice.
Here are a few tips suggested in the white paper to get acquainted with the mood and purpose of Twitter:
- Step 1: Set up your page
Setting up a Twitter page is quick and straightforward. Before you start, it’s useful to have the following ready and available:
a) A brief bio—a version of your value proposition that can fit into the 160-character limit.
b) Two photos/images you’d like to use to represent your business—one for the main picture that will appear throughout the site and one in the background/header image.
- Step 2: Business or personal
Decide whether you are tweeting as yourself or your business. Both can be successful as long as you are adding value to your network. Consider your objective—if it is to promote the brand or position yourself as an individual thought leader. Regardless of which you choose, remember Twitter is an engagement platform not a broadcasting one.
- Step 3: Learn the rules
Twitter is a unique platform that has many rules, both coded into the platform and unspoken.
- Twitter has rolled out an update that expands tweets from 140 characters to 280 characters.
- To speak to a specific user, use the @ symbol and their username.
- Tweets that begin with the @ symbol, called “@ replies” or “mentions,” will be read only by people who follow both of you.
- Adding a hashtag (the # symbol) to the beginning of a word or phrase without spaces (e.g., #TwitterRules) links a feed of all tweets containing the same hashtag.
- Shorter is better. Although you have 280 characters, the less you use, the more likely your tweet will stand out.
- Context matters. To be of relevance in the world of Twitter always be aware of the discussions your network is having before posting.
- Use hashtags carefully. Hashtags are for sharing updates, or content about a particular topic in a particular moment, often events, so make sure you have a good feel for the audience in any given hashtag before contributing to it.
- Step 4: Follow and listen
Start by following users who are employing a similar strategy as yours, such as other advisors or firms. When you follow someone, they get a notification. This can be a great way to get the attention of a prospect, or journalist; it may be best to wait until you are somewhat established before following people you want to impress. That way, when they check out your page, you will have some content to showcase who you are and what your tweets are like.
- Step 5: Start tweeting
Twitter is all about real-time, context-rich content, so starting a Twitter feed is a commitment to keep up with the conversations happening currently. You will find that different segments of Twitter will discuss different topics, so it is critical to know who you’re talking to. There will also be times when no particular conversation is happening, and you can tweet about anything you like.
You may wish to establish guidelines for what and when you’ll post on Twitter. Consider the following:
- How frequently do you want to post?
- What tone/approach will you use (commentator, educator, entertainer, etc.)?
- Will you link to outside sources, and how will you determine whether a source is credible?
- What topics would interest your audience?
- Will you respond to comments on your posts? (recommended)