Tips to master Twitter

Here’s how financial advisers can increase their reach and engage with prospects on the microblogging site.
By Ravi Samalad |  28-05-18 | 
 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

Social media has become an integral part of marketing for brands as well as professionals. According to Statista, the number of social media users in India has grown from 168 million in 2016 to 226 million in 2018 and estimated to reach 370 million in 2022.

Twitter is one medium which is fast gaining popularity among many. Thus, financial advisers should not ignore this medium. If you have still not explored Twitter, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Before you start, have a social media strategy in place. For instance, which mediums (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) you wish to have presence on. Also, you need to plan out what kind of information you would like to share that would engage your audience. Each platform has different audience and reach. Spend some time studying the usability of each platform before you begin.

Getting started on Twitter

Handle

While creating your Twitter account, you will need a user name or handle which will be visible to all when they search for you. If you operate individually and don’t have a firm name, you can put your name as the username. Alternatively, you can also promote your firm name or blog by using it as your username. For instance, Bangalore based distributor Srikanth Matrubai uses his blog name as his handle @goodfundadvisor. Others like to use their own name (@NagpalManoj ).

Bio

Bio is a short description about yourself. Bios on Twitter are restricted to 160 characters. So you need to convey how you can help people in the shortest possible words. Here’s what Chennai based distributor D Muthukrishnan uses as his bio – CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and a practicing ‘Personal Financial Advisor'. Passionate about personal finance, investments and financial independence.”

You can also share your website/blog url below your bio which will direct prospects to your website.

Profile photo

Use a profile photo which will help your existing clients and prospects identify you. You can also use your company logo. If you don’t have one, use your close up head-shot. It is best to avoid putting your passport size photo clicked for official documents on social media as it won’t look nice. Instead, use your smartphone to click a new photo.

Header photo

It is similar to the cover photo you use on Facebook. It can be your photo, your team photo along with you. It can be any image which resonates with the services you provide. Pagemodo lets you design your header photo. Below is the header of US based financial adviser Michael Kitces.

 First tweet

After you are done with your bio and photo it is time to let the Twitterati know that you have started your account. This helps as it will tell people that you are not a robot or spammer. The first tweet can be something like this – “I’m Arvind Mathur, a certified financial advisor from Mumbai. Looking forward to interacting with all new followers. Thanks to @subhas for getting me on Twitter.”

Follow

Following someone gets their tweets on your page. You can follow your existing clients, peers and organizations which are related to your business. Following your peers will help you understand what they are doing to engage with clients. You don’t have to necessarily replicate them but it will give you a starting point. You will learn as you use the medium.

Following a news media organization or thought leaders will allow you to get updates on the latest developments and perspectives. If you come across a good article/blog, you can retweet and share among your clients by tagging them, by adding your thoughts.

Another advantage of following is that it helps you increase your followers as some of them might reciprocate by following you back. But don’t blindly follow irrelevant profiles as it will flood your page.

Inform you network

If you send newsletters to your clients, insert a Twitter icon in the newsletter with a hyperlink to your handle which will direct them to your Twitter handle and follow you. Similarly, put the Twitter icon on your company website. You can also share your handle on your business card. Informing your network will help you build the initial follower base.

Twitter list

You might end up following 100 handles but you may be interested in following updates of a few influencers that are relevant to you. To do this, you can subscribe to ‘Lists’ created by others or create your own List. List is a curated group of Twitter accounts. Viewing a List timeline will show you a stream of tweets from only the accounts on that list.

Videos

Twitter lets you record and watch live video, upload videos from your phone and desktop. Videos should be less than 500 MB. One limitation is that it lets you upload videos of only up to a certain timeline.  Alternatively, you can upload your videos on You Tube and share the links on Twitter. The You Tube video will play on the Twitter handle itself.

Hashtags #

Using # will help your content be found by people who are looking for such information. For instance, if you have written a blog post on the 5 best terms plans in the market, use #termplan while tweeting your post. Research reveals that using more than two hashtags drops your engagement by 17%; keep them to minimal.

Shorten urls

Twitter has a limitation of 280 characters to convey your message. Many a time, you may want to promote your website or blog and the original links can be lengthy. There are many websites which help you shorten urls. These are bitly, goo.gl, bit.do (it lets you get real-time traffic statistics for your link), and tinyurl.

Frequency

While there is no thumb rule on the number of tweets one should publish studies suggest that you should post 5-6 tweets as long as they are spread across the day. It’s a good idea to like and retweet if you like your followers’ content as it increases the engagement. Also, be prompt in responding to any queries from people as they could be your potential clients.

Imagery

A picture is worth a thousand words, goes the adage. Putting an image or video along with your tweet will be more impactful. Studies show that tweets which have photos are more likely to get retweeted and liked. There are many websites (Pexels, UnsplashPixabay) which allow you to use photos free of cost.

Thread

Videos and photos allow you to express more in one tweet but sometimes you might want to update your followers on a developing story or make a larger point. Here’s how you can publish a twitter thread. Click on tweet button to compose a new tweet. After you have typed your tweet you can click on ‘add another tweet’ button which will open second tweet window. Follow the same procedure for subsequent tweets. You can publish the entire thread at one go with ‘Tweet All’ button.

These are some of the basic options/tools available on Twitter which can help advisers looking to take up Twitter. We hope these tips were useful. For more updates, follow us at @in_morningstar.

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