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You need relevant information to run your practice. Twitter can help you find that information without becoming overwhelmed. The key is to use Twitter to identify smaller streams that you can more easily consume. Here’s how.

1. Set up an account on the new news wire

Twitter has rapidly become the primary way news organizations distribute information. Breaking news often spreads on Twitter in real time before it makes its way on to radio, television or print media. First things first: set up a free Twitter account if you don’t already have one. If your firm doesn’t permit it, set up a personal account with no mention of your professional identity — you’re going to be using it for staying informed, not branding yourself. Now, let’s go find some news.

Read: 7 essential Twitter skills you need to have

2. Follow relevant information sources

Following media feeds is as easy as clicking the “Follow” button on their website. Start by following relevant financial and trade media outlets (including @advisorca, of course). Follow Canadian and U.S. business media, as well as columnists, commentators and writers/bloggers whose analysis you respect.

3. Make Twitter part of your daily routine

Remember when you used to arrive at your office early, pour a cup of coffee and review three morning newspapers? Those days are gone – or numbered. Now, your Twitter feed can play a similar role in preparing you for the day. If you are sitting at your desk, Twitter.com is a great way to see key news stories coming from your preferred news outlets. You can also download the Twitter app to your smartphone so you can review news before you leave the house, while you’re commuting, and even between meetings. Find the times and modes that work best.

Read: Top 7 Twitter blunders by professionals

4. Tame the firehose with public and private Twitter lists

The Twitter list function is under-appreciated but useful. Lists allow you to create a smaller subset of accounts you are following on Twitter so you can pay attention to just them. For instance, you may want to pay attention to a key group of analysts or observers, or even a group of competitors. If you create a public list, anyone you add to the list will get a notification in Twitter and the list will be open for others to see. However, if you create a private list, no one added to the list receives any notification and only you get to see the list. For more, see 23 ideas for how to use Twitter lists.

With more information coming at us and less time to consume it, the strategic use of Twitter can help you stay on top of relevant news items in an efficient way.

Read: Social media offers free client info

Jay Palter is a social media strategist and coach with two decades of experience in financial services, software development and marketing.
Originally published on Advisor.ca
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