The situation

You’re stuck in a prospecting rut.

One of your colleagues mentions she uses Twitter to get her name before the public, and credits her tweets with bringing her two new clients in the last month. You’ve been wary about entering the Twitterverse because you’ve little experience with social media.

What should you talk about to gain clients and prove you’re an influencer? And what shouldn’t you tweet?

The financial industry is strictly regulated, so find out your firm’s policy before opening an account on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. If you get the green light from compliance, use this rule to test your online content: if you’d get in trouble for saying it on television or when quoted in a newspaper, then you’ll get in trouble for saying it on social media.

To make sure you don’t run afoul of compliance:

Tweet

Great tips on how to retire and still be active (include link)

Not

If you’re over 65, you need to buy this annuity (include link)

Tweet

Here’s an easy-to-read chart on how markets have performed over the last 50 years (include link)

Not

It’s a good time to buy BB, even though our analyst says sell. He’s an idiot.

Tweet

Fantastic vacation spots around the world (include link)

Not

Just picked up a new client that won the lottery, woo hoo!

Here are some tips to ensure you’re compliant.

  1. Know your firm’s social media policy and best practices, including if tweets or status updates require approval before posting.
  2. Don’t offer specific recommendations, endorsements or advice. Instead, give general insights about a particular topic.
  3. Archive everything—don’t delete posts unless you’re instructed to take something down. LinkedIn status updates tend to disappear after a week, so take screenshots of what you’ve written. Twitter and Facebook auto-archive your activity.

Your goal when tweeting is to interact, listen and participate with followers so you can be seen as an expert. Consider who you’re sharing the content with and how this fits into your marketing plan. For instance, social media is a great place to get feedback on your blogs, so include links to your posts.

And decide who else’s informative articles, checklists or slideshows you want to share. To find that content, Twitter allows you to sort people you follow into lists.

Then, ensure the content you share is relevant. If you’re targeting dentists send articles on how to de-stress, time management, and how to hire dental hygienists.

4 tweet tips

  1. Follow people you want to talk to (e.g., potential clients, centres of influence).

  2. Set up a bio with a picture and any disclaimers (“Tweets are my own” is commonly used by those who identify themselves as working for large organizations).

  3. Be part of conversations and share only relevant information with your followers.

  4. Go for quality, not quantity. Make sure each time you tweet, your followers learn something. Don’t tell the world you just found a parking spot.

Rosemary Smyth is a Victoria-based coach with Rosemary Smyth & Associates and author of 101 Success Tips and Strategies for Financial Advisors.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge

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