The Twitter community is growing each and every day. With more than 200 million active users, Twitter has become a key component in communicating alerts and sharing stories in many different avenues of our everyday lives. Real-time updates connect you to the hottest news spanning anywhere from President Obama’s latest decisions, up to the second news on the most recent athlete discovered to be using steroids, all the way to the Kardashians’ newest hairdo. Sigh. At the center of it all are the “Tweets.” The coined term that has become part of people’s everyday vocabulary allowing anyone (and I mean anyone) to share an idea, post a story, advertise a product, and connect with users everywhere.
So how does this relate to the brokerage world? Well, for Independent Financial Advisors, tweeting provides a backdrop for branding your business and connecting directly with clients; not to mention the ability to monitor a live stream of market insight and awareness to the most up to date information available.
One of the most striking benefits of joining the Twitter world as an Independent Financial Advisor – as if the Kardashian’s are not exciting enough – is that the consumers are already there. The next generation of investors, the tech savvy generation Y-ers, are already abandoning the traditional modes of communicating with advisors in ways such as via telephone, postal mail, and even email. With the clientele already established as Twitter users, advisors can use the platform as a way to further build on relationships with current clients, as well as reach out and develop a following from a potentially new client base.
Tackling the social media stage with an innovative marketing strategy can be challenging and rewarding, but also necessary. Professionals, specifically advisors, should be aware of the current guidance from regulators in terms of remaining compliant in the ever changing social media world. Registered Investment Advisors are seeing very basic guidance from the SEC requiring advisors to establish policies and procedures for social media use, as well as a system to archive. As for FINRA-regulated broker-dealers, they have seen very straight forward guidelines for use in the recently updated rules for communicating with the public. It is also important to be aware and fully understand your own firm’s social media requirements and policies.
Building your name on Twitter involves building a strategy. You must claim your name and try to match the voice of your business to the content on the platform. This voice should be one that targets your client audience and grabs their attention. This approach can include buzzwords, with links you choose to share, hash tags, and the overall style of the company.
Never stop snooping! Not only does Twitter provide you with conversation starters, business news, and market updates; it also expresses the needs and opinions of your clients. People, and specific to this case- clients, are on social media outlets mainly to have their opinions heard. Understanding what your audience likes and what they share are key components in building relationships and fulfilling your duties as an Independent Financial Advisor.
So is it time to add Twitter to your marketing strategy? With user volume rising and businesses seeing such positive impact there is only one answer… you better start Tweeting!