Twitter Can Actually Generate New Business While Retaining the Old

By Barbara Kotlyar, Senior Marketing Manager on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

A lot of advisors remain skeptical when it comes to using Twitter to attract new prospects, instead using it more as a way to retain and strengthen existing client loyalty. The truth is that Twitter alone may never get clients to line up on your doorstep, but it is a powerful tool that nobody can afford to ignore.

Twitter can generate new leads for advisors who position themselves as experts in their financial niche. Effectively, Twitter gives you another place to showcase your knowledge and expertise, and the social network effect helps your messaging reach its widest possible audience.

Here are some ways that you can incorporate this new channel into a larger content marketing strategy:

1.) Attract Followers.

When starting a brand new Twitter account, the best way to gain followers is to follow other people in the hopes that they will follow you back.

Start by following your existing clients, people they follow in your niche, centers of influence like CPAs and attorneys you work with -- or want to work with -- and industry influences that you respect.

Building this list is a great project for an intern. Give them a list of clients, influencers and centers of influence to look up and follow. Not all will follow back, but this helps to get a new account rolling.

From there, use Twitter itself to find and follow friends of clients that are in your target market and by encouraging your clients to "share" -- effectively, to recommend or refer --your content to their social network.

2.) Content is King

The key to gaining more followers and keeping the ones you have is Tweeting educational, useful information that your audience will like and is likely to be retweet.

Depending on your niche, you may want to link to articles or blog posts about planning for children’s college education, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, how to know if you are saving enough for retirement or about general financial trends.

The important thing to remember here is that you are not simply pushing any old link that might be relevant into your feed. You want to start with truly educational, useful content that interests your audience enough to click onto or, better, start a conversation.

By selectively tweeting out links to your content that is closely related to your services, you can effectively convert Twitter followers into clients.

For example, if your firm targets single mothers, you could tweet out a link to a blog post you wrote about how to make sure your family is taken care of when you are gone, or an article about what kind of legacy clients want to leave their children.

3.) Engagement is Queen

All social media including Twitter is about engaging with your audience and having a conversation.

Make sure you thank people for retweeting your posts, and feel free to retweet your clients and influencers posts when appropriate.

One area that might surprise some heavily regulated advisors: don’t be afraid to talk about topics other than business. Some amount of personal content is expected in almost every social media feed, so feel free to humanize your account.

After all, if your clients wanted advice from a computer, there wouldn't be much point in scheduling face-to-face meetings in the first place.

4.) Be Consistent and Persistent

Set a goal for yourself for how many followers you would like add each month: 20 is a reasonable number for most advisors.

With a firm goal in mind, you will need to make Twitter an integrated part of all your marketing efforts by adding it to your email signature, posting it on your website, LinkedIn profile and all marketing brochures and materials.

It is important to make a consistent amount of room on your calendar each day to Tweet and respond to others. Five to ten minutes per day is a great way to start.

I suggest using a tool like Hootsuite to schedule Tweets early in the week, so that if you need to miss a day you will still have messages going out automatically.

Building a strong following on Twitter means that you have created a new way to distribute your content and position yourself as an expert in your financial niche which makes it easier to attract clients and gain more referrals.  

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