You must be aware of various #hashtags during TV shows and sports events. The idea is to connect the audiences through Twitter, one of the most popular social media platforms. Such has been the effect of Twitter that right from bollywood stars to politicians and cricketers, they’re all there. They’re connecting to their fans (and critics) in ways not possible earlier.
Lots of consumer brands and corporates alike are using twitter as a medium to reach out to their customers and prospects. Right from solving consumer complaints to offering rewards and exclusive offers. In financial services, you will see banks, mutual fund AMCs, life insurance companies having their twitter accounts, also called as a ‘handle’.
But what about the financial advisory community? Are they active? What do they do? If I have to setup my twitter account what do I need to do? Can twitter be a lead generation engine? What should I tweet about? How do I get followers?
Let’s answer these questions, one by one:
Is the financial advisor community active on twitter?
I don’t see too many advisors actively tweeting. Some bloggers do. Now that’s an opportunity for you to be the thought leader in this platform not yet leveraged by the IFA community. Mind you, the quality of twitter traffic is much better than Facebook. So, if you are able to leverage this medium it can put you into a different league.
How to setup a twitter account?
I won’t spend much time here. Simply go to www.twitter.com and signup there. It’s that simple.
Should I create a business or individual account?:
This one’s a bit tricky. Let’s say, your name is Ronak Hindocha and your company name is FutureAdvisor. You have three choices: create only your personal account, only your company account or both. I’d say, for starters create only your personal account. Mine is www.twitter.com/RonakHindocha. Get familiar with how twitter works. And over time you can always create a company account. On the other hand, in financial advisory kind of a service it is important to create your own brand and build your personal rapport online.
What is a twitter bio and is it important?:
This is my twitter bio.
What does your bio say about you? It is one of the major factors people will take into consideration while thinking whether or not to follow you. So think hard. And feel free to be creative here. We don’t have to sound boring.
Whom to follow and How to get followers?
Once you’ve setup your account, put it up on the following places. Your website, blog, letter head, business card, envelopes etc. Hell yeah, even your e-mail signature. Idea is to let people know you have a twitter handle and once they do, allowing them to follow you immediately.
However, this is just the initial followers. Over time, it is the quality of your tweets that will get you more followers and increase your online reputation.
As regards whom to follow, here are some options. Find out if your existing clients are there on twitter. Follow them. Most of them will follow you back. Find out good personal finance bloggers, journalists, financial advisors, mutual fund AMCs, banks, insurance companies etc. When you follow them you know what kind of content they are sharing. That will also give you a sense of what you should be tweeting about.
How to reach out to potential clients?
While the hard way is to tweet regularly and expect followers to know about you, there’s a trick though. I will share it right away. Let’s say you actively advise on mutual funds. Now, how do you find people on twitter who like investing in mutual funds to know about you? Well, one way to figure that out is to find current mutual fund companies on twitter and find out people who follow them. More or less, they would be the ones who believe in mutual funds and hence follow them.
What you can do is, use a tool called www.justunfollow.com. This tool allows you to find out followers of these AMCs and allows you to BULK follow them. E.g you can follow all the people who are following, say, DSP Blackrock or HDFC Mutual Fund etc. The moment you follow them, they get notified via e-mail about you. Now that’s where your twitter bio comes in picture. If you have written sensibly, they will know about you and may follow you back and over time, you never know – they could be giving you business!
Some do’s and dont’s:
- Be regular. Make it a point to tweet atleast once a day.
- Do not be monotonous. You can be humorous, sarcastic, serious, formal. But let it be a mix.
- If you have an active blog, always tweet about it when you write it
- Do not keep talking about how great your offering or service is. Once in a while is ok though.
- Put up some investing quotes that people can relate to
- During important finance coverages like a budget, rate hikes, change in inflation or RBI policy, do make it a point to talk about those aspects. We created an infographic during the last budget and it resulted in great traffic on our site.
Can twitter be a lead generation engine?
In the short term, No. In the long term, Yes. Twitter is all about persistence. Do not expect quick results. Having said that there are few things you can do to immediately capture audience’s attention:
- First things first. On your twitter bio, always have your website link if you have any. That will bring in some people to your site when they read your bio first.
- Use www.justunfollow.com to reach out to potential users. I’ve shared the details above
- Lead generation also happens when the context is strong. Going back to my example of important events like a budget, rate hikes, change in inflation or RBI policy if you are tweeting sensibly you will see lot attention. We had nearly 175 signups during the week following the budget.
So that’s it. Do you have any suggestions on how IFAs can truly leverage this awesome medium? Do share in the comments section below.