I hear it often, and I’ve heard it for years. “What’s with Twitter?” “Who is even tweeting?” “I don’t get hashtags.”
Guess what? Twitter has been here since 2006, and it looks like it has star staying power in a world of fizzling social media lights. Twitter’s pervasive hashtag (#) isn’t just a trendy social media accessory—it’s an organizational tool that anyone can leverage to navigate Twitter more efficiently. So efficiently, in fact, that rival social networks like Facebook and Instragram have integrated hashtags into their own sites. When people have a point to make, serious or otherwise, using a hashtag promotes that idea—and Twitter had it first.
But there’s more to Twitter than the symbol formerly known as the pound sign. As a financial advisor and business owner, you can use Twitter to promote your brand and cultivate an image within a broad consumer base on multiple platforms. How do you use the 140-characters-or-less social media channel correctly? In this two-part series, you’ll learn some important tips to ensure your success using Twitter, including the ins and outs of hashtags to help you manage your online brand.
Use Twitter to Promote Your Website and Financial Blog
Twitter is a powerful tool for promoting your website and/or financial blog. With each new post you create and deliver, Twitter can help you attract visitors to your site and get people reading (and interacting) with your content. As you contemplate ways to promote your website and blog content, consider the following steps for Twitter promotion:
- Create Great Headlines: Twitter users look for content in their feed based on topics. A great headline attracts eyeballs immediately. Including hashtags that are relevant will help people searching Twitter for specific terms find your information.
- Keep Your Post Short: Twitter allows you 140 characters, but keeping posts shorter is better. Why? When you keep your posts short, it allows users to retweet your post and add their own brief commentary and hashtags.
- Promote Each Post 2-3 times in a Week: Promote your content to your audience a few times, but don’t flood their Twitter feed with an incessant stream of the same tweet.
- Follow Retweeters: When someone retweets your content, take a few moments to visit their blogs/sites to learn more about content that is popular with them. Thank them for their interaction, and find something in their feed to comment on.
Connect with Centers of Influence
The effectiveness of your promotion on Twitter is dependent on the network you reach. A campaign should include reaching out to Centers of Influence (COIs). These COIs range from your fellow financial service professionals to other companies in your industry. By retweeting messages from other members of your niche or tagging them in your posts, you connect your brand to established groups and enhance its image in the process. As they share your content, you’ll gain additional targeted exposure.
Best Practices for Hashtag Usage
When you use hashtags to promote your business and brand, there are good practices and bad. The use of bad practices (like irrelevant or inapproproate hashtags) doesn’t always necessarily have a negative impact, but it does reflect a lack of knowledge. Good practices give you the upper hand and make it easier to succeed with online promotion.
There are three good habits to keep in mind before starting any new campaign with hashtags. These include:
- Do Research: As you develop your social strategy, create unique hashtags that help tell the story of your brand. Tinker with your hashtags by writing them in all uppercase, all lowercase, and a combination of the two to ensure the meaning of your hashtag isn’t lost on consumers.
- Make it Relevant: Never settle for a broad hashtag that isn’t relevant to your business. Your unique hashtag should directly reflect your brand and your promotion campaign. · Don’t Go Overboard: Make sure your message remains focused on your current campaign. Don’t litter your social feed with countless hashtags. One or two will suffice.
Next week, we’ll publish Part 2 of Charlie’s Twitter Tips for Financial Advisors.