As we discussed last week, Twitter is a great forum to build a network and promote your website or blog. But with its 140 character limit and jargon like “retweet” and the previously-mentioned “hashtag,” Twitter can seem like its own language. Not to worry, though. With just a basic understanding of how to use Twitter to engage a target audience, it can be a platform that leads to successful growth of your practice.
In last week’s post, we discussed 1) Using Twitter to Promote Your Website and Financial Blog, 2) Connecting With Centers of Influence and 3) Best Practices for Hashtage Use. Let’s continue the discussion with three additional tips to help you successfully leverage Twitter to engage an audience and create growth opportunities.
Respond Personally to Retweets and Mentions
Social media platforms offer financial professionals an excellent way to establish personal connections. And one such way to help ensure a connection is made, is to reply to tweets, mentions and retweets in a timely manner. Though Twitter allows you to enable automatic, generic responses to be sent on your behalf, personalized responses are always best.
While the auto-response feature is helpful at face-value, they’regeneric and boring. If consumers are taking the time to reach out to your business through social media, they deserve better than a bland auto-response. In fact, beginning your relationship with an auto response might be the quickest way to lose followers on Twitter. Taking a few moments to personally respond to a retweet or mention makes your brand seem approachable to potential customers and current clients.
Use Twitter Lists
Twitter lists are curated groups of users on the social networking site. You have the ability to create your own list or subscribe to those created by others. When you view a list timeline, you’ll see a stream of tweets only from users on the list. Here’s an example of a Twitter list someone created to show tweets by technology bloggers:
You can create lists of any category, but I recommend creating lists financial news outlets, clients and prospects, and COIs.
To create a list:
- Go to your lists page via the profile icon drop-down menu.
- Click “create list.”
- Name your list, give it a short description, and control accessibility (private or public).
From there, all you need to do is manage the users on your list. You have the power to add new users (whether you follow them or not) and remove members you don’t want included. In the end, lists make it easier to view tweets from individuals/companies/brands in specific areas of interest or with particular expertise.
Know the Best Times to Post
I’ve heard Twitter referred to as “drive-by media”. Meaning, if a person is following you and 1,000 other people, your tweets will not last long at the top of their feed. Hashtags, as discussed earlier, will make your tweets more searchable and visible. It’s also important to remember to post often and know when your audience is most likely to see your posts.
Hubspot posted a blog outlining the best and worst times to post on each social media platform. Their research indicated that the best time to reach your audience on Twitter is between 9:00am and 3:00pm Monday through Thursday, with the peak time being between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. According to the blog, the worst time to post on Twitter is after 8:00pm Monday through Thursday and after 3:00pm on Fridays.
Twitter is a powerful platform that can allow you to quickly build influence. Entering the “twitterverse” can be a bit daunting, and at first your tweets might seem lost in a sea of information. But before you know it, you will be creating new relationships, strengthening existing relationships, promoting your website or blog, and demonstrating expertise and thought leadership.