Should I or shouldn’t I? That seems to be the question among financial professionals with regard to social media. The gray area between what can be talked about versus what can’t tends to make this industry shy a way a bit from using social media, namely Twitter. See what internet marketer and freelance writer Aaron Hoos has to say on social media use in the financial services industry. His comments now follow…
As a financial professional (including investment representative, investment advisor, and financial advisor), you have to build your business by acquiring new clients. One way that seems like it could be a good tool is Twitter. However, strict rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other regulatory bodies restrict what you can do on Twitter.
Twitter does not give a lot of space in a single tweet so it is difficult to fully say what you need to say (including all disclosures) if you want to communicate with people on Twitter. Fortunately, you can still use Twitter! This financial advisor marketing tip will show you how.
First, you can use Twitter as a way of talking to people. Follow interesting people on Twitter and then interact with them on Twitter. Keep the conversation about them. Ask what they do for a living. Take an interest in who they are. Ask how they are doing. When they reciprocate (as people naturally do in a conversation), you can give a brief response like “I’m a financial advisor”. Don’t discuss specific investments. If someone asks you for advice or guidance, just tell them (nicely) that you don’t give investment advice over Twitter. But most importantly, bring the conversation back to them. Take an interest in your network of followers.
Second, you can use Twitter as a listening post. Set up your Twitter tools (such as HootSuite or TweetDeck) to alert you when someone says something that contains keywords. The keywords might be “investment” or “stock market” or “economy”, for example, but maybe there are other words that are more relevant to you. Read what these people write. You don’t have to even respond; just listen. But this will give you some insight into what people are saying and thinking. Bonus tip: If your clients are on Twitter, you should definitely follow them to listen to what they are saying. Sometimes you might find that they tweet questions you can answer (in person or on the phone) or sometimes you might find opportunities to do more business with them.
Third, you can use Twitter as a research tool. Find out what people are saying about a particular investment. Obviously you would never use Twitter as the sole place to find investment ideas but you can use it as a springboard for interesting ideas that you might not hear about elsewhere. In addition, you can see what investing ideas are trending and then use that to help direct what you do additional research on. Chances are, if it’s a trending topic, your clients might come in and ask you about those exact same investment ideas. It’s better to be prepared ahead of time.
Regulatory bodies are cautious about how financial professionals use Twitter, and for very good reason. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use Twitter. Use these 3 financial advisor marketing tips to help you derive great value from this exciting social tool.
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