Financial advisers are far too sceptical of the power that social media behemoth Twitter can wield when it comes to attracting new clients, claims a top PR executive. Read on to discover why it’s a phenomenon that can’t be avoided if your practice is to survive in the twenty-first century.
According to president and founder of US-based i-Impact Group, Claudio Pannunzio, a worryingly high number of financial advisers – including Australians – are ignoring its capacity to leverage their businesses to new levels.
“When my financial adviser clients tell me that they do not regard Twitter as a viable tool to attract new clients, I encourage them to learn more about its ascending popularity among marketers. These professionals consistently use Twitter to reach out to their key audiences, engage them, and build credibility and consensus by sharing content and insights – and ultimately create a following of ‘brand evangelists’ who enthusiastically promote brands they fancy,” he said.
He claims that financial advisers who establish a Twitter presence will achieve three key goals:
Increase client communication (with a tool more efficient than a phone call or email) for frequent and concise exchange of information.
Position the adviser as an expert source and a thought leader. As ‘followers’ recognise and value an adviser’s expertise and by re-tweeting the content, they become brand evangelists.
Attract attention to the adviser’s core messages, capabilities and expertise by driving traffic to the practice Website, blog, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
“It’s important that advisers begin by creating a complete bio that clearly describes them and their marketplace expertise,” added Pannunzio. “Use wisely the 140 characters you’re allowed, to explicitly articulate how you can help your clients and prospects, address their issues and needs.”
Stand out from the pack
He added that advisers can make themselves stand out from the pack in terms of brand recognition by setting a custom background for their Twitter page that features their logo, website, contacts and social media identities.
He added that, in order to build up your Twitter following, you’ll need to start following your existing clients Twitter pages, encourage them to follow you and offer constructive comments in response to their enquiries/posts. These existing clients can then become a rich vein of new client referrals.
“Provide feedback to their postings, encouraging them to share your comments, insights and ideas with their network of followers,” said Pannunzio, who added that this will in turn create the following two important results:
extending your prospects outreach; and
increasing the number of people who will ‘re-tweet’ your content.
He noted that your goal as an adviser should be simple: to be recognised as a trusted expert source who provides engaging, useful and relevant information. To this end, you should create concise content – ideally less than 115 characters – so that posts can easily be re-tweeted and your Twitter identity will remain visible to other readers.
“Study your audiences to attain an understanding of the financial issues they face and what type of information they seek to address such problems and craft your input accordingly,” said Pannunzio. “In addition to posting your own content, share news and information from media and bloggers that your audience may find valuable”.
A daily Twitter window
So how much of your valuable time should be spent drumming up brand awareness on Twitter? Pannunzio suggests that your “enduring engagement” strategy should include Tweeting at least twice a day – and preferably at the same time so that followers will look forward to receiving your posts.
Focus on quality rather than quantity, he added, and don’t be afraid to include Tweets about hobbies, interests and community involvements to help establish a more personal bond with followers.
In terms of goal setting, Pannunzio suggests that you should create a list of people and companies you’d like to follow before getting your Twitter campaign into gear, and then set weekly or monthly targets for how many followers you would like add.
“Once you engage, make sure to set a daily window of time (15-20 minutes) to tweet and respond. Don’t forget that Twitter is a core component of your marketing mix and brand building effort,” he said. “Consequently, make sure that your Twitter identity, (as well as LinkedIn and Facebook) is prominently displayed on your website, email signature, collateral material and business cards.”
Are you using social media to expand your client base? Share your story by filling in the comment box below.
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