A lot of advisors remain skeptical that Twitter can attract new prospects, but Twitter can generate new leads for advisors who position themselves as experts in their financial niche and can give them another place to showcase their knowledge and expertise.

Here are some ways you can incorporate Twitter into your social-media marketing strategy.



1. Attract followers. With a brand new Twitter account, the best way to gain followers is to follow other people in the hope they will follow you back. Start by following your existing clients, relevant people your clients follow, centers of influence (CPAs, attorneys) and industry leaders you respect.

Building this list is a great project for an intern. Give him or her a list of clients, industry leaders and centers of influence to follow. From here, find and follow friends of clients who are in your target market and encourage your clients to share your content to their social networks.


2. Content is king. The key to gaining more followers (and keeping the ones you have) is tweeting educational, useful information that will appeal to your audience and that is likely to be retweeted. Link to articles or blog posts relevant to your niche or specialty. It is important to include links with truly useful content, which might prompt your audience to start a conversation.

By selectively tweeting links to content that is closely related to your services, you may be able to convert Twitter followers into clients. For example, if your firm targets single mothers, you could tweet out a link to your blog post regarding making sure your family is taken care of after you’re gone.



3. Engagement is queen. All social media is about engaging with your audience and having a conversation. Make sure you thank people for retweeting your posts and feel free to retweet your clients’ and industry leaders’ posts when appropriate. And don’t be afraid to talk about topics other than business. Some amount of personal content is expected in almost every social-media feed, so feel free to humanize your account.



4. Be consistent and persistent. Set a goal for how many followers you would like add each month (20 is a reasonable number for most advisors). You will need to make Twitter an integrated part of your marketing efforts by adding it to your email signature, posting it on your website, LinkedIn profile and all marketing brochures and materials.

It is important to make room on your calendar each day to regularly tweet and respond to others’ tweets. Five to 10 minutes per day is a great start. I suggest using a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule Tweets early in the week, so that if you miss a day, your messages will go out automatically.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and president of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website at www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.