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The Twitterverse awaits

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Advisors are finally jumping on board the social-media train, which can increase a firm’s brand awareness. And one of the best ways to do this is via the wildly popular Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to share information in real time and stay updated about what’s happening in your industry. And the hardest part of tweeting is getting started. Building your list of followers can seem daunting without some guidance. So, here are three helpful ideas for gaining Twitter followers:

1. Advertise your account. Sure, you have a Twitter account. But have you told anyone about it? In a study we conducted earlier this year, only 23 percent of financial advisors said they had linked their Twitter accounts to their websites. Publicize your account any way you can: Embed a Twitter feed on your homepage and LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Make sure your Twitter address is included in your site contact info and email signature and on your business cards.

2. Customize your profile. Most Twitter users retain the generic template and do not fill out their profile information. According to HubSpot, users with profile pictures have 10 times more followers than those who don’t. To be more searchable, interesting and impressive to others, include a professional looking picture, your real name, a short bio and a link to your website. More advanced users may want to customize their backgrounds to really stand out.

3. Follow the leaders. To further establish yourself, follow the leaders in your field. Spend some time finding quality people you would like to follow. It will make you look smart, and you’ll likely gain followers from the association. But be judicious in your choices: While it’s tempting to add a lot of users, hoping they will follow you in return, you could come off as desperate if you are following many more people than are following you.

Twitter can be very helpful in getting your name out there and establishing your expertise. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to explore the Twitterverse and find ways to make it work for you.

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Maggie Crowley is a marketing coordinator at Advisor Websites. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, she develops inbound marketing strategies and manages the company’s online presence. For more information, go to advisorwebsites.com.