Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My top five tips for financial advisors dipping their toes in the Twitterverse

Every day more of your clients, prospects, family, and friends get on Twitter. If you're ready to dip your toe in the Twitterverse, here are the top five tips from my personal experience.

1. Use Twitter Search to check out Twitter before you begin tweeting. Go to http://search.twitter.com and type in your company name or other keywords that interest you. For example, you could type in "Fidelity Investments." Even if you don't start tweeting, you can set up ongoing Twitter searches, similar to Google Alerts, and have them delivered to your RSS reader. By the way, if you need motivation to research your company on Twitter, read "Commonwealth Bank all a-Twitter over mortgage approval tweet."

2. Find interesting people to follow after you set up your Twitter account. Reading their tweets will help you understand how people use Twitter. If you're a financial advisor, here are some folks who may interest you
* Bill Winterberg, technology specialist for financial planners and the writer of "Yes, Financial Planners Can Benefit from Twitter," which helped put me on Twitter
Russ Thornton, financial planner and investment advisor
* Kristen Luke, marketing consultant to independent financial advisors
 * Lawain McNeil, the Advisor Blogger
* Marion Asnes, editor in chief of Financial Planning magazine
* Cathy Curtis, owner of financial planning firm focusing on women and money

Also, look to see who's followed by people you respect. For example, I believe I discovered Kristen Luke when Bill Winterberg directed a tweet at her. By the way, Kristen has written "Twitter Your Way to New Clients, Part One" and "Part Two."

3. Learn the nitty-gritty of how to tweet. I like "Getting Started on Twitter" on the Tech for Luddites blog written by Elizabeth Kricfalusi. There are lots of social media gurus out there. Many of them are good, but few are as consistently helpful as Elizabeth with my technical questions. She gives great step-by-step instructions for non-technical people like me.   

4. Interact with people on Twitter. The people who get the most out of Twitter interact with others on Twitter. They answer questions posed by other folks on Twitter or get a conversation going in some other way. The few times I've posted questions on Twitter, I was surprised by how quickly I got answers.   

5. Figure out why you're on Twitter, so you can plan your time--and tweets--accordingly. But be prepared to adjust your expectations. I got on Twitter to promote my blog. But I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've learned from people on Twitter. I hope I can give back as much as I've gotten.

If you dip your toes in the Twitterverse, let me know how it goes. Also, feel free to leave your Twitter tips--or questions--in the comments. I'm still a Twitter novice, so I can learn from you.

Related posts:
* What the heck is Twitter? 
* Should stock analysts use Twitter?
* Compliance makes social networking tougher for registered reps than for RIAs

Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.
Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved


  1. Susan,

    Am I a Financial Planner? Check
    Am I an Investment Advisor? Check
    Am I interesting? Not sure about that one.

    Thanks for the mention :)

  2. Russ,
    Aww, come on! You definitely belong on this list!

  3. Great tips Susan! I've been surprised by how much I've learned from people on Twitter. In my opinion, the networking has been the best part of using the site. I never would have met any of the people you mentioned in your list if it hadn't been for Twitter. Thanks for posting!

  4. Great post. Your tip #2 has worked the best for me, as I have discovered many excellent tweets from people that are followed by my new connections. That's been the best way to find people who tweet with substance (and not noise!).

  5. Hi Susan!
    Great post and I found it using Google Search!
    Thanks for listing me! Twitter has been amazing for me. I learn new things every time I log on and I have met such great people. The Financial Advisor community on Twitter is growing, which I am totally enjoying for the info and professional cameraderie. Cathy Curtis

  6. CIO Magazine has a good article about using Twitter for business. It suggests that business people post about "What is important to me?" instead of "What am I doing?"

  7. http://tr.im/ is a nice service for shortening your URLs, so they fit within Twitter's 140-character limit. The service lets you track how many visits your shortened URL receives--and you don't even have to log in to use the service.

  8. Here's another resource on Twitter for financial advisors from the AdvisorBlogger blog: http://www.advisorblogger.com/home/2009/4/8/building-relationships-with-140-characters.html

  9. Hi Susan,
    Very helpful blog - I'm new to this and I appreciate all the resources you shared.

  10. Jon Jacobs at eFinancialCareers.com quoted this blog post: http://news.efinancialcareers.com/News_ITEM/newsItemId-18338 It looks as if I've hit a hot button.

  11. Umm, wouldn't this qualify as adverstising and need pre-approval from compliance? Are there any standards, inter-state issues?

  12. Here's a place to start learning about compliance: http://investmentwriting.blogspot.com/2008/12/compliance-makes-social-networking.html

    Also, check with your firm's compliance officer

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Hi Susan, I remember reading this post way back when and came back to it now after seeing your tweet.

    Great advice then and now but may we add one source to your list? On AdvisorTweets.com, which launched in September 2009, we're aggregating the tweets of U.S. based financial advisors. We encourage advisors new to Twitter to let us know via email or start following our Twitter account @AdvisorTweets--we'll add those who are using their accounts for business purposes to our database, which should help build their following.

    Thanks...and see you on Twitter!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.