Three things will get you attention, and traction, with Twitter

In a world where information is available at the touch of a button for most, simply getting attention is a challenge for advisers. Here’s how Twitter can be used to make the process a little easier.

“How should I use Twitter best” is a question financial advisor coach Tony Vidler is asked a lot. He says there are a few lessons learned during the past couple of years that will help:

It helps to understand that there has been a paradigm shift in recent years as more and more information becomes available, and it is a struggle to cut through the market noise and just get attention to begin with.

In the past, when people had more time, an event occurred which got customers attention. Perhaps a change in circumstances in their life that made them go looking for a solution, or they were approached by an advisor directly, or some advertising or marketing caught their attention and triggered a response.

Now there is so much change, happening at a rapidly increasing pace, that many customers have become inured to it.

“Change” itself is not necessarily a catalyst to act for many customers today.

In a world where there is a veritable torrent of information, advertising and marketing, simply getting attention that matters requires a longer lead-in period and a gradual building up of credibility and trust.

Building up that credibility and trust works differently on different social media networks for two key reasons:

1. The audience for different networks have different expectations and ways of using the networks.

2. The type of information or data which is posted, or shared, has an impact on customers’ capacity to absorb it and engage with you.

Engagement is more difficult and takes longer on a network such as Twitter as there are higher barriers to participation.  Or, to put it plainly, a network like Pinterest presents the interesting data in seconds whereas a network like Twitter generates attention first, and perhaps intrigue, but requires a higher level of participation by the customer to get meaningful or useful data from it.

In order to get the best out of Twitter and to generate traction with your desired audience requires patience, persistence and clarity.

It will take quite some months (usually) for people to pay attention to you.  It helps if you are clear about who your desired audience is and what position of credibility you are trying to establish with them.  The more clarity you have in this respect, the more attention you will get from your target market.

On Twitter however, there must be interaction if you want any traction.

It is not sufficient (generally speaking) to merely re-post good content. Nor is it sufficient to merely post advertorials of your own, or even just high quality informative content of your own.

A good rule of thumb for getting traction on Twitter is the “Rough Rule of Thirds”.

One Third of what you post should be content that you produce for your audience. The more informative and high calibre, the better the level of attention and engagement.

One Third of what you post should be other people’s quality content that is ideal for your audience. Find the good stuff that your audience are interested in and spread it around – you become a more trusted source of quality content by sharing others great content.

One Third should be engaging one-to-one with the people who are following you.  Have conversations, show some personality, get to know each other a little better.

(Note: this a very rough “Rule”….an approximation in reality).

For professional services especially, customers do business with people they get to know to the point where they feel they like them and can trust them. Getting attention and traction with Twitter requires you to be present, be patient, share good stuff and be prepared to engage with people.

Achieve that balance, and it will become a very effective part of the marketing strategy for your business.

Vidler's article is from his blog The Financial Advisor Coach.