It’s no secret that Twitter has the power to move mountains. In fact, it has the capacity to impact the stock market itself. In a Washington Post article published on April 23, 2013, it was stated that a false tweet about an explosion at the White House tipped the stock market by $136 billion. One tweet, which was deleted after a few minutes, had been retweeted in excess of a few thousand times. I understand that this was an anomaly; however it speaks to the power of the tool to communicate the news (accurate or inaccurate). In addition, tech visionaries Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen believe that Twitter will outlive The New York Times in the digital age.
At this point, you’re probably still thinking, “How will this help my advisory business?” Many advisors choose not to use Twitter for no other reason than “fear of the unknown.” At some point, I don’t think you will have the luxury of choice. As Americans migrate to the eReaders, iPads, Tablets, and smart phones; we are finding it much easier to access the information we want (information) while at the same time filtering out the noise. To answer the question I posed earlier, here are 4 reasons why I believe Twitter can help your advisory business, replace your newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and save you time.
1. Most major publications are on Twitter
Virtually every major news source has a Twitter presence (large or small). Since Twitter is a force to be reckoned with, they couldn’t afford to not participate. No more waiting for the newspaper to show up on your doorstep or magazine to show up in the mail. Now you can get the information when you want it. For those less familiar with Twitter, you can choose to follow the company account or assign them to a list that you create. In the financial services industry, some of the main Twitter streams that I recommend that you follow are:
- MarketWatch – @MarketWatch
- Wall Street Journal
- Main – @WSJ
- Economic News – @WSJeconomy
- Personal Finance – @WSJpersfinance
- Financial Planning Magazine – @finplan
- Financial Advisor Magazine – @FAmagazine
- The Economist – @TheEconomist
- Morningstar Advisor – @MStarAdvisor
- Morningstar.com – @MorningstarInc
- Research Magazine – @Research_Mag
- AdvisorOne.com – @AdvisorOne
2. Filtering Out the Noise has never been easier
One of the best ways to filter the noise is by creating lists on Twitter. I use these extensively to create channels that I want to follow based on topic or theme. Over the years, I have created lists for Financial Services Organizations (Click here for my Twitter list) which includes the FPA, CFP, CFA, NAIC, NAPFA, NAIFA, and the list goes on.
You may want to create similar lists or simply follow mine to help keep you informed about latest happenings within each of those organizations. In addition, I also created a list of industry regulators (Click here for my Twitter list) such as FINRA and the SEC as well as personal accounts sharing insights into industry regulatory changes. The best part about lists is that in many cases, someone with similar interests as you has already created a list, which you can follow. This works exceptionally well for those who do not want to invest the time to create their own custom lists from scratch.
3. Twitter is the Ultimate Education Tool
The beauty of Twitter extends beyond its capabilities for creating communication between members. It also serves as a great listening device and educational tool. Some advisors I work with, who are limited in what they can share by their broker-dealer, leverage Twitter to follow industry experts or possibly their competition, to better understand what is going on in the industry or provide insight into what is important to the average investor. Staying current on industry trends, tax changes, and planning strategies can be time consuming. With Twitter, you can create your own customized view of your industry and stay current with minimum commitment to reading each week. When deciding whether or not to use Twitter, think outside-of-the-box and explore other potential ways to take advantage of this powerful tool.
4. Information at your Fingertips
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this point, aside from saying that with the use of smart phones as well as tablets/iPad, you have information when and where you need it. Since most people can’t bear the thought of allowing their cell phone to leave their sight, you will always have access to information without waiting for the newspaper or magazine to show up in the mail.
For those adventurous enough to actively tweet and have received the blessing of their compliance department, here are two lists you may want to follow from @AdvisorTweets to help provide context for what other financial professionals are posting on Twitter.
Investment Advisors/RIAs (List Here)
Financial Planners/CFPs (List Here)
For more ideas and tips, feel free to follow me on Twitter as well via @toddgreider.