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WHAT TO TWEET

The great and maybe somewhat hard thing about Twitter is the large amount of content you should be putting out daily. Twitter is like a radio station: different users are listening in at different times, which means that, in order to keep your followers happy, you should be putting out quality content on a consistent basis. When it comes to posting, tweet a balanced mix of information. In addition to your company blog posts, third-party articles, landing pages, and replies to conversations and retweets, other tweet suggestions include:

Like a Facebook page – “@MorningstarInc, thanks for the follow. Check out our Facebook page too! [link to Facebook page]”

Promote your e-mail newsletter – “Curious about how to use Twitter? Check out our newsletter for tips on how #advisors can use #Twitter [link to newsletter signup]”

■ Share a video – “New video about how investors are using social media. You'll be surprised! [link to video]”

■ Share an e-book or white paper – “New white paper containing latest stats on long-term care. Check it out! [link to landing page]”

■ Share a tool – “Need a budget? My free software Sc easy workbook is here, endorsed by Dr. Phil [link to tool's download page].”

Promote and conduct a webinar – During the webinar include a unique hashtag so that users can share appropriate nuggets of information with their followers.

Tweet about upcoming events – “Client appreciation event tomorrow night! Don't forget to RSVP [link to registration page]”

Tweet a photo – “New renovations in the office! What do you think?”

Tweet a poll – “What CRM do you use? Let us know [link to survey]”

Ask for volunteers – Beta test a product or service.

WHAT NOT TO TWEET

On social media, we all risk putting our foot in our mouth at some point or another . . . and on a very public stage. By now, you probably have an idea of how to build a network and rapport on Twitter, but are you aware of the conversational mines you should avoid? Here are 10 ways to lose respect on Twitter:

1. Talking Trash – Making negative comments about your competition/ peers puts you on the fast track to losing respect. Avoid it at all costs. And don't engage with other tweeters who do that.

2. Intense Political and Religious Sentiment – There is a time and place for having politically and religiously charged conversations. And it's okay to share your opinions on Twitter from time to time. But don't oversaturate your feed with politically and religiously charged tweets. It may be turning away prospects and influencers without you even knowing it.

3. Narcissism – When you are networking at an event, you tend to remember those with interesting stories and the people who listened to you. No one wants to follow up with the guy who spent the whole night talking about how great he was. Don't be that person on Twitter.

4. A Lack of Purpose – If your tweet falls outside of a purpose or strategy, reconsider posting it. Like your blogs, it's important to keep your tweets purposeful, relevant, timely, and concise.

5. Not Giving Props – If someone walked up and congratulated you on an awesome presentation, would you look at them and then walk away? I hope not. When people give you a shout out or RT your content, say thanks. It's simple, but powerful.

6. Vacancy – Haven't tweeted in a few weeks or months? This basically spells out “I don't care” to your followers. If you don't have time to post, outsource your social media, create RSS feeds, or delete your account until you can engage on a regular basis.

7. Not Separating Personal from Ultra-Personal – People don't mind knowing about the birth of your precious new grandson, but they don't want to hear or see the play-by-play of the messy delivery. Know how to separate the personal from the ultra-personal.

8. Getting into Tweet Fights – As a well-respected and well-known professional, it's highly likely you'll face criticism and/or opposing viewpoints from time to time. Let's just say that many people are vocal on social media – and it may not always be in your favor. Don't get into a tweet fight. Instead, express gratitude for their honesty and/or address their concerns. If their behavior gets out of control, flag their account.

9. Complaining – Don't make your followers call the wahmbulance. Sure, there may be a time when you want to convey a sincere opinion that lacks positivity – that's what social media is all about! But aim to be slow to complain and quick to be positive.

10. Being a Billboard – Twitter wasn't created for companies to post ads about their business. In fact, it was created so people – of all statuses and from all walks of life – could have real-time conversations about anything and everything. Don't be a virtual billboard. Be conversational and create a personality.

Remember, Twitter is qualitatively different from the other key social media sites. Its users value brief and timely content in real time, and the back- and-forth banter that's the hallmark of a good electronic cocktail party. Develop the skills to use it well, and Twitter will provide you with engaged clients, online credibility, and a few good stories to tell at more conventional cocktail parties.

 
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