In the first two installments of this series, we guided you through using LinkedIn and Facebook to grow and nurture your network as a loan originator (LO). Next we’ll talk about Twitter, and how you might tweet your way to closed deals in 140 characters or less.
There are two keys to Twitter success: time investment, and the tools to manage your account. While Twitter is easier to set up than Facebook or LinkedIn, it requires a bit more work on the back end - monitoring mentions, responding in real time to comments, retweeting other content, and acquiring quality followers. As with all social networks, a quiet Twitter feed will do more harm than good, so be prepared to tweet at least 3-5 times per day. Using a social media management tool like GREMLN to schedule your tweets all at once can create efficiency in your Twitter strategy and cut down on the time you spend posting. Still, it is wise to consider whether or not a 15-25 weekly post commitment is realistic before moving forward.
If you have the time and the tools to make a go of it, great! Twitter can be every bit as powerful of a tool as Facebook and LinkedIn to connect you with the clients and referral partners LO’s need in their networks. Let’s take a look at Twitter and some of the features that make it unique.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is the real-time communications network where users send 140 character messages called tweets. With 288 million monthly active users, and 500 million tweets sent per day, making a splash on Twitter can be challenging unless you utilize some of its best features, including:
- Hashtags – Using trending or industry hashtags (the # sign on your keyboard) is the easiest way to cut through the noise and get your content in front of people you care about. Check out our infographic on appropriate hashtag use!
- Twitter Search – Search for specific tweets, users, or conversations using keywords or hashtags to monitor company mentions, your personal Twitter handle, or have conversations with clients. Use the Search or Advanced Search feature from your GREMLN dashboard.
- Twitter Chat – Participate in Twitter chats from your GREMLN dashboard using hashtags. Twitter chats aren't for the hard sell – be conversational and establish yourself as a thought leader!
How to Set Up Your Account
Setting up a Twitter account requires less information than Facebook or LinkedIn, but you will need a good Twitter handle. Try not to make it too long or overly complicated – your name and/or something that defines your services is a good start: ex: JaneDoeLoans. Your Twitter handle can be up to 15 characters long. You will also need to craft a short bio for your profile. Ready to get started? Go to the website, http://www.twitter.com.
1) Fill out the form with your full name, email address, and a password. Click the “Sign up for Twitter” button.
2) Twitter will auto-fill your full name, email, and password. Here is where you will choose your username – Twitter will let you know if it is available. Click the Sign Up button.
3) That’s it! Twitter will take you through a 6-step process for customizing your account, including adding profile and header images. As always, keep it professional! Your Twitter header image should be 1500x500px, and the profile image should be 400x400px.
Twitter Do’s and Don’ts
DO post regularly. The best times to post on Twitter are Monday-Thursday, 9am-3pm.
DON’T #hashtag #every #word or #makehashtagsreallylong. Best practice is 1 or 2 relevant hashtags per post.
DO tag influencers in retweets of their content
DON’T forget to use images or videos – tweets with images get twice the engagement of those without images.
DO tweet on weekends! While weekdays are peak times, a study by Dan Zarella found that click-through rates were higher on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
DON’T set auto-reply on your account. If someone takes the time to reach out, respond to that user personally!
DO be courteous and say thanks to people for retweets, follows, and favorites.
DON’T tweet proprietary or confidential company or client information. Here are several examples of what NOT to do.
DO post appropriate third-party content. Check your bank’s social media policy for specifics on approved content.
Now that you have a few tips on getting started on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s time to start building those accounts! Social media doesn’t replace the need to network in person, but extending a virtual handshake is a good start. It’s also important to remember that even though social networks are a more casual medium, it’s important to maintain a professional image and avoid compliance violations for you (or worse) your bank. However, the benefits of social networking are far greater than the risks if you have the right tools to manage your strategy – schedule a demo!
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