#AdvisorFail: Lessons from Twitter Missteps

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The Tweets

These are real 140-character messages posted to the popular social media site, Twitter, by a real Certified Financial Planner (CFP) using Buz.fm.

Let me ask you something: Is there anything you’d like to read here? Does it even seem like there is a human writing these tweets? Well, there is.

Meet Adam

I found Adam through my twitter alerts system (I use¬†Twilerts). After looking at this man’s monotonous tweets for over a month, I’ve decided to use his misguided efforts as a lesson in using Twitter as a sales tool.

For the record, I would like to state that I know virtually nothing about Adam. I know nothing about his advisory business. I know that he is a family man, and I know that he works for a firm – I know this from his website. This is the extent of my knowledge.

The Analysis

I am, however, very familiar with his Twitter account. I have read every one of his 371 tweets, I have inspected the accounts of his 19 followers and I have analyzed his Twitter bio and accompanying links.

What I have gleaned is this: Adam tweets 6 times every day. Every one of Adam’s tweets is virtually identical, and they fall into three categories, each of which is represented by one of the tweets above:

  • Tweet #1: The hashtag a different Michigan city or town tweet.
  • Tweet #2: The service offer and accompanying phone number tweet.
  • Tweet #3: The simple service offer tweet.

The Mistakes

Clearly, Adam is trying to use Twitter as a sales tool, which is fine, but he has NO social media etiquette:

  • Adam has never @ mentioned another user.
  • Adam has never tweeted a link other than the one to his own site.
  • Adam has never tweeted anything that isn’t self-promotional.
The combination of Adam’s value-less tweets, miniscule following and obvious motives (to get new clients) render his efforts useless – essentially the same as shouting “Hire me!” to an empty room.

The Fix

Here’s what I would recommend for Adam to use Twitter as an effective sales tool:
  • Think Different: For most, Twitter is not effective for lead-gen. Think of it as lead qualification and engagement.
  • Read First: Start following the major trade publications and thought leaders in the finance space (we’ve got a list for that).
  • Find Relevant Topics: Pay attention to what hashtags are relevant in the finance space and use them to find new users to engage with.
  • Create Value: Tweet out links to articles, blog posts, videos and other valuable content relative to wealth management.
  • Have Conversations: Engage with like-minded Twitter users – answer questions, reply to their tweets and add your personal opinon.
  • Follow, don’t Stalk: Use Twitter search to find new users in your area and follow them, but don’t annoy them with tweets and direct messages!

The bottom line is that you need to create value and build relationships online. It will help your prospective clients find you and get to know you. It’s part of an approach called inbound marketing, and it works. Adam, if you’re out there, DM us! We’d love to help you with a marketing makeover.

What about you. Have you ever earned a lead through social media, or Twitter specifically? Did they reach out to you? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

DJ is a freelance writer, hopeful photographer, and social media has-been. He writes to financial advisors about lifehacks, science, technology, business and marketing for Blueleaf, a software that helps create dramatically simpler, more scalable financial advisory businesses. You can find DJ across the web (about.me/djswitz) or you can just follow him on Twitter (@djswitz)!