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By Maria Ortiz Outreach

Going Back to the Basics of Social Media: Twitter

12 minute read
Going Back to the Basics of Social Media: Twitter Featured Image

A few weeks ago, we covered some of the basic elements of Facebook that can help make your online marketing campaign even more successful when used appropriately. This blog will cover the elements that can help change the outlook of your campaign on Twitter. (If you are looking for even more, you can also read Insights Into Social Media Marketing).

Many people find Twitter to be a bit more intimidating at first, mainly because there is so much jargon and to make lives more difficult it is quite different from the jargon used on Facebook.


1. @username

Your @username, also known as your handle, is your business’s unique identifier on Twitter. It should be 15 characters or less and should be memorable and representative of your business so that you can be easily found.

So what exactly is this “@” and what purpose does it serve?

The famous @ serves as a way to interact with twitter community, including tagging (“mentioning”) fellow industry leaders, sources from who you are getting an article, peers in the industry, etc. For instance, if I am talking about my new site from Twenty Over Ten and how much it has helped reinforce my online presence I would say something like this:

Loving all the positive feedback on my new website. Check it out to learn how I help millenials manage money. Great design by @twentyoverten!

This @ will let Twenty Over Ten and any other users looking up “Twenty Over Ten” know that I have recently mentioned them in my latest tweet. By tagging/mentioning (@) users you can also increase the amount of people who are exposed to your tweet. For example if you were to get a third party article from say Forbes, and tagged/mentioned them on your tweet ( “via @Forbes”) your tweet will get exposed to all users who are looking up material by Forbes, as well as potentially get retweeted by the company and other parties.

2. Profile Photo

This picture should either be a picture of yourself (if you are managing a company Twitter as the founder) or a company logo (if the account is going to be run for the entire firm and is not just representative of your thoughts alone). As Twitter recommends, you should choose a photo that visually represents your business and fits well in a small space. This image isn’t just on your profile page; it will be shown as the icon in every Tweet you post.

financial advisors on twitter
Twenty Over Ten client, Marjorie Bennett of Aegis Capital, uses a personal photo on her Twitter profile.

3. Your Bio

Twitter provides 160 characters that allow you to tell your story in a clear and concise way that describes your business, products or services. The bio is a way for you to tell people why your business is unique and why they should follow you. You could also add in useful information such as opening hours and location.

financial advisors on twitter, blue blaze financial advisors
The above highlighted area is Twenty Over Ten client, Blue Blaze Financial Advisors Twitter bio.

4. URL

Make it really easy for potential customers to find your website by including a trackable link. This will also allow you to easily track (via your Google Analytics) how many visitors are finding your website directly from Twitter.

5. Header Image

Somewhat similar to Facebook, Twitter has allowed users to have a “header” picture. Uploading an header image is a great way to feature products or services, or to highlight a special sale or promotion. However, keep in mind that the header image is not the same across all devices.

Recommended size: 1500×500 pixels. Image is automatically resized to fit. Note that the header photo is cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio on mobile. Read more from the Twitter help center.

6. Pinned Tweet

Similar to Facebook, you can “pin a Tweet” to the top. Use this feature to get maximum exposure at the top of your profile timeline for your best Tweets. Click on the “more” option on the Tweet you want to pin and select “Pin to your profile page.”

Other helpful information

  • Retweet this, retweet that

Now that we have touched upon Retweets, how exactly does this work?

Let’s say you read a really interesting tweet by one of the industry leaders you follow – something say regarding “End-of-year tips”, you can click the turning arrows button and “retweet” this to your page, so now your followers can see this tweet as well. By retweeting you are also engaging with those you follow and therefore likely to get more followers if these individuals “mention (@) you” or “retweet” your tweets!

  • “I LOVE this tweet! – I’m going to favorite it!”

Favoriting tweets is also a feature of Twitter – this means you click the heart shape at the bottom of the tweet and this also serves as engagement with users you follow. This feature is very similar to the “like” on Facebook with the one advantage that if you see something you like and would be interested in reviewing later (such as articles) you can “favorite” them and these will be added to a list of “my favorites” where you can review all the tweets you have favorited. Users who follow you are also able to see this list and see what are some of the things that interest you. 

  • I follow you, so that means you follow me, right?

Not exactly. Much like in Facebook “liking” a page is a two-way street. In order for Twitter users to receive your updates they must “follow” you, which does not always occur when you follow them. Not to worry though, this isn’t crucial for your strategy as you are likely to get other followers who could be potential clients rather than other competitor firms.

As for those firms who you follow, these will likely be large financial institutions, competitor firms (so you can keep up-to-date), some financial experts, and even clients. It is often hard to get clients to remember to go home and follow you on social media, realistically this probably isn’t one of their priorities – if you for instance have clients who own a small business like a restaurant for example, you can go ahead and look them up and follow them yourself, this will be the easiest way to build your community and engage with those that matter most. Not to worry though, building your follower to thousands of users isn’t quite as useful if they won’t interact with you or they won’t really care about what you post. This is one of those scenarios where quality is better than quantity.

  • The actual posts

Now that you have figured out the basics of your profile and managing your account, you are probably wondering what you should say in 280 characters (Twitter’s new limit as of Nov. 2017). You should know that the whole purpose of Twitter is to give quick updates (more than once a day), something that users can read in less than 5 seconds and move on (or click through links if they are interested in learning more about your post).

  • We recommend that you keep your tweets as short as possible:

If you are posting a link to a third party article, mention something interesting from the article in less than 280 characters, as the link is also counted in this character limit.

For example, if I had a great read from Entrepreneur Magazine on the 5 tips to succeed as a business, I would say something like this:

“Tip #5: taking time off is not always a crime as a small business owner (via: @Entrepreneur)  (include the link)”

This is a way to capture the interest of someone scanning tweets, and may be more interesting than just re-stating the name of the article. 

Another tip to keep in mind – you do not always need to have a link – some other features you can use are images (from conferences, quick stats, etc) that help as a quick update from your company. We have seen a lot of great results from clients who constantly use images as part as their campaigns through all social media channels, not just Twitter.

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You may also like: Twitter Roundup: Insights and Information for Financial AdvisorsMarketing to Millennials on Social Media: As Told by a Millennial and 6 Twitter Tips for Financial Advisors