At IBOSS we are always looking to help advisers and planners succeed in their professional environment. This can be through an enhancement in our services, our communications or by providing fund choice rationale to aid with a difficult client comment. At every stage of our growth we’ve had the needs of advisers, planners and their clients at the forefront of our mind.
Our latest suggestion may be a little left field – but bear with us – how about regularly checking our Twitter feed as part of your weekly work schedule?
We understand that many hear the word ‘Twitter’ and immediately conclude that it’s not something that interests them and has little purpose in the workplace. However, let us explain why we think using Twitter could potentially benefit you as a financial services professional, as well as enhance your experience of working alongside IBOSS.
A Brief History
Twitter was launched in July 2006 as an online news and social networking service, where users can post and interact with messages known as “tweets”.
It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007, this grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008 and by February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. As of 2019 this figure has grown to show users are sending a staggering combined total of 500 million tweets each day.
Twitter is a place for brief thoughts, with only 1% of tweets hitting the 280-character limit, and this makes it the perfect source for picking up the latest news or gathering information on a specific topic while on the go, or if you are restricted for time. You can read short snippets and obtain other users’ opinions in only a few sentences, rather than having to read lengthy news pieces or visit forums.
The UK is the fourth-largest market for Twitter in the world behind the US, Brazil and Japan. There are 261 million international Twitter users, 13 million of which are from the UK. This means more than one fifth of the UK population have a Twitter account.
Why do IBOSS use Twitter?
We think the number one benefit of Twitter is the ability to keep up to date with market movements, political announcements and news from the financial services industry as they happen; a source that is easy to access and crucially in real time.
The interaction and engagement with industry peers is invaluable. Views and opinions of investing trends and events are discussed daily, and reading the thoughts of other financial advisers, planners, wealth managers and investors can be extremely insightful.
For example, economists and other well-respected financial industry professionals regularly share their thoughts on all aspects of the market, offering a broader investment perspective in easy to manage bite-sized pieces of information. Not only that, but other Twitter users can, and do question, discuss or challenge these posts.
The ability to interact and engage directly with well-known figures from TV or the press is something that has never really been possible before and especially not on a regular basis from either the office, home or on the go through a mobile phone.
The reasons why you should follow IBOSS on Twitter
Our Investment Director, Chris Metcalfe, @chris_metcalfe1 if you wish to follow him on Twitter, started using the platform in April 2014 having no prior knowledge of the service. After a brief lesson at IBOSS HQ, he set up an account and started to discover what it was all about and how it was going to aid him in the financial services industry.
4,915 tweets later, Chris believes that Twitter has radically changed his day to day work life and has benefited his role as an Investment and Fund Manager considerably.
Over the years we have received continuous feedback from financial advisers regarding how much they value our team’s market updates. When clients leave a comment in response to their quarterly reviews, asking difficult questions surrounding their investments or the current market climate, advisers will often ask for our view or opinion to assist them in a response.
Our regular company communications include at least one Market Update a month, which is included in our MPU. With Chris’s daily use of Twitter, we believe his views and insights could be another source of information, increasing the transparency of our Investment Team and giving you an insight into our current thinking and positioning. After all, we describe our Investment Team as your investment partner and we are very open to discussing our current views on the market. This could be another method for you to challenge and debate our current investment thesis, whilst keeping you up to date for conversations with clients.
Our own company Twitter account, @IBOSS_LTD posts all of Chris’s most noteworthy comments, along with other articles we think you will find interesting. This includes our own company news and events, and economic news to keep you fully up to date with everything we think you should know.
Twitter as a news source
The platform appeals to media outlets and journalist because of its ability to distribute news flow instantly to an incredibly wide audience. Essentially, when there’s news to be told, it usually breaks on Twitter before other online outlets.
Twitter has been reaching an ever-wider audience, so much so that it can even move financial markets. US president Donald Trump has tweeted on trade wars, tax cuts, China and North Korea, all of which have had an immediate impact on market sentiment.
Twitter conversations converge on the trending news, so simply reading your news feed daily can help you see what’s setting the current agenda and what investment news is likely to be a concern to your clients.
It’s worth noting that you do not have to actively post your own opinions to open a Twitter account. In fact, we would recommend firstly opening an account, purely to gain access to our insights and that of other users. If you are new to the platform, we also think this is a great starting point to discover how it works and to get a general feel for the world of Twitter.
Twitter can also be used as a tool to help your business
Alongside the informational and personal advantages above (and once you’ve got to grips with the platform) Twitter can be a benefit your business in many other ways;
- Finding new clients
- Engaging with existing ones
- Increasing brand awareness
- Directing traffic to your website
Whilst you wouldn’t expect to see a sudden influx of new customers, by posting frequently it is possible to slowly build the awareness of your brand. Even if followers don’t read every post, they will consistently view your company name and logo, etching it into their subconscious. Further down the line, when a client decides they do need financial advice, they may well choose you. This may simply be because they now know your brand name, or it may because they’ve found your previous posts informative and engaging.
We aren’t marketing experts, but our top tips for starting a professional Twitter account for yourself or business would be;
- Don’t sell (at least not all the time)- constantly tweeting offering your services is not interesting to followers.
- Tweet things that show you know the issues your clients are facing.
- Post small snippets from your website or blog, with a link to the full article and entice the user to read the full version on your site.
- Never offer advice on your Twitter account.
- Keep active (at least a few posts a week), it’s easy to use on smartphones and by its nature it suits busy lives.
- Retweet other views or point people to interesting views in the media from journalists or financial experts.
- Build up your own community of users whose views you trust or find stimulating.
Many people feel uncomfortable expressing their views on social media, but you can encourage debate without necessarily making controversial statements.
Discussing the benefits of a specific product without including risk warnings is obviously a no go, just remember don’t treat a tweet with less regard for compliance than you would with your website or any other client facing document.
However, don’t use “regulation” as an excuse not to engage on social media, use your intuition and common sense with posts. The FCA also has a guide to help firms understand how they can use social media and comply with their rules, you can find this by clicking here – FCA Social Media Guide
A final thought, there will be people’s views and topics you might find irritating, the good news is there are excellent ‘block’ and ‘mute’ functions, your Twitter world is what you make it.