In today’s day and age, social media rules the world. And if you think it’s just for social use, think again.

You can trust that your competition is out there right now, tweeting, Facebooking, and blogging their way towards new leads every day. But fear not - you don’t have to get a degree in structural engineering to figure out how to use social media. In this post, we’ll talk about the basics of how to use Twitter for business purposes.

What is Twitter?

In the most simplistic definition possible, Twitter is a communications program. It’s used to interact with one another by sending 140 character messages. Users can tweet thoughts, feelings, questions…anything.

Why would I use it?

You can easily use Twitter to your advantage. At any time, Twitter provides you with the capability to search trending topics or more focused topics. Quickly search which users mentioned “life insurance” in their tweet or follow the latest industry news to stay up-to-date. You can tweet links to information, websites, and more. Keep up with what your clients are doing and saying, gain insight to best practices, find opportunities for partnerships, and keep up with the competition.

What should I say?

First, sign up and create an account. Next, start following people. This can range from potential clients to peers in the industry. Then run a search for keywords that are relevant to your business. Once you find who’s talking about the product/business you provide, you can interact with users personally (use the ‘@’ sign followed by their user name. Ex: @PinneyInsurance).

It works like this: Say John Doe sends out a tweet that says: “Discussed life insurance with my wife. Yikes. Feels so soon to be talking about this.”

If, after your search, a tweet like this pops up, you have the ability to respond with something like this: “Hey there @JohnDoe, I saw your tweet about life insurance. It’s never too early. Need more info? Here’s a helpful link: (insert a link to your website or other informational page).”

How do I use Twitter to get more traffic?

The goal is to drive traffic to your website or build more interest in your product. Naturally, not many consumers who use Twitter for personal reasons are going to want to follow a company or individual professional. The best way an advisor can use tTwitter is to find an audience, answer questions, spark conversation, and provide information about yourself and how you can help. There are a few things to remember:

  • Don’t overload your followers. Tweeting 100 times per day every day will turn users away from following you. Aim for a minimum of three and a maximum of 10 tweets per day.
  • Avoid sounding automated. Remain human by switching up the content you tweet about from time to time. Follow up a tweet about premiums with an engaging question about current events.
  • Keep it interesting. The more interesting you are, the more likely you'll receive mentions, follows, and referrals.

Where do I start?

Remember, you don’t want to overload your followers. Start off slow, building your reputation and brand. Rather than tweeting solely about what you can offer a potential client, supply tips, thoughts, and answers to frequently asked questions.

You don’t have to be a Twitter expert overnight. Sign up and practice with it. Once you get the hang of it, you can effectively track trends and chatter, find leads and potential customers, and build your brand on the internet with effective word-of-mouth marketing.

Twitter Terms

Hashtag = A hashtag is applied before a term using the ‘#’ symbol. This categorizes the term into a library of all tweets with the same hashtag. For example, if you see “#PinneyInsurance”, you can click on it and see all the tweets with the same exact hashtag.

Mention = When another Twitter user inserts your name with the ‘@’ symbol beforehand, they’re mentioning you. It would look something like: “Hey @YourUserNameHere, it was nice to meet you today.” OR “If anyone is looking for an awesome agent, look no further than @YourUserNameHere.”

Feed = Your feed is your main page. Every tweet by everyone you follow will show up here in chronological order.

DM = Direct messages are between two users only, and are not seen by anyone else. DMs can only be sent to users who follow you back.

Retweet = A Twitter user loved what you tweeted, so they shared it with all of their followers.

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If you're ready to take your business to the next level, we'd love to have you on the Pinney team! Call us at 1-800-823-4852 and ask to speak to a Brokerage Manager. Let's talk about how we can reduce the amount of paperwork you do, giving you more time to sell.