by Tony Vidler
Professionals still seem to be hesitant about Twitter, but it is well worth taking a look at Twitter if you are wanting new ideas for your business, or for content to use with your audience.
Whether those new ideas are about how to prospect or improve your marketing, or deep technical analysis on portfolio construction or the implications of the latest tax twist, I am willing to be that Twitter will have a host of great articles and experts parading their material for you for free.
As a marketing tool though Twitter is much more than this for professionals. In terms of building an audience and becoming known fairly quickly it is almost unparalleled in my experience. But more on that another time….
Whatever your area of interest there are thousands of people on Twitter delivering, sharing and commenting on your topic of choice at any given moment in time. The challenge is filtering out the noise and zero’ing in on the best quality content or authorities. But one of the great things about it is once you’ve got a handle on it you can collect ideas easily via your phone in those spare minutes before meetings and the likes. It is a wonderful platform to dip into and out of – and save material – very quickly via your smartphone.
You can do simple searches on twitter by keyword, or topic and it throws up a lot of choices in a second. Using “financial planning” for instance immediately throws up a stream of the “top” content around that topic. You don’t even need a hashtag when searching that way, but using hashtags can be extremely useful when looking for hot topics or niche topic areas. To be sure some of it is nonsense, but it only takes a couple of minutes to find some high calibre content producers in that stream of articles. Simply click on any one of the people who catch your eye as having particularly good comments or articles and follow them to keep an eye on anything new that they post. Easy as….
It gets better though. A range of tabs across the top of the twitter page give you the option to just view content with photo’s, or video’s for example, which is especially helpful if you are looking for tutorials or market commentary. It suggests top accounts that are worth following on the topic and also suggest hastags which are being used by others searching for similar content.
In short, if you know what sort of content you are looking for then it is a gold mine of great stuff. If you begin with a blank sheet and just go ambling looking for anything that seeems like it might be interesting then you are doomed to wander aimlessly forever in random twitter feeds.
Begin with a clear purpose about the type of information you are looking for.
A lot of experts build lists of people worth keeping an eye on, and you can tap straight into those lists to narrow your search down to quality content and idea producers. Using my own Twitter account as an example, there are a few lists there that I add to, and delete from, regularly. Want sales and marketing ideas? Or people continually posting good content in financial services. Or want to read stuff from other coaching types who do similar stuff to me?
There’s a list for each of those.
Once you’ve clicked on someone’s profile, and we’ll use Michael Kitces as a great example (because if you ARE interested in financial planning then he is going to pop up somewhere near the top of recommended people to follow – and you should follow him). Looking at his profile page you’ll see just un der the banner image a few options such as his twitter feed, who he’s following and who is following him – and “lists”.
Michael has 11 lists (at time of writing), including lists of practitioners, or financial advisor vendors, and….
click on the list and see the members, and follow them individually if you like, or simply subscribe to the list.
This is just one example of course, and there are countless others of high quality also. I dip into and out of the stream of several thousand people,and of course you can’t stop and look at everything, but then nor do you need to. I screen the thousands to figure out the dozens that I want to really keep an eye on, and then add those ones to my lists whcih makes it easy to zero in on their latest content whenever I want to.
In a time of increasing busy-ness and market noise it has become more important than ever before to be able to sift out the rubbish and focus on quality news or quality content. Good ideas have never been more valuable for professionals really, and in that respect I find that Twitter is more useful than most other platforms.
New ideas are rolling past at the rate of hundreds per second on there, so you can’t say content is hard to find or new ideas are a struggle. All you have to do is have a look at Twitter and those problems are resolved.