Thoughts on the new Twitter redesign?

LinkedIn tip
Recently, many university pages have been updated to a new look that includes a more advanced search feature. Use the alumni search feature to find connections from college, and even high school.

LinkedIn update
LinkedIn is shifting its focus away from certain individual products to concentrate on long-term investments this year. Some products that will be shutting down include Intro, Slidecast, and support for old versions of the iPad app.

See the announcement, changes, and shutdown dates at the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Twitter tip
The foundation of a successful Twitter account is a reputation for being a reliable source of information for your network. False information spreads quickly online, so do your best to verify everything you tweet and only share from reliable sources.

Twitter update
Twitter is currently testing a major profile redesign that looks a lot like Facebook and Google+. This new look is quietly being tested in a small, random pool of users so you are unlikely to be affected just yet.

See what the Twitter redesign might look like upon its wide range release at Mashable.

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Don’t use any of these LinkedIn buzzwords in 2014.

LinkedIn tip
In the United States, “responsible,” “strategic,” and “effective” were the top three most overused LinkedIn buzzwords of 2013. If any of them appear in your profile, consider updating it in 2014. (P.S. “creative,” “patient,” “expert,” “organizational,” “driven,” “innovative,” and “analytical” were also in the top 10.)

LinkedIn update
LinkedIn is becoming a reliable information and news source on the web. Influencers, companies, and publishers are able to share posts and stories. Check out the most engaging stories of 2013, and follow one or two of these influencers or publishers.

Check out more at the LinkedIn Official Blog.

Twitter tip
Search a #hashtag using Twitter search to keyword specific posts. Similar to LinkedIn search, you can save your searches on Twitter. After completing your search, click on the gear in the top right corner, and click “save search.” Now you’ll be able to view your most frequent searches at any time!

Twitter update
On January 6, Dr. Janet Yellen was confirmed as the new Chairperson of the Federal Reserve. How did Twitter react? 10,000 tweets in the first 30 minutes. Remember to get involved and participate in trending topics and conversations on Twitter.

Check out more at the Twitter Official Blog.

Stay ahead of the social media curve

I really liked this article recently posted by wealthmanagement.com that praises early adopters of social media. While you and I may not be a part of the coveted 8% of advisors that met the criteria to be considered an early adopter, we can learn to build on some characteristics of one.

Use social media daily
We recommend spending between 15-30 minutes a day. Develop a plan or a checklist and stick with the routine every day and week. Adding connections, sending messages and reviewing scheduled content can all be included in this plan.

Gather information on clients
The article notes using LinkedIn and other social networks as a way of profiling clients while gathering information about them. While establishing a personal relationship, advisors can uncover potential second- or third-degree connections.

Research prospects
Through researching potential connections on LinkedIn, Google and other social networks, you can get a better understanding of the person to help you make a good impression.

Uncover business opportunities
There are many people who can provide you a jumping point for new opportunities: family, friends, alumni, former colleagues and other centers-of-influence. Run advanced searched on LinkedIn and follow local companies.

Get introduced offline
Another helpful article from wealthmanagement.com can help you use LinkedIn as an online tool to get offline personal connections.

Acquire new business
Get involved. When a new opportunity arises, follow these steps and take the relationship offline.

Checklist When Tragedy Strikes

It’s important to understand the role of social media during tragedies. Many take to these networks to quickly share information and give condolences to those affected. There are also some important things to consider, in regards to content, when tragedy strikes.

1)       Immediately disable scheduled tweets, posts, and emails
Posting irrelevant material during crisis may come across as insensitive. In the past, followers have questioned the ignorance of the poster. Additionally, relating a tragic event to your business in an effort to drive sales is always offensive (See this CBS News article for examples).

2)       Alert followers with appropriate updates
This is especially appropriate for those located near affected areas. It may be important to alert the community with information on closures, triage sites, and donation efforts. Make sure to check any developing stories before retweeting or spreading false or inaccurate information.

3)       Review content calendar
Check upcoming scheduled content and remove content that may be considered insensitive directly following such a tragedy.

If there is ever a question regarding the validity or relevance of a post, chances are it may be inappropriate.

Forget boring, ENGAGE!

Creating a visually appealing and content-rich social media profile can help you stand out from the competition. As one article reminds us to “educate, inform and connect,” we’ve provided some tips on helping you get noticed on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Be personal
Make a connection by sharing an experience, a hobby or a joke to encourage personal interaction. Share a personal story of inspiration or quote you live by to show clients and prospects what drives you to success.

Use images
Research indicates that about two-thirds of adults are visual learners. Images that accompany text provide greater engagement by users. Also, using an infographic to convey text-heavy information is a great way to keep your viewers’ attention and make the information easy to understand.

Facilitate conversation
Start a topic by asking your followers and connections a question. Share how it aligns with your goals, and include your business expertise in a personal answer.

Share resources
Go beyond sharing information and help your connections grow. Share calculators, tools and other resources that can help them find success in their financial lives. Further, share examples to help facilitate learning.

These suggestions were provided by a combination of the following two articles:
“Ways to Get Noticed on LinkedIn” and “Are Your Social Media Posts Boring?”

Some secrets of social networking pros

As this InvestmentNews article points out, financial advisors should look to integrate social media into their everyday work flow so it becomes part of a routine. At minimum, take 30 minutes each day and an additional 30 minutes each week to strategically plan your social media efforts and content.

The referenced article points out more ways to set yourself apart from other financial professionals. Most importantly, look to share relevant content regarding hobbies and community affairs. Educational materials that can help clients or prospects with finances and other aspects of their lives are also key. Build your network around your passions and it will become easier to integrate it into your business.

Twitter #hashtags for financial professionals

So you’re on Twitter … now what? #Hashtags (appropriately labeled with a #) are a means of categorizing conversations. One of the ways to take advantage of sharing content on Twitter is to utilize hashtags to increase exposure. Effectively using these keywords can help increase followers, engagement and interaction by further expanding the reach of your voice. We’ve suggested the following brief list of #hashtags you can benefit from as a financial professional. See a list of 35 other hashtags from financialsocialmedia.com too.

#retirement #financialadvice #financialnews #debt
#economy #investing #personalfinance #401k
#taxes #wealthmanagement #stocks #bonds

Also, take advantage of other relevant topics or trends related to lifestyle, travel, entertainment and even humor!

What #hashtags have you used? What are your favorites?