10 Twitter Tips

1. Instead of answering “what’s happening?” try answering “What has your attention?” or “What is important right now?” The answer is often more useful to others. Do your best to promote other people and companies on Twitter, instead of talking only about what you are working on.

2. Twitter provides the opportunity to build relationships through conversations. Share interesting links, insights, trends, and things that are new or timely/current. Be personal, transparent and honest. Add value. Don’t link only to yourself/your blog.

3. Twitter users can benefit from thought leadership, connection to the influencers, additional message reach, access to mobile communicators, and real-time communication. Contribute to conversations that are not directly related to your specific cause, but also related topics.

4. If you want to follow a specific space, find the right people “tweeting” about that space. Again, these people are easy to find if you search keywords at Search.Twitter.com.

5. Retweet important posts that could be relevant to your community. This will foster a better business-user ecosystem on Twitter and expand the reach of your news. Remember to give credit where credit is due.

6. Follow important industry news. More and more, news organizations are using Twitter to report the news. Top financial media that you may consider following include The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ), BusinessWeek (@BW), ABA Banking Journal (@ABABankingJourn), CUInsight (@CUinsight), American Banker (@AmerBanker), and Credit Union Times (@CookeonCUs). Also check out mediaontwitter.com for local reporters who tweet or MuckRack.com for all media contacts on Twitter.

7. Think of Twitter as a networking event. In those settings, just as on Twitter, you listen first then engage in conversations. It’s best to jump in when you think you can contribute in a meaningful way versus trying to have the last word or hard-selling the person with whom you are speaking.

8. Read the bios of those who follow you as it may make it easier to engage in a dialogue and you may consider following them back.

9. On Twitter, it’s less about quantity than quality. Provide great content and the followers will come.

10. Don’t use up your 140 characters on a lengthy URL. There are several tools available to shorten a URL, including: bit.ly, TinyURL.com or SnipURL.com.

FI Spotlight: Truliant FCU Explains How Consumers Should Choose the Right FI

In a blog post, Truliant Federal Credit Union showed how they showcase tips for consumers on how to choose the right financial institution for their needs:

“Selecting a financial institution for your personal finances or your small business is an extremely significant step to ensuring financial success. Many times, the importance is underestimated which can cause unnecessary and costly challenges. The relationship you have with your financial institution should be a partnership, where you both work together to manage your spending, grow your assets and plan for your future. You will depend on them to work with you in finding solutions to your financial needs and to create a plan to achieve your goals. Whether you chose a credit union or a bank, there are a few things you should do before making the right choice for you.”

The full post from Truliant FCU can be read here.

Please leave a comment with any tips you offer members on how to choose the right financial institution!

Twitter Lingo

To help you get started on Twitter, below are some basic terms to note.

Follow: Twitter is a great way to meet new business colleagues, stay up to date on industry news or learn more about a business/organization. All you do is ‘follow’ those that interest you and you’ll receive their updates.

Tweet: When a user publishes a message/updates their status. Keep in mind that these messages must be 140 characters or less.
Example: Learning about Twitter.

Retweet (RT): When a user reposts a message previously posted by another user. Copy the original message into your own Twitter post and prefix it with RT and the originator’s name. Keep in mind that messages must be 140 characters or less.
Example: RT @Bankingdotcom Learning about Twitter.

Direct message (DM): When a user wants to send a private message to another user. Start the tweet with d, followed by the user’s name.
Example: d FinanceWorks I’d like to learn more about your solutions.

Public message (@): When a user publicly comments on a message posted by another user. Start with @ followed by the user’s Twitter name.
Example: @FinanceWorks Love the latest version!

Hashtag (#): Users can create a hashtag to facilitate searching for specific conversations/topics/content. For example, BAI Retail Delivery created a hashtag for its annual conference – #RetailDelivery. By doing so, any Twitter user could search for #RetailDelivery and find relevant content related to the conference.

Twitter Lists: Twitter users can now organize users they follow (or users that they don’t) into groups, or “lists.” There are a few ways to create a new list, the easiest way is by clicking “New list” on the Twitter sidebar. You can also make the list public (everyone can see it) or private (only you can see it). Following a list is as simple as following any other Twitter user. Simply navigate to the list page and click on “Follow,” underneath the name of the list.

The Imperatives of Social Media Engagement

Social media is a constantly evolving term that has become a part of daily life for businesses and individuals alike. Brian Solis, a thought leader in the social media realm, defines social media as: “The democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people and peers.”

As social media has become a primary means of personal communication between individuals, sites such as sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be a great way to bolster brands, generate new business and engage new and existing customers.

In the age of steady status updates, financial institutions cannot afford to stand by and watch as everyone around them engages in online communication. By using social media platforms such as Twitter, banks and credit unions can join in the online conversation and engage with the people they depend on for success.

Above all, social media is increasingly where the people are. And any marketer will tell you that’s exactly where you want to be. Here are a few tips if you’re still deciding whether or not social media is for you:

  • Use social media for good, not evil: Engaging with customers on Twitter should be a conversation, not another means for spamming.
  • Find what’s right for you: Just because the big guys have a bazillion fans on Facebook doesn’t mean that you have to. Think about what ratio of customers you have compared to them and set your goals accordingly.
  • Don’t wing it: You wouldn’t go to a meeting with your shareholders without a plan, right? The same rule applies to entering the Twittersphere or blogosphere or Facebooksphere. The days of poking around to see what will happen are coming to a rapid close as people become savvier about the time they spend online. If you give them something they could use, they’ll come back for more. If you don’t, they’ll ignore you.

The Social Media toolkit is a resource of tools and tips designed to provide value to credit unions and financial institutions with the best practices on engaging customers and members via social network platforms. We’ll be posting more insights about social media in our Social Media toolkit, so check back for additional info!

Getting Started with Twitter

Social media is one of the fastest growing ways to connect with customers/members and businesses. Several online tools are available to help financial institutions learn more about their customers/members and disseminate information to the market, and most importantly, to existing and potential customers/members.

These days, social communities and information platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are used by the masses. These sites help people stay in touch with friends and business colleagues, and they’re also important to brands. Facebook is seen as the best way for people to maintain personal connections, LinkedIn is built to foster business relationships, and Twitter is a hybrid of the two that also aids users in the process of content discovery. Twitter is a vibrant and interactive community, but it also has relevance to financial institutions.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free online service that allows you to stay connected with industry contacts, including media, influencers and customers/members, by the exchange of short text messages of 140 characters or less. It’s easy to join – simply visit twitter.com and click Sign Up.’

Once you join Twitter, you can elect to ‘follow’ customers/members and organizations that interest you. By ‘following,’ you will see any updates posted via Twitter.

Banking.com has a Twitter account named “Bankingdotcom.” We suggest you follow us to learn about new research, banking trends and online financial management for financial institutions. You can also follow Intuit Financial Services at “FinanceWorks” for information about what we are doing with FinanceWorks, Small Business FinanceWorks and TurboTax for Online Banking.”

Why is Twitter valuable?
Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks on the Web. It allows for information sharing in a quick, conversational manner.

1. Twitter has social network features, so users can add or remove followers.

2. Users can send messages to their entire network, send private messages to one member or search for specific topics at Search.Twitter.com.

3. When users publish messages, they are called “tweets.” Users can also “retweet” (or repost) messages for their network to read and pass on.

4. If you want to use Twitter to meet new business colleagues, learn more about the person. Follow their links. Read their blogs. Get to know them. Don’t just pounce all over them. It’s easy to un-follow people in this space.

5. Using online tools takes time to master. There needs to be sense of importance and goal setting when using it for your financial institution. You need to be able to set aside time every day to check Twitter, respond to inquiries and update your status.