Twitter Training: Delivering The Power of Social Media To New Audiences
Over the past five years, we’ve seen social media go from a taboo subject in financial institutions to an instrumental part of their online brand and communications strategy.
One of the major focuses we’ve seen from firms is getting their spokespeople and thoughtleaders comfortable with these modes of communication and raising their online profiles. This month we conducted Twitter training for a major international bank in New York to help get their spokespeople ready to go-live on the platform.
The training was set up as an introduction to Twitter to provide a new and relatively unsophisticated online audience an overview of the micro-blogging site with instructions to get them started. This being a financial institution, compliance was a hot topic, but otherwise, we were given free reign to instruct our audience on best practices based on our expertise and experience.
While we led the training, we also received a lot of insight from the people in the room. A few of our key takeaways below:
- The Financial World Has a High Twitter Literacy – When we designed the curriculum with our client, we did so to deliver a Twitter 101, with the implication that Twitter 202 would come at some point in the future as our students adopted the platform. To our surprise, the content we were holding back for the next session was quickly deployed as the audience asked sophisticated questions about audience engagement, competitor research and analytics. This encouraged us about how the platform has gained currency among an audience of financial professionals.
- Those New to Twitter Want to See What Their Peers Are Doing – Our training was divided into two sections: theory and live-environment practice. For the latter section, we displayed Eric’s Twitter home screen to show the different functions of the social media platform and how each may be used. We then showed two other notable commentators in financial services: Mark Mobius and Nouriel Roubini. It was at this point the room perked up and they quickly asked to see what their peers and competitors were doing at that moment. After seeing those they compete against on a daily basis offering impactful commentary short-form, they began to “get it.”
- Through Your Content, Your Audience Will Follow – A user’s Twitter audience is meant to be specialized. It is difficult to issue 140 characters that are relevant to everyone. It’s ok to geek out about financial numbers if your audience plays in this sandbox. A simple Tweet of “150k surprises” means a lot to an audience of economists that are looking for commentary on non-farm payroll figures on the first Friday of the month. Wrap that around a short chart from your own research, or a Vine of the immediate reaction on a trading desk, and the audience is quickly engaged.
- Metrics Matter – Our audience works for a financial institution and deal with numbers everyday. It is of little surprise that they were drawn to the impact Twitter can have in terms of impressions and interactions. To demonstrate the power of the platform we tweeted a link to a press release using bit.ly for link shortening and analytics. When they saw how many clicks were achieved on “stale” content they realized; what is of interest to the user may also be of interest to the audience. Key to audience engagement is Tweeting content of interest and the metrics show the impact of this activity.
The training session at the financial institution was the first step in a series of sessions designed to increase Twitter literacy and use across the institutions. With each session, we learn just as much as we instruct, all the time improving our curriculum. We’d be interested in some of your own leanings on Twitter. What are some other key takeaways we may have missed? Leave those in the comments below or Tweet them to us.
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