Should you have a Twitter account for your brokerage?

When it comes to doing business there’s constant pressure to have a social media presence, particularly if you want to engage with your clients, put your brand on the map or if you want to sign up new customers. But when it comes to Twitter, is it worthwhile having an account? I mean, how much can you really convey in 140 characters?

While Twitter limits you in what you are able to say, there are some advantages to its character limit. For starters, it makes you more creative and pushes you to get to the point. What’s more, the open nature of Twitter is its biggest unique quality. While you can talk to customers on Facebook and LinkedIn, not everyone can access your conversations unless you befriend every user you come across.

If people find your conversation or thoughts on Twitter engaging, they will jump at the chance to tweet their opinion, or retweet yours. With such engagement your ability to reach more people could multiply very easily and could translate into sales. The key is finding the right things to say at the right time.

If customers are able to apply for products and services through your website, chances are that Twitter will be a key tool to gain more buyers. According to a survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex in 2014, 73% of Twitter users had shopped online in the past month and 79% had searched online for products or services to buy, compared to 69% of Facebook users who had bought online.

While Twitter enables you to engage with your customers it also provides you with the opportunity to listen to their feedback and complaints (if they have any). What’s more, you can also follow (read: stalk) your competitors and see what they are saying, which products they are punting and how customers are reacting to their messaging. Like most social media platforms, Twitter is free which means another (big) saving in your marketing budget if you learn how to use it to your advantage.

However, this ‘openness’ brings with it plenty of disadvantages as well. Many celebrities have ditched Twitter accounts because of the backlash and bullying that they have received at the hand of Twitter trolls.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to cause a war on Twitter. Because of Twitters’ reach, you really have to be careful what you say. So if you happen to be someone without a filter that likes to say what they want and when they want, it’s probably best that you don’t open a Twitter account and view your opinion. Or if Twitter is a must, best get someone who has a more even, professional demeanour to do the tweets on the company’s behalf.

Finally, gauge your Twitter usage after a couple of months. If you’ve become obsessive (Twitter can be very time consuming and you may get caught up reading all the tweets) or if you don’t engage with the platform enough, then ditch it and concentrate your efforts on other social media platforms where you have made a success of it.