For advisors, successful social networking requires engaging your prospects and clients with targeted content about topics that implicitly communicates your expertise and value proposition. Generating content is crucial but painstaking. So here below are three link shortening tools that make social networking easier.
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Some background: A link shortener is tool that trims long Web addresses. For example, the address for this page you’re reading now is 70 characters in length. If you send a 140-character “tweet” (status update) linking to this page, for example, you only would have about 70 characters to write your ideas into your tweet because the URL takes up 70 of your 140-character allotment.
URL shorteners automatically assign an alias to a URL so your tweets can have short URLs only 10 or 12 characters in length. That generally gives you an extra 50 or more characters to write your ideas into your tweets.
Start with writing status updates on LinkedIn, which is better-established as a professional community. You can and should connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account. (Facebook marketing is a more complex topic we’ll cover elsewhere.)
You’ll find many
URL shorteners on the Web. You simply copy the URL of the item you want to tweet about, navigate to the website for the URL shortener, and paste your long URL. The website shoots back a short URL. Some websites that shorten URLs also let you tweet to your social networks. Bit.ly
offers a free service like this, for example. That’s good, but the these tools below are even better, more efficient.
Using the tools below eliminates the most time-consuming step of tweeting: opening a new browser or social media app where you paste the link you wish to shorten. Eliminating that step makes it much more likely you’ll start tweeting more often.
Initially tweeting is likely to feel like howling at the moon. Your network may not respond.
The vast majority of twitter accounts that get started lie dormant and abandoned after a few weeks because people naturally have difficulty shouting into the twittersphere with no response. You’ll need patience. It could take months to start engaging your audience.
However, if you have good intentions
and ideas, your target market will find you, and they will be a loyal group because they appreciate the knowledge you offer. But you have to stick with it.
If you’re using Internet Explorer, check out Cloudberry
TweetIE. After you install Cloudberry, you’ll see a “tweet” icon appear in your browser toolbar. When you stumble upon an item you want to tweet, just click on that icon and it opens a box where you can write your own tweet.
That box is a proxy for Twitter. Instead of using Twitter you use Cloudberry’s proxy. In the Cloudberry proxy is an “Add Link” button to automatically shorten your link and insert it in your tweet.
What’s most cool is that if you highlight text on the page you want to tweet about, it is automatically inserted in the Cloudberry proxy. So your tweets are practically written for you. In the pictures here, you can see that the text highlighted in a New York Times article was inserted automatically into the Cloudberry proxy.
If you’re using Firefox as your browser, check out Trim A Link
. It’s dead simple. Just right click on the Web page you want to tweet about and the shortened URL is copied into memory. Now go to Twitter, LinkedIn, or some other proxy like HootSuite to paste the shortened link and write the rest of your tweet.
What’s most cool is that when you right click on the page you want to tweet about, Trim A Link gives you two choices. The simple one is described above. A second option is to create a page dedicated to tracking statistics on your tweet. You can see how many people clicked on your link.
Another Firefox add-on that's similar to Trim A Link is Shortly, which places a small icon in your address bar. when you click on the icon, the shortner link is memorized in your clipboard and can be pasted in your social networks, a proxy, or an email.
None of these tools are unique and there are many ways to get your tweets out. But the most important thing is that you do get them out, and that's where the simplicity of these tools will come in handy.
Being able to tweet out spontaneously every time you come across an idea you want to share with your target audience will make them understand you better and engages them in an ongoing conversation. And all of this is free!
Advisor Products is now beta testing a social media dashboard that provides articles that you can automatically tweet. The articles and videos are consistent with investment advisor best practices, FINRA-reviewed, and posted on your website. Don't mean to slip in that plug but it is relevant and in your interest to know about it.