Social media: Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, says Stewart


Social media can take your brand forward in a way that no other form of marketing can get close to

Every time I tweet, someone gives me £1. Not literally; no one is following me around with a bag of pound coins. But I know that, conservatively, we have generated over £30,000 of business that can be linked directly to Twitter activity. Given we have tweeted 30,000 times, you can do the math.

There are many social media platforms, ranging from the elder statesmen of LinkedIn and Facebook to the new kids on the block such as Instagram and Snapchat. To someone who still tries occasionally to log in to his old Friends Reunited account, it is of little surprise that as an industry we are failing to embrace these new media.

It won’t be for everyone and, given there are plenty of brokers out there without even a website, I am not expecting a revolution any day soon. But I will say this: if you want to build a brand, become a trusted source of information or simply show people who you really are behind the suit, tie and business card, failure to have a social media strategy could be costing you money. Put it another way: if I gave you £1 for every tweet you did, how many would you be likely to do? Exactly.

Twitter is the one for me. It forces me to be succinct because it teaches that, if you can’t say it in 140 characters or fewer, it’s probably not worth saying at all.

The biggest barrier people mention to me regarding Twitter is: “I can’t think of anything to say.” Well, sometimes me neither, but then I’ll have a thought about something random and I’ll tweet that instead.

So, if you can’t think of something to say, it means you are trying too hard, so just let me know about the weather, the football, your family or the client you saw last night who had really fat ankles. Show me you are human. I know you are, so stop pretending otherwise. Same goes for you, Mr Big Business.

I say without hesitation that Twitter has taken my brand forward in a way that no other form of marketing could get close to. I accept I am never more than 140 characters away from a ‘Ratner moment’, but I also know I am never more than 140 characters away from meeting someone who can seriously take my business to the next level.

The risk to your business is not what you say when you tweet but more that you are not tweeting at all.

I look forward to engaging with you @LondonMoneyFS.

Martin Stewart is a director at London Money