How Are Asset Managers Using Twitter? This Might Help

One of the most common questions we get from mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketers is, “What are the other firms tweeting about?” Our response has been, “That's easy—just go to the Rock The Boat Marketing Twitter list of Investment Managers and read their tweets.”

But…if you’re new to Twitter and you haven’t learned how to read the lingo, all the @s, #s and bit.lys can be off-putting.

We created an @AssetMgrs Twitter account to experiment with two ways to track asset managers' use of Twitter.

1. The Twitter Times is a Website that produces a page that's a mix of the Twitter account's tweets, links to content and links to content forwarded by friends of the account. Here's the @AssetMgrs page. The Times' introduction of the non-asset manager content from friends of friends diminishes its usefulness for our purposes here.

2. We’ve also created a account that organizes the links and #tags that are being used in tweets sent by the accounts followed by @AssetMgrs.

We like more, especially to illustrate the tweets of a "community" of Twitter-users whose tweets tend to stay on-point. But it's still in alpha and we like it more some days than other days.

The images on this post were from Thursday, when the page had more variety. When we saw today's "edition," we thought about delaying publishing this post until Monday in the hopes that Monday would provide a more balanced "daily page." But we press on, not knowing if Monday would be an improvement and not wanting to go a whole week without posting.

How about bookmarking the page and checking on it once in a while?

What you’ll see on the page in most cases is the content that’s being linked to. To see the tweet, you’d have to click on the account name in the bottom left-hand corner of each entry.

The image below shows two tweets that categorized, using semantic analysis, as Business-related. We’ve clicked on the @Pimco content to show the supporting tweet. Note that all the functionality—Reply, Retweet, Follow, Unfollow, Favorite—is active.

AssetManagersTwitterPaperliImage.jpg gives Media special treatment. In the screenshot below, you'll see an Adobe Acrobat file of a @LeggMason commentary and a link to a @USFunds video interview on Note that Legg Mason doesn’t offer its commentary in a player on its site. Evidently, converts to a Google doc PDF viewer.


Hashtags, also known as #tags, are used on Twitter as a way of clustering content on a certain subject. Accounts use hashtags when they want to be sure that their content gets noticed by people who are tracking the topic.

In the screenshot below you can see that Northern Trust’s @Fixedology account uses the #deficit hashtag. Instead of categorizing the tweet by analyzing its content, is listing the tweet by its hashtag and added a live Twitter stream of other tweets using the hashtag. For more on using hashtags, see our AdvisorTweets blog post about the #fiduciary Daily.


This should give you an idea of the content that asset managers are using Twitter to share (content sharing being a common theme on this blog lately).

A Few Qualifiers

What we like about using

  • It’s an easy one-stop catch-up, although obviously not a replacement for the other competitive intelligence-gathering you do.
  • It’s another awareness opportunity. We are a proponent of social media for asset managers and would be happy if aggregating their tweet content in any way helps build followers for their Twitter accounts. At the same time, it might give some asset management marketers a peek at some best and not-so-best practices on Twitter.
  • This augments but doesn’t replace the Investment Managers Twitter list. By following the Twitter list, you will see all asset managers’ tweet content, including the tweets that don’t include links and hashtags. These are the tweets that come closest to the “conversations” that social media is used for.(And if you are using that Twitter list, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for the fact that the @RockTheBoatMKTG Twitter account itself has been cemented on as part of the list. Twitter tells me that it’s a Twitter list glitch they’re working on. Seriously, there’s no end to our embarrassment when we see our random tweets threaded among the asset managers’. You won't see them on the account because @AssetMgrs isn't following RTB.)

Some Drawbacks

What we don’t like and/or wonder about:

  • The page updates just once a day—in other words, you’re looking at a snapshot, not at streaming content from Twitter, a real-time channel. While the page says when the next edition will be available, the time the feed is taken is not published. Tweets from other accounts that updated between Thursday and Friday are not reflected here. Maybe they'll show tomorrow, maybe they'll fall through the cracks. It's also unknown how long they'll stay on the page. A @USFunds video on today's edition was on yesterday's
  • The Google AdSense ads! is yet another valuable and free Twitter application and we respect that revenue is needed to produce it, let alone deliver some of the additional features we’d like. As ungrateful as we realize we sound, the ads are too large, too numerous and we don’t like them.
  • The introduction of the live stream of hashtag content from all Twitter users and not just those being followed on the page seems inconsistent with the intent of a curated page.
  • The site offers to let visitors know when the next edition is available. In order to do that, they’re going to need your email address. The Privacy Policy seems to be in order but when we think about the rich segmented email lists that are being collected, we wonder about possible next directions.

Please take a look. We’re interested to know what you think.

Thanks to @LisaPetrilli, whose work with the MENGonline Daily News gave us the idea to use We’ve mentioned the Marketing Executives Networking Group a few times before and urge you to check out its offerings for professional, progressive marketers.