Ever since I conceptualized this column, I have been focusing quite a bit on social media. After all, it is the “internets” of the 21st Century thus far. From Facebook and Twitter to Naymze and LinkedIn, there is no denying it: Social media is the fastest-growing form of communication today.

What does that even mean? Well, if it’s proof you’re looking for, check out this uber-interesting counter that blogger Gary Hayes created to track the pandemic growth of the various forms of social media today.

But that’s not what this column is about (although it is pretty fascinating, huh?). It’s about ways in which you can build your practice. And so for the four months I have been writing it, I have been reporting on all the different ways I have come across for you to build your business through social media.

We’ve covered the new FINRA rules on regulating social media, how not to waste your time with the various social outlets, and we’ve even delved into a new site that is going leaps and bounds to convince you that everything—and I mean everything—on their site is FINRA compliant.

Now, there’s something new that may help you to build your business. Wednesday night, LinkedIn—the popular business networking website and one of the only social media sites dedicated to professional networking—rolled out a new function: following a company.

What is it? Taking a hint from Facebook’s fan pages that have grown exponentially in popularity over the past year as a way for companies to (try to) separate personal from professional, this new feature on LinkedIn allows users to simply click the tab dubbed “Follow” on a company’s LinkedIn page.

Users can now “follow” your company in two ways through this new feature: Either they can go to the company’s profile page, or they can follow the company through another user’s profile—whether that person is an employee, a client or just a fan (hey, it could happen).

However, instead of receiving status updates on your newsfeed, as you would with the companies you’re a fan of on Facebook, those who follow your company will receive information about recent hires, promotions, acquisitions, job opportunities and company profile updates.

What does this mean for you? It means that you now have a way that you can tell clients to quickly and easily receive information from your firm. You don’t even have to set the site up yourself. It’s already done!

It also makes that vital element of recruiting new clients easier than ever. Have satisfied clients that you think would be great referral sources? You can tell them to have their friends start following your company on LinkedIn to find out more about the people, feel and philosophy of your firm.

Even new members to your community or unsatisfied clients looking for a new advisor can now come across your company by searching a specific keyword and area. From there, they can follow your company and see what you’re all about. Consider it an audition.

It can also help the job or employee hunt, as those who follow your company will receive information on job openings and new hires. Are you a young, thriving advisor looking for a new firm? This could be a great way to search for firms in your area and find out more about them before ever even applying.

Not convinced yet? Have you ever wondered it would be like to be a fly on the wall at your neighborhood competitor? Now, by following that company on LinkedIn, you can see what they’re doing, what type of information they’re releasing, even who’s moving in and who’s moving out of the executive board.

So go on, follow, get followed and, as always, let me know what you find!

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