The most common tip we’ve heard from social media experts and power users -- by a wide margin -- was this: Use social media as a way to listen.
“Social starts with listening and ends with people,” says Blane Warrene, co-founder of the social media archiving firm Arkovi, now a part of RegEd. “It is about making connections and developing them into relationships.”
Who should you listen to? “Follow industry leaders, your firm, your clients and prospects,” says Joanna Belbey of Actiance. “Also follow people and organizations that you find personally interesting, that reflect your passions.”
Michael Kitces, an active social media user, blogger and partner at Pinnacle Advisory Group, says advisors should watch to see what other planners are doing on Twitter. He’s compiled a list of 500 planners to follow.
(Looking for More People to Listen to? Click here.)
Kitces, who wrote about this subject on his blog Nerd's Eye View, also says to follow your clients, even if you aren’t ready to start tweeting. “If you don’t tweet, you have no compliance issues, but you can hear what your clients are sharing and find out what’s on their minds,” he says.
Advisors should also follow journalists, says Marie Swift, a Financial Planning columnist and advisor communications expert. “Respond to their tweets and post your own meaningful, related content,” Swift says of journalists, peers, and industry thought leaders. “You may impress them enough that they’ll ask for an offline conversation.”

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