Meet the Tweets: 9 Advisors With Vast Twitter Followings<br><br>
Here are nine advisors who have found ways to connect with more than a few people on Twitter. Many consider the abbreviated, chirpy social platform to be a useful marketing tool, and some have devised strategies to focus their tweets on the people they feel are most likely to become clients.

Then there are those who, despite the vast sounding board Twitter offers them, still think the best social media involves coffee and a face-to-face meeting.

Here they all are, in this interactive slide show:
1. Chuck J. Rylant, @ChuckRylant, 23,565 followers

Rylant is a fee-only financial planner in Santa Maria, Calif. His specialty: working with small business owners both to manage their finances and help them earn more through improved marketing. He’s author of top-ranking introduction to investing book on Amazon: How to be Rich: The Couple’s Guide to a Rich Life Without Worrying About Money.
2. Josh Brown, @ReformedBroker – 20,576 followers<br><br>

Brown, who writes the Reformed Broker blog, is a financial advisor based in New York City. He’s also author of a new book, Backstage Wall Street, and is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg and Forbes.
3. Carl Richards, @behaviorgap – 5,342 followers<br><br>

Richards is director of investor education at BAM Advisor Services in St. Louis, Mo., and author of The Behavior Gap. He contributes to The New York Times Bucks blog and is a columnist for Morningstar Advisor.

“I think the best social media strategy is to say something you think is interesting. Do it over and over. For a very long time. No real secret, just doing something consistently for a very long time,” Richards says.

Twitter, like all forms of social media, “is nothing more than a tool,” he says. “Get clear about the job you want to do first, then decide on the tools you want to use.” For Richards, Twitter has primarily been “a broadcast tool. I have things I want to say. They are short. So Twitter was the tool. The fact that other people listen is fascinating and frankly humbling to me. Very cool!”

But don’t think all your best marketing tools have to be electronic, he says. “Here is a great social media strategy: invite ten of your clients to breakfast. Shake their hands. Talk to them. Repeat it again next month. Do it every month for a year. Watch your business grow.”
4. Michael Kitces, @MichaelKitces – 2,490 followers<br><br>

Kitces is a partner and director of research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, a private wealth management firm in Columbia, Md., that oversees roughly $1 billion in client assets. He publishes e-newsletter The Kitces Report and the Nerd’s Eye View blog. He was one of the 2010 recipients of the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning awards.
5. Jude Boudreaux, @HJudeBoudreaux - 2,007 followers<br><br>

Boudreaux is a CFP and founder of Upperline Financial Planning, a fee-only planning firm in New Orleans. Boudreaux says he uses social media "for just what it says--to be social." By staying in touch via Twitter, "I can see what is going on in the lives of prospects, clients and other industry sources I respect and learn from," he says.

"I get to interact with lots of interesting people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. It's been a wonderful tool for me."
6. George Papadopoulos, @feeonlyplanner, 1,608 followers<br><br>

Papadopoulos is a fee-only financial planner based in Novi, Mich. He's both a CPA and a CFP, and worked at Deloitte & Touche before starting his planning practice in 1998.

"Twitter has not resulted in a new client directly," he says. "But there is no doubt that it has enhanced relationships I have developed over time with colleagues, centers of influence, clients and prospects."

To stay organized with Twitter, Papadopoulos says he uses Tweetdeck, software that "makes it easy to follow people and topics you care about."

"We are not sure where all this social media stuff will go, but it sure is exciting," he adds. He uses Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook consistently, and "recently added Foursquare and Klout."
7. Rick Kahler, @RickKahler – 1,545 followers<br><br>

Kahler, president of Kahler Financial Group, is a life-long resident of Rapid City, S.D., and became the first fee-only certified financial planner in the state in 1983. He specializes in investment advising and financial planning services for business owners, professionals and retirees. He’s on the faculty at Golden Gate University, where he teaches the Facilitating Financial Health graduate course, and has written four books, including Wired For Wealth and The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge.

On Twitter, Kahler says, “My main strategy is educating the public. I do occasionally make advisor-specific comments” but “my market is not advisors.” Instead, his market is clients with anywhere from $500,000 to $50 million in assets, mostly “business owners or professionals who have worked hard to accumulate what they have,” he says.

“I do get rather opinionated on social media, especially on Twitter, regarding politics as they relate to economics and personal finance. However, my target market is the top 3% and research says 85% of them are fiscally conservative.” While not everyone reading the tweets will agree with the views, “my opinions are usually resonating [with] the 85% of my target market,” Kahler says.

“This philosophy sets me apart from many of my peers who try to stay eco-politically neutral,” he adds. “There is no question I get new clients as a result of my blogs, posts and columns. I increased my numerical client count by about 25% last year.”
8. Ric Edelman, @ricedelman – 1,380 followers<br><br>

Edelman, chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, is a well-known financial advisor — he’s on many media lists of top planners — as well as a best-selling author, radio host and TV personality. His latest book: the 4th edition of how-to financial planning manual The Truth About Money.

“Our approach to Twitter is to blend timeliness with relevancy while providing financial education that’s actionable,” Edelman says.
9. Eleanor Blayney, @EleanorBlayney – 1,352 followers<br><br>

Blayney, named a ‘Mover and Shaker’ by Financial Planning in 2010, is the consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, as well as author of Women’s Worth, a book about how women can learn from other women and gain confidence in their financial lives. She’s also president of Directions, a planning firm specializing in mid-life women — engaging and educating them as well as honing in on specific planning issues.

“The financial discussion needs to be changed for these women, recognizing their unique financial planning needs and different ways of thinking, conversing and making decisions,” Blayney writes on her LinkedIn profile.

Her pragmatic Tweets on everything from saving for college to reducing debt to finding a CFP are aimed at a wide audience, and sometimes mix in some humor, as in: “Your finances cannot manage themselves, but they may try. Get help from a CFP professional letsmakeaplan.org” from March 24.