People who know me know that I've been a naysayer on social media. It's not that I'm crotchety (although I was accused of that just last week), but I'm old enough to know what life was like without Facebook or Twitter.
But I have been slowly coming around. After hosting a "Twitter chat" here at the magazine, I had a chance to talk to Sarah Carter, general manager, social business at Actiance, a firm that helps clients use social media. I told her that I always found the traditional stance of compliance officers to be very sensible. In their place, I doubt I'd want a free-flowing dialogue of messages in and out of my bank either-especially when one rogue employee can cause a huge scandal. She noted that employees could go rogue without the help of social media.
Then she described a specific way she expects advisors to use social media: scanning for disgruntled customers of competing banks. After all, what is social media if not a big bullhorn to air your gripes of day-to-day life? And as long as those grievances are about banks' customer service (and they're out there), that can be one big hunting ground for new clients, provided advisors use it wisely.
But it's that last caveat-using it wisely-that's the stickler. So many people use it obsessively. In fact, the issue of using time wisely came up twice recently. Once was in our Careers story by Paul Werlin. He outlines several ideas to be more productive and one is the sensible advice to time block. It goes against the grain of today's mind-set of always being plugged in, but Werlin reminds us that we will be more productive when we have certain tasks slotted in at specific time periods. And that goes for using social media as a prospecting tool, instead of allowing yourself to be continually consumed by it.
That idea also came up in a separate conversation with an advisor who said the only way she can get everything done is by time blocking.
Let us know how, and when, you use social media. We'd love to hear some feedback.