The rise of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and LinkedIn has lured many advisors into scaling back their personal interactions and relying on these media to surface “qualified leads.”

Social media is a powerful tool for three things, and three things only:

  • Search engine optimization. Use your keywords and raise your presence on the Web.
  • Find out who people are. Learn about a person’s background and your connections.
  • Find out who people know. Look for close connections that you can leverage.

Some advisors say they actually get clients through social media. Well, maybe if you have a commodity business. Could it happen? Yes. Should you rely on it? Absolutely not. Only count on what you bring about-through a proactive, intentional, referral strategy with personal introductions.

- Joanne Black is a professional sales speaker, sales webinar leader, and author of “No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust,” from Warner Business Books. Visit www.nomorecoldcalling.com.