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Tools to help you navigate social media

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I learned a lot about how to effectively integrate social media platforms into your business while attending GAMA International’s LAMP 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this week.

Social media guru Amber MacArthur’s main platform presentation was filled with incredible statistics, innovative web tools and ideas for how to build a community on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

In 2010, 8 new members joined Facebook every second. More than half of Americans are now on Facebook, and the 65-and-older demographic is growing the fastest — no doubt because such a high percentage of younger people are using it already.

One of the things I didn’t realize before MacArthur mentioned it was that only about 10% of your Facebook “friends” ever go to your page — they just see any updates you’ve made via their news feed.

Busiest time on Facebook? 3 p.m. on a Wednesday. Sundays have the least amount of activity on Facebook.

And while Facebook is truly the social network, LinkedIn is the business network. MacArthur says 51% of financial advisors who use social media rank LinkedIn “most important.”

She also talked about a variety of free tools available to help you find current information that’s most relevant to you as a professional. A prime example: LinkedIn Signal (, which makes it easy for professionals to glean only the most relevant insights from the never-ending stream of status updates and news. It allows you to hone in on updates from your colleagues or the audiences you are most interested in researching and understanding.

Some other tools/sites MacArthur mentioned you might want to investigate, which you may or may not yet be familiar with:

  • HootSuite — Your social media dashboard
  • Quora — “A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited and organized by everyone who uses it.”
  • Qwiki — “Social search on steroids” according to MacArthur
  • Namechk — “Check to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular social networking and social bookmarking websites.”
  • Mashable — The social media guide.

Hope you tuned in for our live “Trends in Annuities” webinar earlier today with panelists Greg Gagne, ChFC; Bobb Meckenstock, M.B.A., CLU; and Steve Plewes, ChFC; but if you missed it, you will be able to access the entire presentation — free — at your convenience, as it will be posted on our website by the end of the day Thursday, March 24. This link will take you to it, but remember the webinar won’t be available until tomorrow.

For more blogs from Brian Anderson, click here.

For more on social media, see:

Social insecurity? How to incorporate social media tools into your marketing

Some rules for financial advisors using social networking

Points that help you sell: How to win Facebook friends and influence bloggers