Social media has been a buzz phrase for the past year or two, but does it really have a useful purpose for your business?

I want to hear from producers about how they are utilizing the various social media channels — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. — to help with their practice. Are you prospecting with a Twitter account? Does your practice have fans on Facebook? Are you communicating with your peers as a member of a group on LinkedIn?

Do you think social media is overblown as a business-building opportunity — with pitches on these social channels more likely to turn people off than engage them? Or have you found it to be an effective and valuable way to reach interested people?

I believe there are certainly many ways social media can be utilized to help your business without offending people. Below, you’ll find a list of links to articles we’ve recently published with helpful tips for using social tools effectively.

But I want to hear from you about how you use social media, and I think other readers would love to know as well. So please use the comment tool below to chime in on the subject, or talk to us about it on our own Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages. And be sure to check back to see what your peers are saying.

For more on social media, see:

Getting LinkedIn to prospecting

Influence prospects using social media

Some rules for financial advisors using social networking

To read more from Brian Anderson, click here.