From the Benefits Selling May 2011 issue:

Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Social media is everywhere and some producers feel obliged to be a part of the movement. Whether this is smart business or mere bandwagon jumping depends on your business strategies, prospects and commitment. Hopefully you have a business plan (if not, please check out my February column).

Let’s assume your plan calls for you to engage with social media. What platform to use depends on your prospects and your commitment. When considering joining the rush to Twitter, Facebook and blogs your first question should be, “Will I reach my prospects and clients there?” Communication, after all, requires both a broadcaster and a receiver — the right receiver.

Any medium can be used, but if your target audience is not on the receiving end, you’re wasting your time. For me, my health care reform blog ( is very worthwhile. The blog helps me stay in touch with brokers, policy makers, reporters and others across the country and has resulted in several consulting and speaking engagements. The platform I use,, is free, boasts a terrific spam filter, and is easy to use.

My investment is the 30 to 60 minutes it takes to write a post (mine tend to be long and require some research). Most importantly, maintaining the blog is fun. The personal calculation then is easy: Blogging fits with my business plan, reaches my target audience and the commitment is enjoyable. That’s the definition of a winning situation. Facebook and Twitter? For me they don’t compute.

Yes, both are huge communities and can deliver a tremendous impact. Just having a Twitter following or a Facebook page substantially elevates one’s coolness factor. The vast reach of both services touches not just thumb-typing youth, but people of all ages and from all walks of life. The good news: Joining Facebook and Twitter is easy and doesn’t cost a dime. The bad news: They can suck up time and energy faster than a 426 Hemi-powered Dyson vacuum. Unlike blogs where a posting or two each week is fine, Facebook and Twitter devotees have far higher expectations.

Fail to keep these social media sites fresh and your personal brand can quickly go from “cutting-edge” to “dull as a stick.” Then there’s the time needed to protect your Facebook page from spam and unwelcome or inappropriate postings from strangers, competitors and friends. These sites are not for the weak hearted — or the time constrained. I’ve talked to my clientele and they aren’t using either Twitter or Facebook for business. So for me the decision was simple and I haven’t signed on to either.

Determining whether these platforms make sense for you isn’t hard. Simply ask your clients whether they tweet or have a Facebook page. If so, ask them if they use these sites for business or for personal interests. Within a dozen conversations you’ll have a sense of whether the time, devotion and energy required by these platforms is worthwhile for you.

Then keep on asking. People’s use of social media evolves over time. If your clients are heading onto Facebook you want to be there to greet them. Because when prospects ask if you’re talking to them, you want the answer to be a clear and resounding “Yes.”


Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2024Event

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

Get More Information


Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.