Social media tools provide endless opportunities for individuals and businesses to network locally, nationally and internationally. Effective use of social media by benefit advisers will help promote an adviser's services, locate business partners and service providers, and even secure new business. Here are two tips to begin social media networking on the right track:

Compliance matters: Before jumping into Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and others, check with your compliance department first. For example, in financial advising some broker-dealers have accepted LinkedIn as the medium for social/business networking. Contact your broker-dealer. Don't ask, "Can I...?" But rather, "How can I...?"

Social Networking: It is called social networking for a reason - be social. Join groups, industry magazines, or relevant associations in order to connect with current clients, referrals, and prospects that might find you during their Internet travels. You can grow your list of LinkedIn connections through e-mail contacts.

Andrew Bluestone, CFP, is president and CEO of Selective Benefits Group

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