Social media is making quick responses to client queries more urgent as people on Facebook, Twitter and other such sites are fast to let their followers know customer service has been too slow, a panel at an Insured Retirement Institute forum in Washington, D.C., agreed.

Responding 48 hours after a client on social media reaches out is not going to cut it, said MetLife Global Social Media Director David Hamlett. MetLife’s goal is two hours -- max.

AARP Social Media Communications Advisor Alejandra Owens noted her 59-year-old mother wants to get on Twitter because businesses will respond quicker.

K & L Gates attorney Andras Teleki said it is not only bad social media word of mouth that can get a company in trouble. Good word of mouth can too if it sounds like a testimonial to regulators.

RegEd Customer Communications Senior Vice President Blane Warrene said it is not difficult to tell overenthusiastic clients over the phone to dampen their praise online.

“(They’ll say) we didn’t want to get you in trouble,” said Warrene, a compliance training company.

MetLife’s Hamlett said the big social media issue today is return on investment. However, he said MetLife isn’t selling life insurance policies on Twitter and Facebook, adding an effort to try failed.

LPL Financial Chief Marketing Officer Joan Khoury said financial advisors can improve their business on social media by displaying their individuality. “Twitter is a place to showcase personality,” she said.

The LPL marketing leader advised against outsourcing social media because clients will know it isn’t you speaking. “Don’t keep it strictly business. People are interested in all sorts of topics you wouldn’t imagine. I tweeted something about going to my niece’s dance recital and I got a lot of response from it,” she said.