Whether a believer or disbeliever in the power of social media, it is important to see the trends and know how business will be impacted. This article shares three things to keep up with as the industry evolves.

Trend #1: Communications Are Exploding In The Social Space
Whether it be for information or entertainment, individuals are going to social networks in droves. So much so that studies show that social media is the leading communication method.

Jim Steele, the chief customer officer at Salesforce.com, agrees, saying, "Social media has exploded over the last few years, and the number of users on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has surpassed the number of people using e-mail."

People are watching less TV, reading fewer newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio less, and even communicating in person less. The country is getting "infotainment" through one's computer, which is a big social shift.

How does this trend impact advisors?
Communications are going online and advisors that want to be more successful will be there too, as this trend is only expanding. It is not that advisors need to stop sending e-mails or using the other traditional means of communicating, they just need to expand their efforts into using social media to complement their current communications, integrating social media into their overall strategy.

Trend #2: Mobile Technology Is Making Social Media Adoption Easier
Smart phones are getting "smarter." They are quicker and have much more functionality. The day of the minicomputers is here and it is revolutionizing the way people get and share information.

The social network Twitter was actually born from mobile phone advancements. Ever wonder why they chose 140 characters as the maximum size for a message? It was so a tweet could fit in the mobile phone industry's standard text message constraints.
Steele says, "Facebook and Twitter have shown us the power of profiles, status updates, and real-time feeds in staying connected with your social circle, on any mobile device. This is what Salesforce.com calls 'Cloud 2,' the next generation of cloud computing that is social, mobile and open. This shift to Cloud 2 and social media technologies is changing everything from the way companies engage with their customers to the way they collaborate internally."

How does this trend impact advisors?
Advisors themselves will start to see how easy it is to use social media through laptops, tablets (like the iPad) and smart phones, if they do not already know. The earlier adopters will be at an advantage, as they will be able to discover new ways to communicate with clients and find prospects.

There is also a correlation with mobile technology and social network adoption. Those embracing technology are taking full advantage of the benefits of social media.

Visit www.fa-mag.com and read "Why Social Media?" to learn "ten ways advisors can benefit from social media."