There is no doubt that social media can help businesses, but many advisors are still not getting the most out of it.  Just like when little kids can take their swimmies off, it is time for advisors to get comfortable swimming in the deep end of the pool. For that reason, here are ten tips that advisors should implement today, if they haven't already.

1. Use the big three. If you are not using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you are at a competitive disadvantage.  If compliance is holding you back, there are vendors that help advisors meet Finra and SEC regulations, like Socialware, Smarsh and Arkovi.

2. Get a professional head shot. Too many individuals fail in the social media space before they really even get started, just because they use bad profile pictures (or no picture at all). The small investment to have a professional photo taken will help your online brand immensely, especially when it comes to something like discussions within LinkedIn groups.

3. Add sociable icons. Every article you post on your website should facilitate sharing. Not only should you provide LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter functionality, but consider having Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Yahoo! Buzz and several others.

4. Promote your website.  Provide your link in all online discussions to make it easier to get traffic. Plus, your auto signature on e-mails should have a clickable link to your website.

5. Capture visitors info. Every website should have a tease to get visitors to want to submit their contact information, whether it is a white paper, enewsletter or something else free.

6. Know the metrics for success. Like any tactic in an advisor's marketing plan, social media strategies should have desired outcomes.  One great free tool to use is Google Analytics. It allows tracking on visitors, page views, referring sites and much more.

7. Add a "welcome" video. In an era of scandals, market volatility, etc., seeing someone talk produces more trust than just reading written words.  Start with one high-quality welcome message on the homepage and then build a video library over time.

8. Learn more about your clients. The better advisors know their clients the better they can service and wow them.  For example, if you see on Facebook that a client just became a grandparent, you have a timely opportunity to make a positive life-long impression that you might have otherwise missed.

9. Educate yourself. Using Twitter to follow industry leaders, makes the effort to join well worth it.  Not to mention, this tool makes it easy to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing online.

10. Find prospects. When it comes to referrals, know who your clients know through their LinkedIn networks.  LinkedIn also has a very powerful 'advanced search' feature.  Just remember, the stronger your network, the more connections you can see and the more introductions can be made.

There is a lot more to social media, but these things are a good starting point to become more successful online.

Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting to provide consulting services to help advisors become even more successful.  His expertise is in business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness, along with several other areas.  Read more at