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Curiosity killed the cat, or so the saying goes. This can be especially true for those toying with social media and that have yet to develop a real strategy for handling the influx and simultaneous outpouring of information generated by this phenomenon on a minute-by-minute basis. Social media is more than reconnecting with long-lost relatives and high school classmates, today it’s serious business.

In my experience, social media is user-generated content distributed through social interactions facilitated on an almost real-time basis by the Internet or other forms of electronic distribution. It all sounds innocent enough, but keep in mind as I told you above, social media is serious business. For insurance organizations and professionals, this contrast between a somewhat frivolous perception of social media and the reality of it as a business platform or tool is what makes it as dangerous as it is useful and effective.

Paying Attention Those paying attention know that social media is not a new concept. Contrary to popular belief, social media didn’t just appear on the scene when Gen X became old enough to use the Internet. Social media has been around for years, in forms you likely never identified as social media before. For example, email is a social media tool, as is AOL Instant Messenger, Internet message boards, and even Wikipedia.

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