Why Debt Collection Firms Should Join the Social Media Soiree

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Mike Ginsberg

Where do you go for your regular fix of timely news and important information each morning? Do you still read a print newspaper that you hope is delivered to your home or office each morning even though by the time you open it the information is already outdated?  Do you make time to watch the Today Show or CNN while you’re getting dressed or eating breakfast with your kids, or are you watching ESPN to see who won MNF or catch up on the latest college football scandal?

If you’re like me, you crave information but you’re short on time.  You’re seeking reliable news and important information resources delivered in real-time that you can use for your business and personal life. Where do you turn?

More and more I find myself turning to the following online resources for my news and information needs.

  1. Twitter – Really?  Yes, I use twitter on my iPhone and iPad for real-time news and info.  Twitter is a whole lot more than an ever-expanding on-line repository for athletes, actors, and celebrity has-beens to spew worthless tidbits about their daily lives. My kids are using Twitter to communicate with friends. Their coaches use it to get the word out about practices and game changes. On the business front, I am using Twitter as a real-time way to gather and provide news and information that is important to me. I can follow whomever I want on Twitter and I can forward along my findings to my followers. @ACAIntl has reliable Twitter posts. @ginamcnaughton is very informative on a range of legal and regulatory issues important to the ARM industry. So is @mklozkgc, managing editor of @insideARM. @LexisNexisRisk generates a useful Twitter feed. @SteveMartinToGo is still funny. And the @nytimes has a solid news feed.
  2. Blogs – I suppose the idea of giving anyone a platform to write about whatever they please could sound quite scary, especially for collection agencies that are often the target of consumer tirades.  It is not unlike giving anyone permission to be a parent, I suppose.  However, a quality blog serves as a way to communicate proactively to your following and develop a reputation within your own community. It also presents some nice side effects that positively impact your SEO (search engine optimization).  Even if you don’t author your own blog like me, you should take some time to see what’s out there worth reading. Check out Seth Godin’s Blog on marketing, tribes, and respect. insideARM.com publishes blogs by numerous experts on the debt collection industry. Zig Zigler and Gitomer offer great sales and motivation tools.
  3. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great way to network and communicate from your computer with professionals from all facets of your work life.  I use it daily to reach individuals, learn about companies, and correspond with groups and associations.  I share updates regularly (perhaps you see my posts) about current events and company happenings.
  4. Industry Websites – I enjoy getting most of my news and information through my iPad. From The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, to ESPN and CNN, I am able to stay plugged in on a minute-by-minute basis.  I also like reading magazines on the iPad, which enables me to easily forward relevant information to my followers through LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social media is no passing fad. Sure, the whole online world can seem overwhelming and not useful at times—after all, do we really need to know that Shaq is sitting in the back of Starbucks in South Beach, or that our friends are sick of their daily commute? Still it’s really not that hard to ignore the chatter while benefitting from vital information and staying connected to your peers. It will take a little time and effort but you’ll be glad you did.

And if you’ve visited LinkedIn or Twitter this morning, you may know that I’ll be speaking at ACA’s Fall Forum in Chicago on Thursday morning. If you’re there, please come and say hello. If not, connect with me through Twitter or LinkedIn and I’ll be happy to send you my presentation.

Mike Ginsberg is the president and CEO of Kaulkin Ginsberg Company. You should follow him on Twitter @mike_ginsberg. And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to download a free copy of the Kaulkin Ginsberg Q3 2011 M&A Report which features additional social media advice for outsourced business services companies.

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Posted in Accounts Receivable Management, ARM in Focus, Debt Collection, Debt Collection News, Opinion .

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  • Keep up the great work!

    Jeffery Hartman | President
    Fitzgerald Debt Acquisitions, LLC
    http://www.fitzdebt.com

  • Mike, very timely and informative post. It has been my experience that many bill collectors and/or collection agency are not involved with social media – I have found that many times this is because they may be older firms or have older management – and social media seems to be something that is embraced more by the younger crowd.
    In my opinion it is imperative for more bill collectors and collection agencies to be involved with social media, being out there and sharing information is just one way we can all help to change the perception that is out there about bill collectors and get rid of some of the transparency that comes with seclusion. The more we share, the more we talk and the more we put it all out there – the less accusations can be made, and the more positive outlook will be presented.
    I do notice more and more agencies joining LinkedIn and Twitter and that is a step in the right direction, learning how to use these social networks so that they are beneficial is another story, but watch, listen and learn and then start asking questions and posting, and you will connect with others in the industry, gain more followers and have more people share and comment on what you say.

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