I use Twitter for both business and pleasure. It’s a great way to promote all my businesses and I have developed friendships with quite a few people who are famous and many who are not.
Recently while interacting with a celebrity friend (no need to name drop), someone contacted me through Twitter and wanted free legal advice about things that had nothing to do with ERISA. I don’t go to my favorite pizza place and ask for a free slice, but when you are in the service business, people have no issue with asking for free advice.
In my practice, I always try to help plan providers out by helping them out and answering their questions and issues on the house. Very rarely, do people take advantage of it? I only know 2 that did that over an 11 year period where they wanted real actual legal work (printed product) and not pay for it. I always suggest that you should never do anything of substance for free, but developing a relationship by offering free advice and small help does go a long way. However, you need to separate those people that are worth developing and the schnorrers who want it all for free.