I get asked all the time about advisors being on social media. We all know the issues: compliance scares people from taking action, lack of compelling content, who wants to follow their advisor on Facebook…to name a few.  For the most part, I’ve told advisors to concentrate on LinkedIn for network building and Twitter for following the conversations happening. Facebook was not a priority. Short-term, I think I’m still right. Medium to long-term…I’m not so sure.

On Jan. 15, Facebook unveiled their new search functionality, dubbed the Search Graph. Basically, this new functionality allows Facebook users to use natural language to search across their social network (how wide depends on privacy settings) to get answers to whatever questions the user might pose. For instance, say I was looking for a place to eat in Boulder, Colorado. I could type in “who has eaten in Boulder this year?”, and I would then get a list of all my friends who have dined out in Boulder and where they ate. I could get even more specific and ask for only Thai food. At this point you might be saying, “So what. Neat trick but how is this important?” I was asking the same question until I realized that, if Facebook can harness the power of social connections in ways that other search engines (i.e. Google) can’t, then the game might have changed.

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