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Why advisers are killing Facebook

When you begin ducking your 'friends,' you know it's no longer a useful business tool

Feb 10, 2014 @ 9:48 am

By Alex Murguia

Spending my formative years growing up in Miami Beach, one thing always remained true: if people five to 10 years older than me had heard of the hip places to go out at night, then those places were not worth going to.

Younger generations mos def (my era) do this with language and it seems this is the transient trajectory of Facebook. If your parents are on it, it is time to move on, and if your parent's advisers are on it, it is time to delete your account. They didn't get the post from social-media experts stating why advisers need to be on Facebook.

I am exaggerating a bit to make a point but I have yet to meet anyone over the last few months younger than me that uses Facebook as their go-to network. That has been replaced by Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Path (my network of choice), and the list goes on. Are we now going to constantly rotate app icons on the bottom of our emails? It comes across like a boyfriend or girlfriend who is trying too hard.

Advisers and with them professional such as doctors have contributed to the seeds of Facebook's demise.

Dive into InvestmentNews' special report on social media.

What may have been useful links to interesting stories now just contribute to its increasing messiness. What may have seemed like cool entries about your firm or your professional accomplishments now come across as "humble brags" to your clients — or the social media's equivalent to infomercials. The signal has effectively turned to noise and we have reduced the value of Facebook to consumers.

I enjoyed Facebook for the social reasons but as I started accepting people that are more business associates than friends, a funny thing happened. I posted less because I didn't want them to know I was in town or because I had an e-mail waiting in my inbox from one of my “friends.” The last thing I needed was for them to see pictures of me prancing around on a beach while one of their unanswered e-mails sat. Facebook became less enjoyable because professionals crept into my inner circle and I became conscious of it.

Advisers can continue their postings, cross off proverbial client touch points, and "like" every photo that is ever posted, but all that seems kind of false. If you need it to pipeline contacts, fine, but understand this is slowly chipping at Facebook's social enjoyment and soon you will be mining from a different mountain.

SEE HOW HUMBLE I AM?

The humble brag is essentially bragging about yourself while you couch it under the guise of humility. Advisers do this frequently on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and it is time for us to stop the insanity. Treating your audience like idiots because you assume they don't catch the underlying brag in your message just leaves you looking like the fool.

Some examples we should do away with:

• can't believe I have 5,000 followers on Twitter and I still don't know how to DM someone yet, LOL!

•I've just been named again as the leading adviser for doctors in my area and I didn't even remember to submit an entry, I'm so absent-minded …

•Going to be interviewed by CNBC again today. I hope they don't sit me next to Joe Kernan. He is way cooler than I am.

Being loud and proud is always more effective than false modesty.

Alex Murguía is a managing principal at McLean Asset Management Corp. and chief executive of inStream Solutions. He can be reached on Twitter @alexmurguia1

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