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Quality content rules the Facebook news feed

With over 1 billion users worldwide coupled with deep local reach and engagement, Facebook is a key social platform for financial services professionals to reach out and connect with customers.

Everyday, millions of agents and advisers use their Facebook Business Page to share content, post updates on their business, and provide useful insights into what is happening in the market.

But it is a simple truth that as more people engage on Facebook Business Pages, the more crowded a user’s news feed will be. At best, a user can review dozens or maybe a hundred updates a day.

To reduce noise and keep a user’s news feed as relevant as possible, Facebook uses over 1000 filters to determine which posts should get highlighted.

In a recent TechCrunch article,  Facebook News Feed Director of Product Management Will Cathcart highlighted the main filters:

  • How popular (Liked, commented on, shared, clicked) are the post creator’s past posts with everyone
  • How popular is this post with everyone who has already seen it
  • How popular have the post creator’s past posts been with the viewer
  • Doe the type of post (status update, photo, video, link) match what types have been popular with the viewer in the past
  • How recently was the post published

As an agent or adviser, you’ve worked hard to build a loyal and active following on your Facebook Business Page. Make sure you keep those followers engaged and up-to-date by posting timely, relevant content.

Focusing on consistency and quality of content will help determine how prominently your post will appear in your follower’s news feed.

Finding the market behind the numbers

My son like puzzles. He’s only two years old but he loves to find the most complex puzzle in the house, take it apart, and then out it back together. To see a young child wanting to tackle a series of complex puzzle problems is an inspiration to watch as a parent.

It is also inspirational to watch as a business development professional.

I’m not much good at the types of puzzles my son likes to tackle, but I enjoy figuring out another type of puzzle, markets.

Sometimes those puzzles are technology-related; figuring out who the main vendors are in a market, how their products differentiate, and trying to boil it all down to understand who is disrupting whom.

You figure out these technology markets because you need to understand who to partner with, who to maybe buy, or who is or may become a competitor. Or maybe the right answer is to just leave that market alone.

Then there are global puzzles, which are the ones I’ve recently been spending a lot of time. You can read reports, you can talk to experts, but it isn’t until you go out into the various markets and talk to potential customers and partners, do you begin to understand a market.

Reports have numbers, markets have nuances. You need to be actively investigating a market, technology or global, to properly understand the nuances.

Selling my iPhone for seven figures…

My phone’s got what can no longer be gotten…

The game is no longer available through online stores, but it still works on phones that had previously downloaded it.

As a result, some online users have offered to sell their smartphones still containing the Flappy Birds app for large sums of money.

 

BBC News – Flappy Bird creator removes game from app stores.

Interview tip: Talk ideas, not resume

At Hearsay Social we’re hiring like mad so I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing. As a result, I’ve also been asked for interview tips and feedback.

My number one reply is to make the interview about ideas, strategies and tactics and not about your experience.

Ironically, in an interview people don’t want to learn about you, they want to learn how you can help them and their company. (OK, maybe I’m overstating this a little…  they want to learn about you also!)

But when you interview, try to put yourself in the interviewer’s place and understand their problems and challenges. Then be proactive in addressing those concerns.

I’m always impressed with people who make the effort to try to understand what my challenges are then use the interview time to talk me through how they would manage those challenges.

Sure, as you’re coming from the outside, some if it is guesswork and no one will ever expect someone to get the company’s challenges 100% correct. But if someone does their homework, make smart guesses about what the challenges are, and then comes up with reasoned approach to solve those challenges, they’ll immediately impress and make the conversation more about an exchange of ideas and tactics, rather than going point-by-point through a resume.

My goal when I’ve interviewed is to never have the interviewer refer to my resume. If they need to look at my resume and ask me about what is on it, I feel like I’ve lost because we’ve run out of things to talk about and have had to resort to a resume discussion.

Boring.

But if we spend the entire time talking about ideas, strategies and tactics, I feel like I’m making myself already part of the team. And that’s the ultimate goal.

Content partnerships as a BD goal?

I lead the strategic alliances team at Hearsay, which means my day-to-day is all about creating business partnerships with other companies in complimentary markets.

Business partnerships…. but what about content partnerships. Interesting idea. This article got me thinking.

Creating content partnerships seems to be the evolution of co-marketing agreements, maybe with less overhead.

“We’re a company that is very focused on the women and health spaces,” Bloom said. “We choose brands and organizations that align with our goals — widespread menstruation education and the destigmatization of women’s health taboo. Often, these brands are media properties or non-profits. It’s not uncommon for HelloFlo to promote content created by these other brands, and vice versa. It not only creates lasting partnerships, but also visibility and shared traffic.”

Content Partnerships Fuel Startup Growth | The Content Strategist.

… and this is why I like index funds

With massive computers doing massive trading in the span of milliseconds, it is hard to imagine how fund with some sort of proprietary trading theory can beat the market.

Love this quote:

The 60/40 Vanguard fund, which anyone can invest in, opening an account in about four minutes and 26 mouse clicks (I counted), beat the average multistrategy and long-short hedge fund over the last decade. And it did it with lower annual volatility (measured by standard deviation).

 

The world’s smartest investors have failed.

Vertical enterprise apps: Empowering the end user

Just as (relatively) new and (at first) niche TV outlets like HBO or Netflix, brought new choices to consumers, so too will new, and at first niche, applications bring more functionality and utility to enterprise users. 

OK, I’ll admit that the analogy made in this GigaOm article is a bit odd, but the point is well taken.

The enterprise is probably the most exciting market in disruption now.

As Hearsay Social investor and all around genius Jon Sakoda highlighted in an earlier talk, Silicon Valley left behind many key verticals in the 1990s. Sure, there are ton of great horizontal  applications, most notably Salesforce, but few have attempted to go into a vertical, really understand the requirements and workflow, and come up with a new application just for them.

Happily, all that is changing and it is exciting stuff. The poster child is Veeva and how they are overhauling the life sciences industry.

Guidewire is not only vertically focused (insurance), but focused on a vertical within a vertical (property and casualty insurance.) Oh yeah, their market cap is $3.4 billion, thank you very much.

We’re seeing the same trend at Hearsay Social. We know there many various social media sales and marketing platforms out there but none really understand or serve the needs of the financial services market.

The financial services market is huge, complex, critical to the success of our economy, and yet so poorly understood by tech companies.

But being laser focused on that industry means we can help financial agents and advisers better understand social, better understand their customers, and help them turn social into as important a communications channel as the phone or email.

The financial services industry is dying to learn more about the crazy rapid changes in how consumers are accessing information.

Hearsay understands social, we understand financial services and because of our focus, we are the best in the market hands-down in bringing the two industries together.

The enterprise is going though massive disruption. We’re leading the way in financial services and it is great to see others adding unique, industry specific value, in other verticals.

Finding the HBO or the Netflix of the enterprise: What we’ve all been waiting for — Tech News and Analysis.

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