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Thursday
Mar262015

Rethinking The Appeal Of Sausage Making

I headed out for a walk, looking forward to listening to my dear podcasts. Few things make me happier. Really. And that’s been true for years. Maybe someday someone will study the brain on podcasts. In my experience, listening and walking encourages meandering thinking that eventually leads to somewhere.

Because this work is never far from my mind, I returned not relaxed from the walk but all fired up about what I’d heard and what it made me think of. I’m going to publish this post, despite a nagging feeling that I should have saved these thoughts to share with friends via email. I’m used to their “You OK?” responses.

Behind The Scenes

The walk started as I was shaking off some frustration on behalf of a client. “How can a business not even know who’s using its products,” I muttered to myself as I switched on the Slate podcast about The Americans. It’s an FX drama about the marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s.


(Oh. Right. Television. Television producers don’t know who's watching their work.)

The Americans is a show that I watch faithfully every week. It’s not appointment TV for me because I’m a cord-cutter who doesn’t pay for FX. Instead, I pay $1.99 to stream each show on-demand from Amazon using Roku. (Hey, my explicit payment is one way that somebody, if only Amazon, could know that’s me watching, isn’t it…?)

In another time, that would have been it. A 45-minute transaction, over and out. But part of the reason I need to keep up with each Americans episode is that I am then ready to listen to the spoilers podcast and read the multiple blogs about the show. Time is of the essence. The show isn’t everything, it’s just the start.

All of the surrounding content—most of which isn't created by the program producer—makes for a richer experience. The Americans is the television show I recommend to others. It’s excellent (don’t get me started), but I also have a much deeper understanding of and appreciation for it.

The podcast, specifically, is a behind-the-scenes look at the production. I love hearing about the intricacies of filming a stakeout scene, what goes into setting an actor on fire and why there are three as opposed to four stalls in the FBI ladies’ room. This is the detail underlying the decisions about what eventually makes it into the final edit. When the producers and writing team as well as the cast climb the stage to claim their Emmy or Golden Globes awards, I will feel as if I know them all.

The podcasts contain spoilers so if you watch the Americans, don’t listen to this SoundCloud file unless you’ve already seen Episode 3. Everyone else, just listen to the story starting at the 6:30 marker of a scene that involves the spies "disappearing" a body from a hotel room. This is the sausage being made.

Process More So Than Product

The conventional wisdom is that sausage making is to be avoided. According to this helpful explanation found on UsingEnglish.com, “if something is ‘like watching sausages getting made,’ unpleasant truths about it emerge that make it much less appealing. The idea is that if people watched sausages getting made, they would probably be less fond of them.” (I don’t doubt that’s true about sausage sausage. As a student in Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, my niece made sausage and claims to have been scarred by the experience.)

But it’s the insight into the "sausage making" that’s forging my relationship with The Americans.  

The point: There’s value in transparency and openness.

The packaged product is one thing but how did you get there? That’s what people increasingly want to know across the board today. Yes, but what’s in a Big Mac? How diverse is Apple’s workforce? Please tell me that these cosmetics were made with plants and not animal hooves.

Ask a brand advocate to explain his affection for a company and the response will more likely cite how a company does business than what’s produced. In my example, the more I hear about the budget concessions involved in the making of a television show I like, the more I like it.

Why wouldn’t this be the case, too, for information surrounding a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF), I wondered while walking. There’s a difference between at-home entertainment and intangible products on which trusting investors place their hopes and dreams, I’ll grant you that. But I’d argue that if the sausage making is of interest to a television fan, it might be at least of equal interest to an advisor or investor.

My description of how I relate to The Americans includes a lot of emotion. But I have nothing at stake. If the show were to decline, I’d mourn but eventually I’d move on and find something else to watch.

Funds Solve Problems

The engagement of an investment product user is on another level: the advisor puts his or her own brand on the line when recommending a fund. More often than not, the expectation is that the product will remain in place for an extended period of time.

And yet, many of us marketers seem to view the using of mutual funds and ETFs as transactions—as the endgame as opposed to the start or extension of a relationship that involves emotions.

Years ago, this business seized on “solution” as a synonym for investment product. While we use the word, we don’t necessarily think about its meaning. Consider the advisor using one of your funds for the very first time. There’s no gun to his or her head (sorry, that’s the influence of The Americans)—the selection is likely the result of an evaluation process: your product emerged as the winner, the best. There are expectations, to be sure, and optimism or even enthusiasm about how this product is going to work.

Fast forward and it’s conceivable that experience in the fund produces a positive or negative response, and that, too, is factored into what happens next.

"Storytelling" is a concept that I've seen investment marketers struggle with. Since The Walk, I'm thinking that sausage making-telling is what has the greatest potential in this space. Of course, the market has a capacity for thought leadership and research. But aren’t advisors likely to be most invested in what they’re invested in?

What Digital Enables

Advisors seek access to the managers of their funds, as can be seen whenever there's an opportunity for a physical meeting. Digital and social enablement of more timely, more frequent, more relevant, more granular updates can deepen understanding of investment process, challenges and responses, and more. Meaning can be derived from every incremental video clip, conference call, email and tweet, ostensibly strengthening product ties.

Never has there been a greater appetite for (and supply of) content that can build and nurture relationships. This is a terrific time to be charged with communications that drive and support product usage, acknowledging user sentiment good and bad.

Unfortunately, that’s not what I always pick up on when I talk to marketers responsible for product communications. Here’s what I sometimes see: 

  • An inferiority complex. If you’re blasting an unsegmented email list of tens of thousands of names to announce the availability of fact sheets, then I’d shrink too. But to product-users it may not be possible to over-communicate about the decision-making and color (aka the sausage) surrounding your products and portfolio teams.   

Hold your head up, don’t be shy about distributing updates that have information value and appeal. Let yourself believe that what your firm has to say about an ongoing product relationship will be welcomed, appreciated, referred to, relied on. (And, turn to your analytics for substantiation.) 

  • A nonchalance about relationship signals. What about the advisors who register on your Website, subscribe to your newsletter, attend your Webinars, follow and maybe even retweet your tweets, use your funds? They’re doing their part to have a relationship, they’re signaling their interest in the sausage making. Don’t let that attention go unrequited. Smart firms have started to distinguish between who’s into them and who just isn’t, and communicating accordingly.
  • A factory floor approach to how to communicate. Yes, asset manager content production demands have multiplied. Granted, there are plenty of technical publishing issues to keep an eye on. Systems can automate fund data display, and shareholder report-writing robots can formulate narrative based on the data. Uniformity has its place. 

But—hang with me here—let’s not lose sight of the poetry in the sausage making. No one can shape the story like you or you with raw material from your Investments or product teams. C’mon, humor me—and everyone else on the receiving end of your communications. 

Back to The Americans again, listen to the spirit and personality as the cast and crew share what went into their final product. It’s not just the information that’s being imparted, it’s the commitment to it. Product communications, especially, deserve some energy.

All of you aren’t working with Hollywood professionals. It’s possible that your subject matter experts don’t intuitively know how to explain the sausage making in an appealing way. In addition to everything else that has to do with content routing, review, production and formatting, that’s the creative work that falls for you and your creative teams to do with an ever-growing box of tools that includes graphics, imagery, video and interactive. That’s why there’s Marketing.

Your turn, your thoughts?

Thursday
Mar192015

How Social Media Is Influencing Institutional Investor Investment Decisions

If your mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) firm markets to institutional investors, you’ll want to check out social media survey results that “astounded” the research firm and “awed” an asset management marketer. Social media, the data suggests, is making a difference not only in how institutional investors source information but in the subsequent action they take, too.

In November and December 2014, Greenwich Associates, working with LinkedIn, fielded an online survey of 256 global institutional investors including 100 in North America, 105 in Europe and 51 in the Asia Pacific. The survey targeted decision-makers and influencers of investment decisions at their institution (top three titles: chief investment officer, portfolio manager, investment analyst) who used digital platforms at least once in the past year to learn about financial topics related to their investing role.

The global cut of the results was the focus of a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Webcast last week, whose replay you can listen to below. In addition to Greenwich and LinkedIn presenters, Legg Mason’s Director and Head of Global Web Services Kerry Ryan presented best practices and results to date of some LinkedIn success using sponsored update campaigns to target institutional investors.

A report on the Europe-only survey data is due this week, with a report on the North America results scheduled to be released next month. Expect there to be some differences from the global cut, according to the presenters.  

LinkedIn, Facebook And Twitter

Most surprising to Greenwich’s Managing Director Dan Connell and Ryan was that one-third of investors surveyed said they’d taken information learned via social media to start a discussion with or choose to work with a particular asset management firm. This is the first work to document this, I'm fairly certain, and the research may open many eyes.

As he reviewed the results, Connell seemed delighted to report that LinkedIn scored as the preferred social media source, with 48% of all institutional investors using the platform. The first slide showing the usage of the social networks even grays out all but LinkedIn.

In my opinion, such parochialismand as interesting as it was, the inclusion of a happy LinkedIn advertiser as part of the program—devalues the independence of the research. The work also includes useful insights on investors’ reliance on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and can serve a higher purpose than just to support interest in LinkedIn. The following is a screenshot of one of the slides, with annotations added by me.

One surprise not discussed, for example: Almost half of institutional investors (47%) say they use Facebook to learn about investment products/services. This is slightly higher than those who use LinkedIn for that purpose (45%). The finding is at odds, by the way, with what ShareThis reported about the finance content that gets shared on Facebook. 

Notwithstanding the cheerleading for LinkedIn, the full 56-minute presentation is worth your attention. Here are just a few highlights to pique your interest and prompt you to hit the play button. 

  • Nearly all (97%) institutional investors use digital media sources for professional purposes and 79% use social media at work. That's a dramatic change in the last five years, Connell noted.
  • Institutional investors are turning to social media for insights, opinions and content relevant to their investing roles. And, those insights are influencing decision-making.
  • The survey provides four answers related to investors’ interest in asset management firm content and executives specifically, and other answers related to investment product and services are relevant, too. Are you working with executives who are dragging their heels about whether they need to have a social media (probably LinkedIn) presence? Data in this table, which I created to highlight the asset management questions, might be helpful.


  • Legg Mason’s 22 sponsored updates have produced an overall 0.48% clickthrough rate and 0.54% engagement rate. Since the start of the year, the company page has attracted 346 new followers. 

Thursday
Mar122015

An Armchair View Of The Digital Decisions Underlying The Schwab/Wealthfront Dust-up

Pull up a seat to one of the more captivating online brand-to-brand exchanges we’ve been in a position to witness in the investment industry. Although the interaction happening this week between Charles Schwab and Wealthfront is fascinating on many levels, I’ll limit this post to just observations on the decisions underlying the digital communications. RIABiz, InvestmentNews and plenty of others will keep you up to date on the substance.

This evolving communications case study has to do with the emergence of robo-advisor services and controversy surrounding their claims. But, there’s potential for plenty of other contentious discussion this year (can you say smart beta?) that hits even closer to home for mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms.

So much of investment communications is planned, scripted and timed, leading marketers to believe that they have things under control. My question for you, prompted by the interactions discussed below: To what extent do your communications plans anticipate not just what you have to say but how others might respond?

Early on, firms may have been apprehensive about chaotic social platforms filled with trolls waiting to take money managers on. Thankfully, that hasn’t materialized.

Instead, what we are increasingly seeing are informed commentators, including product and distribution competitors as well as financial advisors themselves, publishing thoughtful counterpoints and challenges on their own blogs and content platforms.

Asset managers know they need to respond to the random tweet. That's so 2012.

But a precious few are 1)demonstrating that they’re paying attention to what’s being blogged about 2)posting a response, whether on their own blogs or in a comment to the original posts. Blog posts can be forever. Whatever stance your firm takes—to acknowledge, respond, ignore or be ignorant of them—will have consequences. 

The saga playing out this week may help frame your firm’s preparedness, including where, when, how and to whom to respond. 

What Happened

By way of background: On Monday morning, Schwab announced “a fully automated investment advisory service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, the only investment advisory service using sophisticated computer algorithms to build, monitor, and rebalance diversified portfolios based on an investor’s stated goals, time horizon and risk tolerance—without charging any advisory fees, commissions or account services fees.” 

In response, on the same day, the CEO of Wealthfront, one of the startups expected to be most impacted by this service, wrote a scathing blog post. Adam Nash accused Schwab of falsely stating that its service was free because the firm will extract net revenue earnings from interest on the cash allocation of the recommended portfolios. Nash went on to say that “hidden fees" are contrary to the history of Schwab, concluding that the firm has “broken values.”

“Charles Schwab has become Merrill Lynch,” writes Nash, not intending it as a compliment. 



Less than 24 hours later, Schwab published what RIABiz described as a “rapid-response-counter-punch” reply to Wealthfront’s response. The piece called out Nash's "very loose interpretation of facts" and presented a three-point clarification. 

What follows is what this geek noticed and wondered about as all this interaction was taking place online.

The Wealthfront Post

Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a classic case of “newsjacking” on Wealthfront’s part. (See the David Meerman Scott site for more.)

This is not to take away from the import of its message. It’s to acknowledge that Nash’s fast-acting response assured that his perspective would be part of the conversation at the precise moment when Schwab would be getting attention. Nash successfully grabbed some of that attention for his view and business. 

What helped this succeed: A strong value proposition (there’s no time to crystallize your story when news is breaking), compelling visual assets (including two borrowed from Schwab—ouch!) and Twitter followers/supporters. This program has been in the works for a while, and Nash was prepared for the announcement. 

Most of the readers of this blog will be in Schwab’s position. Although once a challenger itself, Schwab today has almost $2.5 trillion in assets. Count on the fact that this launch (big and good news from the company’s perspective) was carefully orchestrated, including a national online, print and television advertising campaign, media outreach and finely crafted talking points. Yet within hours, a single blog post from the CEO of a firm that manages $2 billion (gained in three years) became part of the story and threatened to disrupt the best laid plans.

Did offense need to switch to defense? One can only imagine the drill that took place within Schwab’s communications team. For starters, how did they hear about the post—via their social media monitoring or did they get a heads-up? At the center of the discussions must have been this: “Do we dignify the post with a response?” The implication being that acknowledging the post could call more attention to it.

In fact, here are a few of the choice headlines that resulted: 

Where The Responses Took Place

The first mention I saw of Adam Nash’s blog post was in a Schwab tweet. To read the post, I naturally headed to the Wealthfront blog—where there was no sign of what Wealthfront’s CEO said. That’s because the post was published under Nash’s byline on Medium.com.

Interesting. I assumed that a calculation was made to go where there was a larger absolute audience, probably to position the topic at a higher level than one company CEO griping about another company’s strategy. In fact, RIABiz reported that Nash’s “blog offensive is being waged on a personal level, which is why it appeared on his own blog..." Nash's blog, yes, but on another company's domain. 

Understood, and maybe there were compliance issues to consider, too. But there will be those who will come to Wealthfront’s site, looking for the post, and they will be lost. Conversely, those who go to the Medium post won’t see anything else about Wealthfront’s services. 

And, to make the point that any digital marketer would, the decision to use Medium results in a surrender of Wealthfront.com attention, site traffic and analytics. Links, especially from authoritative sites, still have value. And yet all the linking to Nash’s post on Medium will help lift Wealthfront’s search visibility not at all. Medium does make some viewer stats available but they’re not as robust as what Wealthfront would get from its own Google Analytics.

A Google search Wednesday for “Adam Nash Schwab blog post” required the searcher to hop over the Schwab response to Nash’s post (which doesn’t contain a link to it).


Compare the page titles and URLs used for the posts for a partial explanation of Schwab’s higher ranking—that and the fact that Google results favor better-trafficked Websites.

Schwab is unusual in that it already maintains a section of its Website for Company Statements “in response to timely news and topics of interest. Statements are generally removed from this site after one year.” This is where it chose to publish its all-text response to Nash.

A few tweets have made some generational references to the old school way in which Schwab responded—via “a press statement” that used double spaces between sentences (really!). While much of the response is straightforward, it lets itself condescend in a few spots. I wonder how much thought was given to referring to Nash as “Adam” inasmuch as the response ostensibly came from the company and not an individual. 

There’s no provision for comments on the Company Statements pages, which is unfortunate given the statement's closing line: "We encourage transparency and dialogue and that is why we encourage investors to learn more at intelligent.schwab.com and review the facts."

Did Schwab consider commenting on the Medium post, as well, I wonder? As is, both firms have taken to their own corners to comment, leaving readers to their own devices in piecing the commentaries together. 

Getting The Word Out

Having published their respective messages, Nash and Schwab then took to Twitter (only) to make sure the word got out. The first tweet flew from Nash’s own account but soon the Wealthfront account also was pressed into action, to drive traffic to the Medium post as well as retweet supporting tweets of which there were many.   

 

You and I don’t know the total traffic to either post. From the sharing data counted by BuzzSumo, it looks as if the sharing done of Nash’s post through Wednesday far outpaced the sharing of the one-day older Schwab rebuttal. Note that the Nash post was shared on LinkedIn and Facebook, too. 

By Wednesday, Bitly reported about 2,900 clicks on bitly links to Nash’s post, and traffic to non-shortened links would be additional.

As of Wednesday, the @CharlesSchwab Twitter account (the @Schwab4RIAs account has not been involved) had not sent a mass distribution tweet with a link to its company statement. This seems to have been an effort to “contain” the discussion. 

However, Schwab reached out to Twitter accounts who tweeted about the Nash post. Specifically, through Wednesday it sent 15 individually addressed tweets (tweets that start with the @accountname, limiting the reach of the tweet to only mutual followers of both accounts). You can see the tweets under the Tweets & Replies Tab of the account.

It's possible that Schwab’s original communication plan included influencer marketing, which involves brands reaching out to identified influencers with the hope that the offer of early information or special access will yield positive coverage.

But these individually addressed tweets were not that. An account that tweeted about the Nash post is not likely to be open to any kind of perceived “manipulation” on Schwab’s part, not at that point. As stated, the purpose was to make sure that the account saw Schwab’s side of the debate.

Many of the accounts tweeted to in fact belong to those influential in the space, including Josh Brown, Michael Kitces and Paul Kedrosky. The net effect of that for those who follow these influencers is that multiple identical Schwab tweets showed up in the Twitter stream. A series of Schwab tweets is what first caught my attention.

Did the target account even click on the link? Better yet, did the target account retweet it, as many might feel obliged to do if they’d previously tweeted about Nash’s post? How many clicks did each attract?

Because Schwab provided each Twitter account with a unique shortened link (bitly), bystanders can see the effect of the outreach by account. Just by adding a plus sign to each bitly, we can get a look at where the outreach worked best. Through Wednesday, it looks as if there were nearly 1,500 total clicks to the page. Two bitlys were tweeted to The @ReformedBroker (Josh Brown), and together they drove almost 900 clicks or 60% of all. The most effective tweet is shown below.

By comparison, the bitly link to the press release announcing the Intelligent Portfolios attracted 118 clicks. Of course, there's no doubt Schwab is collecting more data on its outreach than we have access to. 

In Conclusion?

How to wrap this up? It can't be done, it's too soon. Can we agree to just adjourn?

Join me in watching how the substance of the debate unfolds and—particularly relevant for communicators—where and how it takes place. If nothing else, the jockeying by these two firms is demonstrating the importance of real-time listening, reacting and acting.

Maybe not on this scale or at this emotional pitch, but it’s reasonable to expect that your firm will be the subject of online discourse at some unknowable point. It’s an eventuality that cool heads, including those belonging to digital marketers, need to prepare for. 

Tuesday
Mar032015

Finserv Content Sharing: ShareThis Study Quantifies What’s Going On

So, a friend emailed me about a study she thought I’d have some interest in. Yep, and I think you will, too—so much so that you’ll overlook the fact that I just blogged about sharing and Facebook last Tuesday.

This just-released ShareThis study provides numbers and gets even more granular about the types of content being shared, by whom, when and where.

Finance content produces no less than 68 million monthly social signals shared by more than 32 million monthly users, according to ShareThis’ three-month study (August to November 2014) of its network of 3.1 million sites and apps.

“Our findings revealed not only that finance is, in fact, a highly social topic but one with fascinating behavioral nuances, clear seasonal trends and favorable life stage alignment,” according to the ShareThis blog post.

One caveat: ShareThis’ numbers include real estate and accounting, which aren’t typically included in finance. Credit cards and currencies and foreign exchange topics lead the sharing, effectively propping up the numbers. That’s OK, the detail provided gets to the categories that the asset management industry most cares about—investing, funds, retirement and pension, financial planning and asset and portfolio management.

Tablets, Cyclicality, Life Stage

The entire study is embedded below so I’ll just extract a few ShareThis highlights here followed by the relevant page number in the deck. Two graphics in this post are from a separate ShareThis deck on Scribd

  • Different social networks house entirely different conversations for finance consumers (see above and page 5).
  • Tablets are a finance-friendly platform, generating twice as much sharing activity around finance as other content categories. Booyah! (See page 6.)
  • See how the data on page 11 links the type of activity (searching and browsing or socializing) and the focus.
  • Sharing follows a consistent pattern, peaking in the beginning of the week.

  • Social volume spikes around key time periods like tax season and quarterly earnings. Activity often preempts or mirrors market events (page 8-9).
  • Finance sharing is aligned with life stage. “Often we found that sharing skews toward the extremes. For example, millennials and early boomers are 1.9x and 1.5x more likely, respectively, to share about finance.”
  • Financial planning social activity heats up April to August and then soars in December (see page 20). 

Update: As much as I appreciate the heads-up about this work and was thrilled to see it, as of this writing my head is still intact. How about yours? 

Tuesday
Feb242015

Before You Go All-In On Facebook

“We’re starting to think more seriously about Facebook…”

I’ve heard this more than a few times from firms over the last six months. Typically, the firm has excelled with something else social (e.g., blog, Twitter account or LinkedIn company page) and believes it’s ready for something more challenging while potentially more rewarding.

The size of the social network itself (890 million daily active users in December 2014), its 2014 surge and the engagement potential all make Facebook impossible to ignore if you’re a marketer in 2015.


Mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketers absolutely should consider participation (beyond the base camps many have already set up) on Facebook for their own strategies. Not knowing what your business or marketing objectives are, not knowing what your client composition is, not knowing what your content and other resources are, etc., I can’t go much further than this.

…Except to encourage you to temper your enthusiasm by drilling into Facebook’s sensational traffic and engagement numbers. Financial services, let alone business-to-business organizations, cannot expect the same pick-up that other industries famously experience.

For some level-setting, let’s first take a broad look at social media and financial services. Afterward, we’ll zero in on Facebook.

10 Finserv Brands Dominate

There’s no shortage of ebooks and whitepapers about social media and financial services, but this Shareablee presentation delivered at a State of Financial Services Webinar in late November is distinguished by the data it presents. Unfortunately, the Webinar isn’t available on-demand.

Shareablee takes care to report financial services subsegments, noting that the lowest percentage (61%) of Investment Products & Services brands have social presences. Banking, insurance, loans and even payment services brands are more active. Data quoted is from January through October 2014. Note that LinkedIn isn't a platform included in this report. The annotations on the following slides are from me.

Within Shareablee's Investment Products & Services brands category are diversified firms and brokerages that are probably beyond your competitive set. They command the greatest share of voice.

Here’s the sobering slide: The top 10 brands dominate, representing 66% of all activity. If you’ve been successful, by your standards, with anything in social media, you are to be congratulated. It’s not easy to make an impact.


Next check out the Shareablee slide of Facebook sharing in particular. Despite all the hoopla about Facebook in 2014 and despite the pick-up of insurance and banking content, note the so-so sharing of investment product/service content.

This gets to the core content challenge of asset manager posts on Facebook. If you are not a Fidelity or Vanguard, if you don't sponsor community outreach programs (e.g., charitable benefits or sporting events), if you're new to engaging with a community and if the bulk of what you have to post is investment strategy and market insights, let’s be realistic about how much sharing your repurposed posts are going to get. How comfortable is a suit and tie at a barbecue?  

Minor digression: Before we leave the Shareablee deck, see the slide that shows the types of posts that people engage with. Across all financial services segments—but especially investment products and services—it’s photos! If you make just one tweak to your social strategy in all of 2015, please let it be to post more images.  

Does Facebook Drive Traffic?

Why take on another social network and especially Facebook? To drive both brand awareness and Website traffic. So, does Facebook drive traffic? All of the above was a prelude to encouraging Facebook-aspirants to watch the following Whiteboard Friday video, published on The Moz Blog last week. A transcript is also available on the page. 

It’s an engaging 17 minutes but if you’re short on time, here are a few highlights.

4:00: The Moz’s Rand Fishkin says the average page per visit of a Facebook visitor is about 1. “It tends to be the case that when you're in that Facebook feed, you're just trying to consume content, and you might see something, but you're unlikely to browse around the rest of the Website from which it came.” 

This compares to the average 3-5 pages consumed by people who arrive directly on your site and to Google search-sourced visits (2-2.5 pages on average). Obviously, you’ll want check your analytics to see how your various traffic sources perform.

6:48: But, Fishkin notes, “Facebook's likes and shares are very indicative of the kinds of content that tend to perform well in search. So, if we can nail that, if we understand what kinds of content get spread socially on the Web and engage people on the social Web, we tend to also perform well in the kind of content we create for search engines.”

7:38: Fishkin begins his top 10 tips for Facebook optimization. 

8:56: A social referral/introduction may lead to subsequent Website exploration. Here's a brief discussion of setting up analytics to track future visits from social referrals, and see this post for more.

12:43: Fishkin discusses limitations on the reach of brand content, a relatively recent adjustment Facebook made to dim the effect of what had been overwhelming brand content. The objective is to enable personal content, typically valued by users more, to resurface.

14:27: Facebook is difficult to "game" nowadays but it is still possible to “game human psychology,” says Fishkin. “If you can find the angles that people care about, that they're vocal about, that they get engaged, excited, angry, passionate, of any emotional variety about those things, that's how you tend to trigger a lot of activity on Facebook,” he says. Don't produce that kind of content yet? You'll need to.

If Facebook is a frontier you aim to settle in 2015, I'm rooting for you. Of course, an asset manager can succeed on Facebook. Just do your preparation, make sure you understand the level of new effort required, including some level of advertising spending, and be sure to track your results/effectiveness.