If you want to find “money in motion,” Facebook is an excellent place to do it.
While you may not choose to share business-oriented posts yourself on Facebook, if you’re connected to your clients and prospects, it’s a great way to keep an eye on developments in their personal lives.
Watch for life changing activities, such as a move or the birth of a child, the death of a parent or retirement, because these activities usually coincide with major financial decisions.
If you want to separate your personal and professional identity on Facebook, set up a separate Facebook Page for yourself as a Public Figure, and use that one as your business presence, but you’ll have to exclude one of your profile from search.
Keep in mind, Facebook Pages and Facebook Profiles have different features, so you’ll need to get comfortable with both services.
But whatever you do, don’t set up 2 Facebook profiles, because it’s a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. If you get found out, they could shut down one of your profiles without notice, and it could be difficult, if not impossible to get it reinstated, since you’re out of compliance.
If you set up a Facebook Page for yourself as a public figure, and you intend to use it for business, make sure you don’t discuss specific investments, share forecasts or talk about riskier offerings like commodities or structured products because regulators may cry foul.
And take the time to complete the “About”, “Story”, “Biography”, “Milestones”, and “Contact Info” sections, so people can connect with you by alternate means if they chose. You can include links to other websites or your bio page on your employer’s site, and use Facebook to drive traffic, since a lot of people start and end their day on Facebook.
You should also follow your firm’s official Facebook Page, and the Facebook Page’s of your business partners, so you can Like, Comment and Share their posts, which extends the reach of their stories to your Facebook Friends.
When it comes to posting, keep your posts short. Facebook status updates of 80 characters or less have a 66% higher engagement rate. And don’t over share. Posting once or twice a week results in 71% higher engagement rates.
Competition for attention on Facebook is usually fiercest midday Eastern Standard Time. So consider posting off hours. Posts made between 8PM and 7AM Eastern Standard Time have a 20% higher engagement rate.
Asking questions works particularly well on Facebook. In fact, questions generate comments rates that are double those of declarative posts. Facebook posts that ask yes or no questions lure the most likes, since respondents use the like button to answer “Yes.”
If you want to add your database of clients or prospects to your Facebook account, and your firm allows you to do so, you can synchronize your Facebook account with the address books of most popular webmail clients and dispatch friend request notifications to large groups at once.
If you’re a manager or supervisor, it’s risky and could even be prohibited by your employer to send friend requests to employees who report directly to you, but it might be okay to accept friend requests from them, as long as you’re sure it won’t adversely impact your professional relationship.
If you do accept a friend request from a direct report, you run the risk of opening yourself up to a harassment or discrimination suit, because you’ll have access to personal information about that employee that‘s considered protected under applicable law — such as race, color or religion — and that employee might claim that they were subjected to unfair discrimination as a result.
The marketing department at Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union with $50 billion in assets and 4 million members ran campaigns on Facebook that resulted in record-breaking numbers of new members and auto refinance loans so it really CAN work.