Social Media: Why Facebook’s new Graph Search will change social media marketing
When I was growing up, I remember a phrase my dad would use as a delay tactic on making big ticket purchase decisions that often frustrated my mother.
“I’ll ask the boys at work,“ he would reply.
My dad’s insistence on consulting people he perceived as experts before making a purchase is telling of human behavior – customers prefer to make decisions based on information, not persuasion.
I mention this because a shift to information over persuasion is coming to social media, driven by Facebook’s new Graph Search tool.
The way Graph Search works is simple … it filters our search results by what our friends and neighbors have previously liked and shared with us.
From a business intelligence perspective, the implications of this new function could be far reaching, given Graph Search allows users to formulate their perceptions of goods and services based on reviews from people they know and trust, potentially sidestepping most marketing efforts.
Here’s an example of Graph Search in action using the surroundings of our office here in Jacksonville Beach to put this into further perspective …
With Graph Search, relevance is king
Imagine you’ve just bought a beach cruiser and you’re searching Facebook to find the best spots for fun and entertainment in Jacksonville Beach.
Now, let’s say you search for “fun places to bike in Jacksonville Beach.”
Graph Search will present options your friends or other bicycle enthusiasts in a given geographical proximity have liked and shared.
From a customer’s perspective, this makes total sense.
Would you prefer to sift through a laundry list of options presented at random, or evaluate choices your friends and other biking enthusiasts are recommending?
Is Graph Search the death of marketing on Facebook?
Does this change mean marketers should avoid using social media as a marketing channel? Not at all.
What the change means to me is Graph Search opens up the potential for a new frontier in marketing as companies will now have to find the right mix of creativity and incentives as they battle for check-ins and likes to maintain relevancy in consumer search listings.
In short, the future winners in social media marketing will be the companies who are perceived as truly genuine in messaging by letting customers do the bragging for them.
Introducing Facebook Graph Search (via Facebook.com)