If you’re like me, you have a near love/hate relationship with Facebook. You love the audience size available on Facebook as the world’s dominating social network. You hate the incessant privacy and design changes that roll out every 6-12 months. You love seeing your audience engage your brand and products, but hate EdgeRank algorithm updates that seem to make no sense. Hold on to your seats, marketers, there’s another update rolling out, and this will add to the “love” of Facebook once again.
The Problem – Making Introductions
Don’t get me wrong, I firmly hold Facebook to be a necessary tool in just about every marketer’s tool belt. There has been one primary problem to this point with trying to leverage Facebook to build your audience, and that has been finding targeted people on Facebook that are not already connected to your brand.
Until now, the only really effective way of targeting new audience members on Facebook has been through a Facebook ad of some form or another. Whether it’s a sponsored story, a direct ad, or a promoted post, you could target people based on their interests or demographics.
The challenge with this method is that a lot of people may have an interest in your product, industry, or even brand. However, that doesn’t mean they are part of your target audience. For instance, I may have an interest in Lamborghini’s, but just because I have an interest in them doesn’t mean I have the intent of or money to purchase one.
Meet The Updated Graph Search
The “Graph”, or Facebook’s Open Graph, has been around for the better part of 2 years. “Graph Search” has been slowly rolling out over the course of 2013, which has enabled Facebook users to search through Facebook more effectively. This week Facebook announced an update to the function of Graph Search that will allow users to search for people who are talking about a specific topic, which will be extremely helpful for relational marketers.
Don’t worry, if you’re worried about people being able to search your posts, images, and check-ins, just go in and manage your privacy settings.
If Facebook Asked Me…
Not that the product development team at Facebook has ever called and asked for my opinion on what they should include in their new products or features, but if they did for this new feature, I would have one specific request: Make a post and status search available for ad targeting.
In my opinion, developing relationships is critically important to building business. However, whenever I can leverage a one to many scenarios to make introductions, I always find that a better use of my time. If we could have access this new graph search function through the ad builder, I think it would make the ads much more effective, and marketers would flock in greater numbers to Facebook for advertising that could actually show an ROI. Hey Facebook, that means more revenue (cough cough…. hint hint).
What do you think of the new search function? Share your thoughts with me; I’d love to hear what you think.