Guest Post: Get Ahead of Competitors and Implement Strategies for Graph Search

team photo shoot, summer 2012This is a guest post by Sarah Reilly, VP of Sales at Blueye, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer.

Facebook recently held a hyped-up press event announcing their new product: Graph Search. In pure Facebook fashion, they made an emotionally charged video on how this product will revolutionize the way users search the Internet. It all led me to reflect – Facebook makes strides in product development that we might not immediately understand. But if marketers look back, they’ll often say, “oh, now I understand why Facebook launched that product.”

From a consumer standpoint, Graph Search tells a pretty compelling story. A key takeaway I noticed is that customers matter and loyalty is key. Why? Because customers will be talking about brands – and their sentiments will influence their friends’ purchasing behavior.

With that in mind, we’ve developed a few ways brands can get ahead of their competitors and leverage Graph Search.
open graph

Invest in Open Graph Experiences

In true authentic marketing fashion, remove the CMO hat for a second and think about yourself as a consumer – a consumer who wants to go see a movie. With Graph Search, consumers can search Facebook for movies that “friends watched,” “friends liked,” or “friends recommend.” Amazing. And, it nets more relevant results than searching through Google.

Now put the CMO hat back on. Since people are going to be searching “movies my friends like,” we think it’s important to create experiences that lead to published Facebook stories from users as they like movie trailers, movies, actors and more. One of the ways brands can begin to do this is by creating experiential applications for customers that leverage Open Graph. That way, when your customers want to connect with a brand about a specific product, they can share that they’ve seen it for all their friends to see, search, and also watch.

Brands can “own” the action that is associated with how customers engage with them. Travel brand? Create an Open Graph application that shows where customers “have stayed.” Retail Brand? Create an Open Graph application with what your customers “want to buy.”

Some of this can be done by leveraging Facebook’s native Open Graph actions like “check ins,” or “recommends,” – but why not define and own vertical action in the Facebook ecosystem?

graph-searchHow Facebook Just Disrupted Your Entire Content Strategy

It was also indicated in last month’s announcement that there would be a slow release of Graph Search for users – aiming for end of April. At the moment, there is no immediate monetization aspect of Graph Search, but we all know they will soon. So what can you do to prepare for when they monetize?

If you could time-travel back 15 years and sneak a peak into the back end of Google’s search algorithm, would you? How would it change a website’s content strategy?

Well, now is the time to do that for Facebook. Start creating a Facebook content strategy to mirror an SEO strategy. The good news is that Facebook’s algorithm is a bit easier to figure out. Here are some tips for creating a Facebook and content strategy to make sure you are ranked organically:

  1. Build connections with customers and customers friends.
  2. Develop an Open Graph strategy.
  3. Incentivize and potentially reward customers to not only “like” your brand, but talk about your brand and recommend your brand. The deeper the relationship, the greater the loyalty, the better search results. And in turn, enjoy the greater impact on sales.

In the longer term, this can really impact brands that have adopted social commerce and are working with partners to create sustainable experiences in Facebook. What do you think of Facebook’s Graph Search announcement, and what this will mean for marketers?

Sarah Reilly is VP of Sales at Blueye Creative, a Chicago-based Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer with a platform to help brands create and measure social marketing programs. Previously, Sarah was a Director of Sales at Thismoment, a global cloud based CMS for brand engagement, and also held positions at Vibrant Media and Salesforce.com.

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