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Facebook Graph Search – a new dimension

With Facebook Graph Search, consumers have the option to choose their financial adviser based on ‘recommendation by association’, says Tanith Harding, head of Social Media, Mitchell Moneypenny

Social media, love it or hate it, is an ever changing organism. Just when businesses appear to have got the hang of how this amazing marketing and networking tool can transform the company and propel the brand into the 21st century, everything has changed – again! The sheer frustration, and in some cases panic, at what, where and why everything has moved is a familiar one; so why on earth do they keep doing it?

These changes, whilst frustrating at times, are necessary to improve user experience, give better access to target audiences and insights and help develop more effective marketing plans. In most cases users are at least given the option to ‘test drive’ the new layout and helpful pop-ups are provided to direct them to where functions have been relocated. A period of time is given to adjust and edit sites to the new specifications (and generally to have a good moan about the changes) before they become compulsory.  Unfortunately though this is not always the case and in some examples users do miss out on new developments as a result.

Just over a year ago Facebook launched its new Graph Search supported by an exciting promotional video of CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, talking about all of the magnificent features that would be gained. It was rolled out in the US in March 2013 but with most of the UK having to wait until November to get their hands on it.  Sadly it would seem, after all the US pre-launch hype, the marketing money must have dried up as the UK launch lacked any real promotion and it is surprising to discover how many UK Facebook users still have no idea that they now have access to it. Consequently this fabulous gem that could re-shape how consumers do business has been slipped in to the UK’s user pockets with little more than a whisper!

So what are these revolutionary new changes? Facebook has made many small tweaks such as the introduction of trending topics to help increase engagement and the auto play of videos (minus the sound) when you scroll through your news feed, but the biggest changes for business are the access to amazing insights that will give you data as minutia, such as what time of day Facebook fans are online and the game changing ‘new word of mouth’. Facebookers can now use the search bar to find out which restaurants/dentists/vets their friends use, as well as search for professional individuals, such as financial advisers, that live in specific areas. This effectively gives consumers the option to select who they do business with based on ‘recommendation by association’.

So with research* showing that 33% of consumers are more likely to buy from financial advisers if they can use social media to research them and just over a quarter saying that they were likely to trust financial advisers who actively use social media, it might be time to get better acquainted with your social media business tools.

Notes: *Source – Canada Life 2013 poll of 1,315 UK adults

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