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May 1, 2013

Five Ways Facebook Graphs can help your Business

The latest addition to the Facebook innovative tools is Facebook Graphs, which has faced some flak for displaying a shocking disregard for the privacy of individuals. But then Facebook was never about privacy (which is good for business, as long as you haven’t made any social or political gaffes online).

Nevertheless, Facebook Graphs appears to be here to stay. And there are a few ways that you as a business owner can leverage the tool for inbound marketing.

First we will assume you already have a Facebook account, and that you have been using it for marketing your brand, in the way that it should be used. Next we will assume that you either already have graph search enabled on your brand’s Facebook account, or you will be doing so soon.

Note that Facebook Graphs is likely to benefit you most if you are the owner of a local business. However for almost any kind of business, the Graph Search tool has the capability to bring about a complete change in your online marketing strategy. If you’re not spending hundreds of dollars on online marketing tools, then you can make use of this free set of tools to impact your marketing strategy instead.

Here’s how you can use Facebook Graph Search to your benefit:

1. Find fans and customers on Facebook
There is a vast potential target audience and customers waiting for you on Facebook. Graph Search makes it easy to find them. Find out the people that have liked your page. You can connect with them by asking them to review you on your page. Give them incentives to return to do business with you by offering them gift cards or discount coupons.

2. Find media personalities and journalists through your friends
In the past if you wanted to use Facebook to locate journalists that your mutual friends knew, you would have to do manual searches. But maybe there already are a few journalists that you didn’t know about who are associated with your business through Facebook. Graph Search will help you find them and make the most of their relationship with you.

3. Look for talent with a view to hire
Facebook is a treasure house of talent. It’s just that it wasn’t so easy to find them all these years. Now, Graph Search lets you use its tools to locate the right people who can be potential partners, employees or freelancers. If you have an online business and are looking for talented people with particular skills essential for your business, you can search for ‘works at Y and lives in your city’ or ‘likes book publishing and lives in your city’. You can also search for particular interests that are close to the interests you want your company employees to have.

4. Carry out surveys
Using Graph Search, it’s also become easy to search for people who like a particular product or a tool and then have them help you with surveys. You can also have these individuals help you test your beta tools. It was not possible to do this earlier, because there was no way to know which individuals were associated with or had interests in specific products.

5. Create a gallery for your business effortlessly
Do you have an online business selling consumer goods, specialty items, fashion accessories or anything that can be visualized? If you’re on Facebook, chances are that you already have a fan following sharing photos of your products.
If you want to create an effortless gallery of your goods for your Google places account and website, you can simply search for those images through Facebook Graphs, ask permission to use them and reward the providers (your fans) in some way such as discounts. You can also keep them interested by asking them to take part in photo contests.

This is way easier (and more credible because it’s personal) than having a professional come and take the shots for you.
For all the negative criticism that Facebook Graph Search has faced for its public revelation of personal preferences, there is great potential in the tool for business marketing. While these tips will work best for local online and brick-and-mortar business owners, it can also work for global brands that want to reach out to the rest of the world.

So go on and join the Graph bandwagon while it’s new and stay ahead of your competition.

Collins Paris writes content that snaps, crackles and pops on a variety of topics related to web-based business and working from home, from SEO and Web marketing to writing and eCommerce. To find more sizzling content, you can visit him at