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At the start of 2013, the most popular social network in the world, Facebook, launched a new tool called Open Graph that is already promising to alter the world of online marketing forever. While some say that Facebook Open Graph will merely allow greater access into the private lives and web behavior of millions of consumers, it’s a goldmine for marketers.

Graph allows you to search for things for which others are searching and sharing with their networks. It gives you the opportunity to monitor user behavior from the Facebook platform and provides analytical data in real time. Graph is still in the beta phase, with a waiting list in progress. When it rolls out officially it will revolutionize
online marketing.

Understanding Buyer Behavior
The ability to peer closely at the responses and behavior of consumers is invaluable to marketers. Many pay a ton of money to have research companies conduct surveys or for special customer intelligence data lists, but more social and dynamic methods are now available. Why buy a list of market research data when you can access real-time social intelligence? Facebook Graphs takes the middle man out of the equation, and gives online
marketing managers more tools for tracking and understanding this behavior.

Accessing Buyer Trends
Marketing agencies spend a great deal of time developing brands and great advertisements and then testing and retesting them for effectiveness. Many still rely on costly, time-consuming focus groups that don’t always gather accurate audience opinion. Social Graph allows you to do it in a simple dashboard that’s a lot more accessible to marketers than a lengthy research collection process. According to author and entrepreneur Rob
Reed
, “Graph Search is how you can leverage the connections between friends and the brands they like to generate unique and personalized search results.”

Generating Relevant Leads
Counting likes and shares doesn’t offer a valuable measure of marketing success; Social Graph finally gives marketers useful information about their audiences’ interactions with their brands. Therefore, smart B2B marketing pros can harness this to generate more qualified sales leads through relevant searches generated by the Graph. Why? When someone shares something they like with their networks, it automatically becomes trustworthy, so others are more likely to click through to generate semi-warm leads.

Monitoring Sales in Real Time
Facebook Graph Search links marketers to user analytics so you can watch the impact that Facebook marketing delivers. You can see how users search, follow, and click-through content from a wide array of devices.

So, what do the marketing experts say so far about Facebook Graphs?
While it’s still a little too early to say how successful Facebook Graphs will be for overall online marketing activities, it will certainly be a powerful way to better manage social media marketing activities and provide real-time tools for more responsive campaigns. Some experts think it’s too invasive and borders on consumer privacy invasion, but from the marketing intelligence standpoint, it’s been a long time coming.