3 Things You Need to Know About Facebook's Open GraphSeptember 9, 2010 By Lisa Wehr
Facebook's Open Graph protocol provides marketers with significant opportunities, which makes even the king of search, Google, feel threatened. Open Graph has accounted for great changes in the world of search marketing, benefiting the e-commerce industry. Understanding the dynamics of Open Graph will give marketers leverage in the competitive e-commerce arena.
The components of Open Graph may seem overwhelming at first. But since it's advancing e-commerce, it’s vital to enable your website for Facebook’s new platform. Here are three reasons why:
1. Open Graph goes beyond Facebook. Open Graph allows users to share content beyond the social network. The more than 500 million Facebook users constantly rave about brands, products and services. As reported by Search Engine Watch, more than 1.5 million pieces of content are shared each day on Open Graph.
Since Facebook users are no longer limited to sharing only on the social network, they have a bigger canvas (the entire web) to provide reviews and recommendations on. As users embrace the ability to share beyond Facebook, they’re becoming stronger consumers and acting as influential marketers, sharing your products across the web.
2. Facebook welcomes search. Yes, we’ve all searched for friends within Facebook’s search field. But how about restaurants or boutiques? Facebook is nearing search engine strength. Soon, users will be able to use Facebook’s search as though they were googling something. As the social network introduces and grows search, marketers will be thrown an abundant amount of opportunity.
Facebook is one of the most trafficked websites out there; once users are able to successfully search for local businesses, services and brands, you can bet they will be less inclined to search on Google. Facebook is making it a seamless experience for consumers to navigate between its network and your e-commerce site, cutting out the hassle of having to go elsewhere to find and purchase products.
3. Goodbye to pushing, hello to pulling. For years marketers have pushed brand messages onto target audiences, but with Facebook’s user profiles and the loaded demographics they contain, marketers can deliver what consumers desire. Open Graph has created semantic search — decoding the meaning of what users want without having them specifically ask for it.
Consider this hypothetical example: When someone who enjoys the band Cake searches “cake” in Facebook’s search field, they’ll receive results related to their music interests, rather than cake baking. And no longer do you have to push people to your site, as Open Graph allows companies to create storefronts on Facebook so consumers can complete transactions without ever leaving the network. And for consumers wary of sharing credit card information over the web, Open Graph is introducing a PayPal-like system, Facebook Credits.
Open Graph has and will continue to create new avenues for brands to connect with consumers. Enable your website for Open Graph; that’s where the future of social lies.