If you’re like many business owners you might have attempted some form of Social Media Marketing in the past few years. The idea is you get people to LIKE your brand and then you hope their friends see that and care enough to be interested in your brand.

There’s one major problem with that. People don’t work that way. Key buying decisions are made when a customer is looking for something they want to do or buy. What are those LIKES doing for you when that user turns to Google to find a solution to their wants or needs? At the moment, nothing.

However, that’s all about to finally change.

Facebook has revealed their latest product, Facebook Graph Search. If you don’t yet understand what Facebook Graph Search can give to users take a look at this quick video:

Sign up for an invite here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

How does Facebook know what your friends are interested in or where they have been? Through the massive amounts of LIKE and check-in data that users have been submitting for the past couple of years.

Thats right, those LIKES you have been trying so hard to build might finally start to pay off. Imagine a user turns to Facebook and asks Graph Search:

“What clothes does my girlfriend like?”

All those LIKES your girlfriend gave to clothing brands will show up.

Or what if you try: “What hotels have my friends stayed at in Melbourne.

A list appears and you quickly message your friends asking them how their stay was. After you get the thumbs up from one Hotel your off to book knowing that your mate had a great stay and the location was perfect.

Marketers already know that the value of a recommendation from a trusted friend is far greater than any other form of marketing.

What does this mean for Social Media Marketing?

While Facebook’s Social Graph Search is still in Beta and not available to the greater population yet, its likely this will have a big impact on the way people get recommendations. This is the validation that Social Media Marketing has been seeking since its rocky early beginnings.

Now more than ever your Social Network foot print and LIKE fan base could be vital to standing out amongst the increasing competition caused by cheap international shipping and global ecommerce.

Where can it go from here?

Well its likely that Google will also attempt something similar as the potential of Social Networking Graph based recommendations have been talked about since the early days of Friendster and MySpace.

Imagine a Siri or Google Now voice search on your phone which tapped your Social Network for answers. From there its just a quick Voice Message to those users to ask them their opinion. These kinds of Crowd Sourced answers from trusted networks could drastically change the way people search for products and services.

Search Google for a plumber? Or ask your social network if anyone knows a good plumber? Who knows you might be connected to an actual plumber via another friend and not even know it. We might even need a new term for Social Media connectivity discounts, Face(book) Rates anyone?

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