The popularity of Facebook makes it one of the webs premier destinations for getting the most out of your social advertising dollars. Facebook gives brands the ability to target by age, gender, interests, location, or even relationship status, making Facebook's targeting capabilities one of the best options for reaching your target audience.
Now Facebook’s Open Graph is making those options even better.
What is Open Graph?
When used correctly Facebook’s Open Graph can be a dynamic tool for brands to help promote a specific campaign, or just grow their overall social presence. As brands look to increase their Facebook presence, Facebook Open Graph provides an opportunity to help foster that engagement.
Since Facebook has allowed Open Graph to be used by third-party applications it has quickly become one of the best ways to get users of the social network to engage with your brand, find other users who share similar interests, and ultimately share your message with their friends. Quite simply, Open Graph is Facebook’s version of word-of-mouth advertising.
For example, if you choose to log into Spotify with Facebook, the application uses open graph technology to share what you’re listening to with your friends, by posting stories in their News Feeds. Friends can then comment, Like, or listen to the song themselves. Basically, Open Graph provides a way to take what would normally be a static action (listening to a song) and turn it into a social action.
Through Open Graph, brands have the opportunity to see what is being shared, and who is sharing it - crucial factors in gaining a better understanding of their fan base. This information allows brands to then make informed decisions on what their fans want to read, listen to, watch, and share.
Traditionally, the dialogue amongst brands and their consumers has been largely one-sided. The general process usually involved a brand’s page sharing links or videos and hoping for traffic. Now Open Graph takes out a lot of the guesswork, allowing users to control what is being shared.
Getting the most out of Open Graph
Focus on Quality Content
Since Open Graph Search helps users find what’s shared within the Facebook environment, it’s essential that brands focus on producing content that their fans will want to share, tag, or comment on. Brands need to make sure that their content is shared on Facebook so that the results will show up in a Graph search.
Improving Your Engagement
One of the most important aspects in leveraging the power of Facebook is making sure that brands continue to engage their fans and develop connections. Quite simply, the stronger your connections are, the higher your brand will rank in Graph Search.
Understanding your audience
Facebook’s Open Graph gives brands the ability to understand their audience on a much deeper level. Instead of simply seeing that a user has Liked a page, you can now see past that surface action and understand why they Liked it.
Brands can now search for “pages Liked by members that like shoes” which will allow them to see what else it is that these same people like. What this means is that now you can fine-tune your marketing materials to make sure that your brand is getting in touch with the right audience via materials that they’re more likely to engage with.
Open Graph technology allows brands to now explore the “how” and “why” of engagement which ultimately creates a much clearer picture of who it is they want to target.
Although Open Graph is enabling brands to reach and engage with their customers in ways that did not seem possible just a few years ago, it does not happen by accident. Brands still have to be focused on a high level of quality in their marketing. One great way to engage users on a deeper, more meaningful level is with the implementation of more engaging rich media ad units such a video integration, special offers, countdowns to a specific event, or fan polls. Leveraging these types of interactive units will lead to higher engagement and also make fans more likely to share your message with their friends.
The payoff is that you will now have users promoting your brand, making the ROI from Open Graph one of the most powerful social tools anywhere on the web.