Word of Mouth on Steroids? Facebook’s Graph Search

16thJan. × ’13

Perhaps you missed Tuesday’s announcement from Facebook.  That’s OK, their new feature, Graph Search, isn’t available to marketers yet.  But CEO Mark Zuckerberg made clear that it soon would be and that’s worth more than a little of our attention.  Facebook is making Graph Search available selectively, and as they gather user feedback, will make the feature more widely available, with the final step monetizing the service by offering it to marketers.

Contrary to popular beliefe, most consumers start their quest for insurance, not by doing a Google search, but by inquiring with friends and family.  Graph Search promises to make it even easier for consumers to find out where their social network go for the best food, fun and…insurance.  There is an old axiom related to word-of-mouth:  Consumers with a bad product or service experience will share it with 9 people; those with good experiences will share with an average of 3.  Social media is already turning this axiom on its head and Graph Search has the potential to make it seem positively medieval.*

Facebook has its problems to be sure, many users are unhappy with their privacy practices, and it isn’t a foregone conclusion that Graph Search will be the next big thing.   But Facebook is under pressure to find ways to monetize the platform and has serious competition from search rival Google, who is working to deliver a social layer in search through Google+.  With the battle lines now being formed, it would seem foolish for growth-minded insurance agency not to include social media development in current marketing plans.


*What’s in your network?  The average Millenial Generation (18 – 34) Facebook Network is 318 while older Baby Boomers (57 – 65) average 85.

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