Facebook Graph Search: Entrepreneur's Delight

By Jayesh Purohit, afaqs!, | May 20, 2013
Jayesh Purohit

From demography to psychography, the world of marketing has evolved a lot and it has become more personal than general. Gone are the days when a particular segment was targeted for particular products. Based on the information gathered by census or research agencies, marketers would plan their marketing campaigns, wherein a few check boxes like age, gender, religion, region and others were considered. But this is the age of personalization. And therefore, demography of consumers has taken a back seat as marketing agencies put more emphasis on the psychography of the consumers.

But what is consumer psychography?

While Demography is concerned with the changing number of births, deaths, diseases, etc. in a community over a period of time, Psychography is a study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

So what Facebook Graph Search (FGS) has to do with psychography of consumers?

As mentioned above, today marketing agencies are more interested to know what are the likes and dislikes of consumers; what do they read; what TV shows they watch; what do they think; what are their dreams; their fears; what kind of house do they live in; what kind of car they drive; what sort of job they have; where do they shop; and more. All the information can be traced by humongous research on consumer behaviour backed by a few million bucks. And a start-up would never afford this much amount. This is where Facebook Graph Search (FGS) helps start-ups to identify what their consumers like and do not like.

Take Marketing Insights for a Start-up

As Digital Marketing expert, one has to face many challenges before he plans any marketing campaign for a particular category of products. With the help of FGS, marketing professionals get to know what consumers have set their eyes on. Moreover, they can also get the hang of their personal interests. For example, FGS gives information on interests of people who like a particular brand or organization.

Favourite interests of people who like Infibeam

Online gift is another booming business on Indian e-commerce horizon, and if any start-up wants to get some fresh ideas regarding what kind of gifts consumers like to give or receive, they can source products and plan marketing activities accordingly.

Favorite interests of people who live in Ahmedabad, India

Every year, Reader's Digest publish a list of Trusted Brands of India. To get the perfect, unbiased results, the magazine has to plan well in advance with large sum of money invested. But with FSG, I can quickly come to a decision as to which brand is more popular than the other. For example, I can easily compare number of people who like Infibeam and its competitor; hence, get to konw which one is popular.

My friends who like Infibeam

A lot can happen over a cup of coffee!

Many introvert entrepreneurs do not fancy the idea of mingling with people professionally, and hence they prefer to interact with them in a very casual way. Maybe a visit to some chic coffee shop or an urban tea stall provide them a chance to open up and strike the right conversation with like-minded folks. Now imagine this: you want to promote your start-up via strategic public relations; so use this Facebook Graph Search. Type in a query "Coffee shops liked by employees of YourStory". Once you get the result, you can visit those coffee shops and build a good rapport with YourStory employees; discuss your start-up over a cup of coffee. And maybe in their next newsletter or on the website, YourStory may carry your interview. By the way, YourStory has actually covered many stories and interviews of number of Indian start-ups. Kudos to YourStory!

Coffee shops liked by employees of YourStory

Groups joined by people who liked YourStory

Pages liked by employees of Infibeam

Fund Raising/Eco-system: Every CEO's Nightmare

My friends who visited 500 startups

people with friends who like YourStory who live in California

Let's face it. Finance is the blood for any start-up, which is crawling on the internet. As a young CEO, probably you would be unaware of things like how to contact Venture Capitalists, how to pitch in idea of your start-up and most importantly - how to raise fund to pump money into your new company.

Facebook could be your ground zero to find contacts of VCs and other like-minded communities, who can help kick-start your dream venture. Run a query like My friends who visited 500 startups. The search query will list number of friends, who have visited 500 Startups, a start-up accelerator program that funds various start-ups. Or probably you may stumble upon somebody from Silicon Valley (California), who can discuss issues related to start-up.

But raising fund is not the only stumbling block you have to clear. For any start-up, challenges are in plenty. From developing your website to marketing, building the basic infrastructure to hunting human intelligence, from designing the best UI that gives first-rated user experience to the business development - you need right set of minds at the right time. Again Facebook is at your service. Type in a query: people with friends who like YourStory who live in California. This will list people, who live in California and like YourStory - India's biggest platform for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business ideas. Moreover, California is a cradle of Silicon Valley, which is a hotspot for entrepreneurs. You get the best advice on all your queries related to your venture. YourStory is India's answer to Silicon Valley, hence, people who like YourStory and live in California can be of great help to Indian entrepreneurs. Once your website gets a green signal from professionals living in California, you can easily take off with flying colours in the entrepreneurial firmament.

It's Not Your Search Engine

If there are benefits of Facebook Graph Search, the tool certainly has some limitations. And one of the glaring shortcomings is that it's not your search engine, where you just type in any query and get the answers. You need to get used to this tool first and then make the most of it. And meanwhile, if you find another such graph search, explore it.

However, this tool is surely going to help entrepreneurs in more ways than listed above. Possibilities are countless...it's up to human imagination; how users will use the Facebook Graph Search. Agreed, there are other ways to connect with your kind of people, but Facebook has an edge in terms of number of users across myriad demography and psychography. So, have you started exploring Facebook Graph Search? Use it and share your feedback with me.

My sincere thanks go to Jaydip Parikh, who, extended his support by supplying relevant images after typing in queries in Facebook. Jaydip Parikh is a Digital Evangelist, social media expert, blogger and an eminent speaker on digital marketing, social media marketing, start-up, e-commerce, mobile apps and more.