Facebook is a growing business and despite some recent criticisms is quickly proving to have one of the most forward thinking strategies for utilising its gigantic user base to buff up its stock prices. Yes, despite naysayers and boycotts from internet notables, despite its Edgerank debacle, privacy woes and a growing social media rivalry with the Google juggernaut Facebook still has a solid footing in a billon-strong user base and is working to further expand it. Moreover it seems to have taken a page from Twitter’s book and is no longer trying to push its changes on advertisers but rather have them come to them organically.
The Graph Revolution
Perhaps the central pillar in Facebook’s new strategy is the so-called Graph Search engine. Though not a classic search engine in its own right Graph can be quickly used to access all the information available to the public at large on the Facebook network, from your friends’ data that you have access to all the way to publically available data of strangers that you have nothing in common with. This generates a lot of collective information that users can use in their searches for restaurants and such and that a seo marketing agency can use for its outreach. In fact, Facebook’s last redesign also seems to factor in quite heavily in the data mining efforts for Graph and in separating errant likes on topics of no particular import to actual current interests that can be used to further market similar products and services to the same people. So far Graph, however is still in beta, and at least according to Zuckerberg there’s no intention of exploiting the new feature for commercial use. It seams that at lest until it’s official, Facebook’s new data toy will be only available to users.
New Marketing Tools
This, of course doesn’t mean that Facebook will just be idle in its strategy until Graph is finalized. In fact a new marketing tool has just been pushed out. Called “Lookalike audiences” the tool is the perfect companion to Custom Audiences, Last year’s tool that let companies reach their customers through their already known data on Facebook. Lookalike audiences expands this thanks to Facebook’s wellspring of data by finding users with similar patterns to those the partner company is already targeting. And it seems that Facebook is expanding its data mining in the realm of off-line shopping as well. Through partnerships with several large data mining firms the offline purchases of Facebook users will be used for Custom Audiences profiles, allowing advertisers to reach customers that prefer their brand even if they aren’t facebook ‘fans’.
Facebook has weathered the storm of its IPO and the difficult uphill climb since. Now it seems that the social networking giant has all its ducks in a row and that it will continue to grow as a media presence for a long, long time.