How Facebook Graph Search Can Help Lawyers With Marketing

Facebook graph search is a tool that's still in its infancy, however, it has already proven to be both powerful and useful to many marketers and professionals. Released only in January of 2013, many of the advantages are still being discovered by marketers, companies, and professionals, meaning this is the perfect opportunity for lawyers to explore it’s uses.

The Facebook Graph Search does away with keyword-based search, the style that most search engines use and most people are familiar with. For example, when a potential client is seeking an attorney, they’ll use Google to search for “Denver DUI Lawyer.” Google will then cross-reference all the websites it knows to include those keywords, rank them by relevancy and a few other factors, and then produce numerous potential matches for the users query. 

This has been an effective search protocol for years, but now, Facebook has branched out to include user data and readily available information in the mix. Using Graph Search, legal professionals can target their marketing efforts based on their ideal audience, include particular information that is relevant to those people, as well as become more findable themselves. 


What is The Social Graph?

Think of Facebook’s Graph Search as one big social game of “Six Degrees of Separation.” Essentially, it shows the connections between Facebook users, companies, and their activity on the web and through the social media network. For attorneys and other users, Graph Search allows you to examine connections based on user data. 

Infromation such as what users have “liked,” where they work, live, what hobbies and TV shows that enjoy, and even what details they’ve posted on their own profiles. With this “bird’s eye view” of Facebook user, the social graph can show commonalities, and gives you the opportunity to draw conclusions about those commonalities.

For instance, a DUI lawyer looking to target a younger demographic could use the Graph Search to find users that are over 25 years old, have checked-in at local bars, and drive luxury vehicles. Once you’ve found a good base of these kinds of users, you can them begin to create a social media campaign that’s focused on their likes and actions, as well as include users similar to the ones you’re already targeting. This means Graph Search could help you target users that are in need of your services and don’t even know it yet!


How Can Graph Search Help Lawyers?

The social graph can be a huge benefit for lawyers that are looking for some way to reach their target audience by seeing what they all have in common and how they can capitalize on those interests. For instance, a maritime law specialist could look at all of the potential clients who might need his or her services, and see what it was that connected them all together. The lawyer could then take those similarities, interests, and other types of data, whether it was a certain hobby or past time, a geographic area, an age group, etc. and focus on catering to those concepts. 

Lawyers can cater to those concepts by including them on his or her Facebook business page, in Facebook promotions, on statuses, and so on. Essentially, you’re discovering what interests your target audience so you can then pique their interest by putting it on your Facebook properties. This way, you can create a much bigger impact when it comes to advertising.


Semantics: Beyond Keywords

What makes the Facebook Graph Search platform so different from other forms of searching when it comes to marketing is that it goes beyond keywords to find out what really draws potential groups of people together. The way that most marketing works is that it focuses on given keywords, such as "maritime lawyer", so that people who are seeking those services will be able to find them. 

However, good marketing will go beyond the obvious to find people that might not even be searching for a product or service. That's what Facebook’s Graph Search does; it allows a lawyer to take a closer look at the ties that bind a group of people together and then seen how to pluck on those strings to make sure that he or she gets the biggest possible impact.

Graph search is still in its infancy, only being released at the beginning of this year. But because of that, this is the prime time for lawyers and other professionals to discover the many ways it can lend a hand to your marketing efforts. 

Keep in mind that traditional search tools are still available and should not be ignored, either. Only time will tell how Graph Search will develop so it’s important not to abandon tried-and-true search platforms, either.

Written by Pete Wise for the Douglas and London Law Firm; whom represent clients across the entire US. They have decades of history as an New York law firm and I help by posting to my facebook page and writing for the firm.

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