What the new Facebook Search means for nonprofits and supporters

It’s funny to me that we now live in a time where one company calls a meeting and we all listen. But unlike a few previous wolf cries, Facebook’s latest development, called ‘Graph Search’, may really change things. Here’s why.

1. Social makes it stronger

It important to remember that we are influenced heavily by our relationships.  Many don’t try a new restaurant,  buy music or donate to a nonprofit unless it’s recommended by a friend. Graph Search facilitates that process. As a supporter, you can search for those in your network that are interested in puppies, trees or saving the albino tarantula.  Instead of a Google search where you’d find a number of distant organizations that you’re unfamiliar with and may hesitate to engage with – instead, you’ll see familiar faces that are involved and I, for one, will be more willing to jump in.

Imagine searching "People in my neighborhood who like ________"

Imagine searching “People in my neighborhood who like ________”

2. Don’t miss a minute

Part of the struggle with social networks is that if you’re not online at the time someone posts something of interest, you miss it. Organizations miss out on people who may want to volunteer or donate and people miss out on opportunities they may have been looking for.  The new search functions means you can see posts from your network (and network’s network) over a longer period of history, not just the last few hours or day.

3. Compelling activity is key

If you’re an organization that is hoping to be ‘found’, it will be even more important to post regularly, include compelling photos/stories and make efforts to gain ‘likes’ to drive your rankings (how high and how often you show up when someone searches). And yes, people are already working on Facebook Search Optimization.

4. Un-friend strange people and brands

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If you’re an individual, you’ll likely want to narrow your interests down and you may want to un-friend and unlike a fewfriends and brands that don’t closely align with your interests in order to better control your network and keep from getting random messages about new products.

You can sign up for beta now. How would you use it as a supporter or organization? Share in the comments…

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