Like Us, Tweet It, smile It is amazing how social media has weaved its way into the lifestyles of people of all generations and demographics. Facebook has made its fame on connecting people and allowing its users to stay in touch with friends they want to follow through life and may not have another way to stay connected.
Recently, there has been a big push for businesses to become involved in the social media world to add a personal touch between practice and patient. However, in the dental and orthodontic fields, some have struggled to see big returns on investing time and effort with social media.
That is all about to change with two words – “graph search.” If you are unfamiliar with these two words, this new capability will completely change the way that Facebook has been used in the past. “Graph search” is basically Google search ability within a users Facebook community.
Users will have the option to conduct a keyword search within their Facebook friends, likes, pictures, and videos. For example, if someone were looking for an orthodontist for their child, they could search their entire Facebook network to see what orthodontists their friends or even their friends’ friends recommend, like, or have posted about. Parents feel more confident going to an orthodontist that one of their friends had a positive experience with rather than simply picking one in their area from a Google search.
With graph search, the focus of social media is not only on connecting with patients on a more personal level, but connecting with their entire network on a personal level. Search engines will no longer be the main place to find answers because Facebook will offer customized answers and personal recommendations based on the people they trust – their friends and family.
To further illustrate the importance of this new feature, if two random people in different states did a Google search for ‘teeth’, they will most likely get very similar (if not almost identical) results. However, if these same two people made this search on Facebook with graph search, their results would be completely different based on their connections and networks with their friends, profile information, and likes.
Facebook has already begun implementing with a beta (test) group of users and plans to get this launched as soon they feel like it is ready. This new feature is very simple to use and Facebook is used billions of times per day by the people in the demographics of potential patients – teens, moms, and parents.
To get more info, go to facebook.com/about/graphsearch and watch the two videos posted on the page. The video featuring CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other company directors even uses the example of finding a dentist with graph search.
This exciting technology could forever change the value of a ‘like’ for dental or orthodontic professionals, and it creates a whole new dimension for patient referrals. Graph search is definitely going to impact how the everyday parent makes their everyday decisions and how dentists and orthodontists get these patients to choose their offices.