Can Facebook Graph Search get new renters into your building?

How can Facebook make it’s product more useful to users, marketers, and apartment owners? Allow those trillions of social data points on it’s over 1 billion users to be searched, catagorized, and explored.

Graph Search uses Facebook’s social data to pinpoint any combination of people, places, likes, events, photos, and interests. The launch of Facebook’s Social Graph marks a turn from a social network to a social utility.

Facebook Graph Search announcement

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announces the limited beta release of Graph Search.


What does Graph Search mean for marketers, if anything at all? Well, here’s where things could get really interesting.

The Buyer Path
Search >> research >> purchase

Google has made billions on this simple premise. It looks like Facebook may be heading in a similar direction. The difference is: Google pulls info from the web, where Facebook will use it’s social network data. (Social network data = things Facebook users have viewed clicked, liked, commented on, etc)

A natural question is: Does Facebook have enough data on it’s users to make the search meaningful? The answer is Yes. Actually, over 1200 pages on one person as revealed by this guy. It’s easy to see our lives are moving online, add in the digital natives growing up, the amount of online data is exploding. Facebook has a considerable chunk of all this data.

Does all this matter for apartment owners?

As a 31 year old renter of 12 years, I’ll use myself as an example of how the Graph Search may have value for the property management industry.

Steph is a friend of mine located in Sydney, Australia and has recently been transferred to Toronto with work (yay!). She has a handful of friends in TO and knows she has to find a place to live quick. Steph goes onto Facebook (she’s always logged in) and starts a Graph Search.

How to find an apartment through Facebook Graph search.

How residents could use Facebook to find apartments.

She searches “My friends who live in Toronto in an apartment.” It would look like this.

Facebook Graph search for apartments #2

The potential search results from Facebook Graph search for apartment hunters.

Now, how will Facebook know if I live in an apartment or not? At this point we can only guess, so here’s my best shot.

How Facebook knows I live in an apartment.
Facebook has record of everything I’ve ever done on the site. If i’ve ever thrown an event and mentioned apartment in the description. If i’ve ever commented on something and used the term apartment. Maybe a status update from 6 months ago saying “Moving in! Love the new apartment.” These are all data points that Facebook has that it can use to show Steph her “friends in Toronto living in an apartment”.

So that’s nice, but what can a property management company do to get noticed in this intent filled search to get more leads knocking on their door?

The role of apartment Facebook pages.
My profile shows the I’ve liked an apartment on Facebook. I’ve visited, commented, uploaded a few pictures to this apartment page. This would be a strong signal to Facebook that I live in a apartment building. Voila! Steph see’s my profile at the top of the list and is directed to my apartment buildings Facebook page. Steph is now entering the research phase, which leads to everyone’s favourite phase of purchase.

So there you have it, how Facebook’s new Search Graph could help get new renters into your door. If you have comments or questions feel free to email me steve (at) neigbourhoodbuzz (dot) com or use the box below.


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