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Facebook’s gonna pump, you, up

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Most insurance agents have profound respect — even reverence — for the power of referrals. There’s nothing better than a client-referred prospect who just shows up at your desk, ready, willing and happy — no cold calls needed.

At least, there wasn’t anyway. Until now.

Facebook recently announced the rollout of graph search, a new tool that will make old-school referrals look like Captain America, pre-Super Soldier Serum. (For non-nerds, that means uber wimpy.) Using graph search, Facebook users will be able to look up anything — people, places, TV shows and, yes, insurance agents and financial advisors — based on what their friends, family, friends of friends, members of the Dallas Cowboys, prominent chefs or anyone else might like.

Say, for example, I’m a hungry book-lover in search of a good meal while I’m in New York. I could use Facebook’s graph search to find New York restaurants liked by my Facebook friends. But what if my Facebook friends don’t travel to New York that often? I could broaden my results and search for New York restaurants liked by the friends of all my Facebook friends. Or let’s say I’m looking for a more literary dining experience. I could also look up New York restaurants that are liked by best-selling authors.

Whatever search method I choose, the results I receive will be based on an algorithm that places a high value on Facebook fans, posts, pictures, check-ins and the like. If 10 of my friends like Momofuku, five of them have checked in there recently, and three have posted pictures of their meals there, it’s highly likely Momofuku will be near the top of my search results.

Or, that is, it will be if Momofuku is on Facebook. If Momofuku decides Facebook is a waste of time and ignores it, my friends won’t be able to like it, and some other Facebook-savvy restaurant will grab the top spot in my search results — and likely my business, too.

I think you see where this is headed.

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As someone in a profession that relies largely on referrals, your business could boom with Facebook graph search. The more clients like your Facebook page or check in at your office, the more likely it is you’ll be at the top of search results when non-clients start looking for an insurance pro.

And those non-clients won’t be strangers off the street. They’ll be coming to you knowing Aunt Ruth and Neighbor Bob really like you, so, hey, they might as well like you. It’s just like word-of-mouth referrals, but you won’t have to harangue your current clients to talk you up. That part’s now practically automatic.

Or it will be, if you’re on Facebook. If you’re not? Now would probably be a good time to join … or to get really, really good at cold calling.  

For more from Corey Dahl, see:

Fake it till you make it

Time is always running out

The not-so-good old days