Facebook Graph Search: What it Means for Marketers: Resources, Videos, Demo

We are fortunate to have this guest post about the new Graph Search Facebook beta written by Freelance Writer Terra L. Fletcher, one of my co-authors on the DIRJournal blogs.

Introducing Facebook Graph Search

Click image to read official Facebook announcement and sign up for Beta

FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCH

Google and Facebook have long had a battle. Today, Facebook is making strides with search. Graph Search was unveiled by Zuckerberg on January 15,2013. Facebook’s search until now has been, well… terrible. Graph Search, currently in beta, looks to be quite the improvement.

Analysts are predicting that Graph Search will provide impressive micro-targeting for advertisers who want to know their friends’ preferences before making decisions. Whether searching for a restaurant or a life partner, Facebook’s Graph Search just may have the answer.

Huffington Post described the new tool well:

“If you’ve not heard about Graph Search, it … is being positioned as the third pillar of the Facebook platform alongside the Newsfeed and Timeline. Facebook Timeline is where you post content. The Newsfeed is how that content gets distributed.

And now Graph Search is how you can leverage the connections between your friends and the brands they like to generate unique and personalized search results.

In other words, Graph Search enables you to search for the best places to eat, to shop, to stay — to buy insurance or to find a plumber — based on shared social connections; the results are implicit recommendations from trusted sources.

With Graph Search, Facebook is opening a new world of social discovery by unlocking the value of our likes, check-ins, photos, and more.”

Unlike major search engines that provide lists of links that may contain the answer you’re seeking, Facebook promises to eliminate a step and return very specific answers.

Local business pages may be bolstered as their pages
get discoveredusing products similar to
the “nearby” feature recently released.

Local businesses on Facebook should encourage customer engagement. Remind users to like, check-in, recommend, rate, and tag photos.

Relationships continue to grow in importance. Mass production of corporate content dulls in comparison. (Nationwide chains may suffer initial shock from the switch to hyper-local focus from brand focus.)

One forewarning: Facebookers in general will need to be retrained. Facebook users who spend the majority of their time on their own newsfeed (or cyberstalking other’s Timelines) will need to adjust.

Instead of passively consuming content

Facebook users will have to search.

Granted, they don’t need to leave Facebook to do it, but they will need to learn that they can enter open-ended and specific queries and get out of the habit of leaving Facebook to search on Google.

As an advertiser, you should be curious about how social searches will function. Facebook Graph Search should keep users on Facebook longer. The increased time will give more data to Facebook and advertisers who are seeking to present more relevant ads. It’s likely that businesses with the most likes and check-ins will shoot to the top of Facebook search results.

Companies seeking better graph search result rankings will purchase more ads on Facebook to get them. Perhaps 2013 will see Facebook (which made over $5 billion in 2012) grow in revenue. (Google made over $50 billion last year.)

Improved relevancy means higher conversion.

With higher conversion rates, advertisers are more likely

to pay a premium, taking a slice out of Google’s pie.

Read the latest from Facebook about Graph Search. While you’re there, request to be added to the waiting list for the beta test. Local companies that take the initiative and take advantage of this new tool will gain a competitive edge. Focus on reputation and relevance.

Short video explanation of Facebook Graph Search:

FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCH VIDEOS:

Have you signed up for Facebook Graph Beta?

What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments.

If you want to read more of Terra’s content, follow @TerraFletcher on Twitter. To find out more about her, visit her Fletcher Freelance site.

You can also subscribe to the DIRJournal blogs where Terra L. Fletcher and I (Gail Gardner, GrowMap) both write by entering any email address on this DIRJournal Subscribe page to see them. Coming soon: feeds to allow you to subscribe by author.