What is Graph Search?
Graph search is basically a huge upgrade on the standard Facebook search bar. Instead of the previously limited results you get from searching within Facebook, Graph Search allows users to search through connections with queries such as “Friends who like dancing” or “People who like Classical Music and live in my city”
It’s pretty clear how powerful Graph Search could potentially be. If anything, it is Facebook’s first serious step towards a truly social search experience which is something Google has been trying very hard to crack with the Google+ platform.
Graph Search is currently in closed beta with Facebook choosing to fine tune the experience before pushing it out to all users. In the first iteration they are focusing on 4 areas :
This enables searches such as “Friends of Friends who like Hot Dogs” or “People who like things I like”
Users now have much more robust ways of finding photos on Facebook. Examples are “Photos I like” or “Photos of the Eiffel Tower”
Finding locations is also easy with queries such as “Greek Restaurants in my city” or “Places in Vietnam my friends visited”
Probably the most interesting of all the 4 key areas, interests search means you can now type queries like “Movies liked by people who like movies I like” or “Books read by CEOs”.
How does it affect your Business?
It’s hard to say how Graph Search will evolve from here but from what we’ve seen so far it shows lots of potential. Based on the initial sneak peak we’re certainly excited by the possibilities. These are the top 3 things your business should take away from this announcement
Have a Facebook Page. Make it Awesome
If you don’t have a Facebook page you need to get one now. Facebook has more than 1 billion users which already made having a Facebook page important. Now that Graph Search makes pages even more visible it’s a no brainer to get on board.
Whether you’re a local restaurant or a budding musician, having no Facbeook means you’ll miss out on users discovering you via Graph Search. Facebook has recommended that you update all your page details to make sure you get found.
It’s also imperative that you keep attracting and engaging fans on your page. You want users to be engaging with your content. This plays a big role in building the strength of your social connection to users.
You should also keep generating amazing content and sharing it on your Facebook page. It makes sense that Facebook will eventually roll out Graph Search to content such as links, videos etc.
Powerful Customer Profiling
Anyone who has run Facebook ads will know how challenging it can be to uncover new interests to target and acquire fans cost effectively. Graph Search could potentially make that interest discovery process so much easier.
A vintage clothing store owner could run a search on “Bands liked by People who like things I like”, and suddenly he/she knows more about the music tastes of his target audience. He could then run ads for those interests.
More importantly however these discoveries can influence your other marketing efforts beyond Facbeook ads. For example a business selling tools for marketing teams could run a search like “Books read by CMOs”. The business can then read up on these books, highlight the key points and use elements of it in their marketing messages.
You could even go as far as writing blog posts reviewing some of these books which should attract your target readership.
Competitor research could become a lot easier with Graph Search. If you’re a mexican restaurant in New York you could run a search like “Mexican restaurants in New York that my friends like” which will uncover some fo the popular hotspots.
If that Mexican restaurant should expand to LA they could run the same search to see who the big players are.
With some creativity competitive research for any industry could become a lot more accessible and insightful
What do you think about Facebook’s Graph Search? Will you use Facebook more in your Business Marketing Strategy?