Facebook Releases Graph Search - A Powerful Tool for SMBs
This week Facebook hosted a press event announcing its latest product called, Graph Search. During the event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the key difference between ordinary web search and Graph Search.
“Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links that might have answers,” Zuckerberg said. “Linking things together based on things that you’re interested in is a very hard technical problem. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer.”
This is a very detailed and analytical approach to web searching. Users search results will be based on their likes, preferences, friends and location. Facebook will utilize the knowledge it has of individual users to distribute a personal search result.
Facebook users are increasingly spending more time on the social network searching and seeking information. According to Facebook, “Every day over 150 million people visit Facebook Pages.” Now, Facebook has created a brand new way for users to seek specific information with the beta release of Graph Search.
By typing “Friends who like restaurants in Chicago” in the search window, or, “Pictures I like,” “People who like cycling in Seattle, Washington,” and so on, users can explore and connect Facebook to the world around them. With simple, specific phrases, people can find anything they want without leaving the network.
How SMBs Will Use Graph Search
This has huge opportunities for brands and businesses actively using the platform. According to Facebook, “People can search by typing in what they're looking to find, not just by name but also by categories, and you can appear in search results based on the information you have shared and the connections you have. Whether you are a Page, place, group, app, or game, people now have a new way to discover your business.”
For a business wanting to utilize Graph Search, it will be increasingly important to be active on Facebook by establishing an engaged community and creating brand advocates. If your business is a local restaurant in Denver, users of Facebook may use Graph Search by searching for “Restaurants my friends like in Denver.” This query will then bring up friends and family of that user who like or engage with restaurants in Denver—providing them with links and suggestions to restaurants in the area.
There’s not a lot of information about how this solution will work at this time, however, most likely a rating system will go along with the search results and the brands and businesses with a higher level of engagement on Facebook will appear higher in the search results organically. Obviously, there will also be the paid search results opportunity within the platform as well.
Facebook’s current partnership with Microsoft, whose search engine Bing will provide results for users to external websites, gives advertisers insight as to how this platform will be monetized and increase reach capabilities to consumers. Graph Search is in its early stage, but it is no secret that the social media giant will try to compete with Google in the paid search arena.
Sign Up for the Beta Version
Facebook representatives said, “The preview of Graph Search is available only to people who use Facebook in U.S. English. The rollout will be gradual, starting with a very small number of users, which means you have time to start getting your Page [or app] ready for search.
“We are not launching any new advertising capabilities at this time. No immediate action is required, but we recommend that you make sure your shared information is up-to-date.
“You can learn more and request to join the beta by signing-up here: https://www.facebook.com/graphsearch. Additionally, you can read more about this announcement on our Studio blog: http://www.facebook-studio.com/news/index.”
Graph Search has the capabilities to increase consumer touch points and build a well-balanced marketing mix for businesses seeking growth. As Graph Search continues to roll out, we’ll keep you updated on the future opportunities for advertisers looking to integrate this solution in their marketing plan. If you have any questions about social media advertising or the roll out of Graph Search, feel free to contact a GannettLocal representative.