- Facebook Graph Search has launched as a public invitation only BETA today, in what Facebook are describing as a very different alternative solution to searching content online.
- Following on from Mark Zuckerberg’s comments at TechDisrupt 2012 regarding the development of the Facebook search team, today we saw the announcement of Facebook’s entry into the search space.
- Facebook Graph Search returns results based on people, places, photos, actions performed and content shared across a Facebook user’s network of contacts & friends. All these factors influence and provide personalised search results which are unique to the individuals based on their Facebook friend’s opinions & actions.
What Does This Mean?
- Whilst the BETA launch of Graph Search will not affect brands activities on Facebook immediately, it is an indication of the imminent changes to the ways that users discover content through Facebook. Individuals won’t just use Facebook to see what’s happening with their friends but they will now be able to use it as a source to query any questions they have.
- The launch of the tool sees a focus on people, photos, places and interests, but plans to shortly include posts, and open graph actions. The search function is soon to be ported to all platforms after initially being launched on desktop, and in a video accompanying the release, Mark Zuckerberg sees the feature becoming a pillar of the Facebook Platform
- Ultimately this functionality provides marketers with other ways to quantify or measure the impact that Facebook investment has on their brand or product, adding tangible value to likes, comments and shares.
For example users search experience is likely to shift from typing “KIA New Car Reviews” in Google to a much more socially orientated peer-peer search in Facebook; “Which of my friends owns a KIA?”. This means brands will need to give more love to their pages and content they publish to realize the benefits through increased searchable value of ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments’.
- It is our view that Facebook is solely focusing on the search lens which encapsulates “My World,” whereas Google predominantly focuses on the lens of “The World” despite moves that it has made towards personalisation of search through its mobile, local and social products. Facebook currently has access to the stronger social dataset but Google has a far stronger lineage in providing the right search results through diversity of sources. Which is the better solution of personalized search is yet to be seen based on user experience.
What Actions Should Brands Take?
- Facebook recommend that brands complete all information in the Facebook business profile section of their page, and publish content that encourages sharing and likes.
- Reprise recommend the linking of all brand pages with locations such as stores, as this will ensure all peer-peer recommendations/actions will show up when individuals search across Facebook
- Ensure that content shared within your Facebook feed is derived from the content people are searching for along with linking to your own website which will result in increased visibility for your brand and product suite.
In conclusion the task of optimising the reach of your brand in Search & Social has just expanded; the focus still remains on creating relevant & compelling content and closer to deriving the value of this effort in terms of brand loyalty, marketing reach and actual sales.
These are exciting times as the gloves are off in the Social Search space, whilst Google Plus search is increasing it doesn’t have the scale of Facebook in Australia but it does have the greater cross device experience. In short the race is on!
We would love to hear what you think. Ping us a comment