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Jan 29 2013
Facebook recently launched graph search, which has the potential to open up new possibilities for brands marketing and communicating with customers on Facebook. I wanted to take a quick moment to share my thoughts on Graph search and the implications for businesses.
Facebook graph search allows users to search for things on Facebook within the context of their friends and friends of friends. For example, I could search for:
The graph search results are limited to “friends” and “friends of friends”, which means that you aren’t seeing results broadly for everyone on Facebook, you are seeing results within your friend network.
About 6 months ago Facebook changed their edgerank algorithm with reduced the visibility that most brand pages were getting on Facebook. This meant that fewer of your fans were seeing your posts, and this change made some brands question the relevance of their Facebook marketing strategies.
With Facebook graph search, Facebook is now more important for brands.
The top brands and businesses that should pay attention to graph search are businesses that are local and those that are recommendation driven.
Local businesses, where people go into your place of business, are the most natural fits for graph searches. Since people are physically entering your place of business, they are strong targets to “like” your facebook page. Most local businesses are also very social naturally – people like to talk about their experiences.
The second is recommendation driven businesses. If people often ask their friends for recommendations about your category, graph search will be important for you. For example, rather than asking my friends “Can anyone recommend a good dentist” I can do a graph search to see the dentists that are most liked by my friends. Anything where people ask their friends – local businesses, high involvement purchases, etc will be good for graph search.
People often step back and say “will people actually use graph search” – otherwise, it isn’t really meaningful, and you can ignore this entire post.
Here is the think – Google launched a product called Google Plus Your World that customized search results based on your Google+ network. Bing has a similar product. If the search giants are building these capabilities (and they have tremendous amounts of data about people and their online behaviors), it seems that there is something to it.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but given the amount of emphasis all of the online giants have placed on this concept, I would say they are on to something…..
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