Facebook's New Graph Search Defines The Value Of A "Like"
January 22, 2013
"Today we're going to take a little trip to our roots" – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
"The landlord," as we affectionately call Mark Zuckerberg here at Jacobs Media, announced the beta launch of a new product within Facebook last week called "Graph Search." In short, it's like a personalized Yelp - a more intimate (and perhaps, credible) way to discover information.
Here's how it works.
Unlike web searches where the results are information that might have what you're looking for – Zuck's "Graph Search" is intended to offer a more meaningful outcome as the results you'll receive from a search is filtered by your Facebook friends and "Like" pages.
Here's the first example.
This is what it looked like during the announcement of Graph Search when someone typed in "jewelry/watches pages that my friends like." The search suggestions will take you to a unique results page that will look something like this:
As you see here, the results show more friends liked "Modify Watches." Could something like that have a positive impact on brands? That more of their friends like one brand over the other? Could that be a motivating factor in choice? Or is it the quality of friends who liked one brand over the other that will make the consumer choose?
There are all kinds of scenarios you could play out here with Graph Search but this is really like a more refined "word of mouth."
And here's why this matters to you.
A new study by Weber Shandwick with KRC research reveals that two-thirds of potential consumer electronics shoppers are inspired by a review to choose a brand or product that had not been part of their original thought process. And their research shows that the average purchaser checks out 11 customer reviews while doing shopping research.
So that tells you that Facebook may really be onto something with "Graph Search" by redefining recommendations. Could "likes" speak louder than actual reviews in the future?
Only time will tell.
There are so many ways stations could use "Graph Search" to its advantage. One way is to include this as an additive market research tool.
Look at this example offered by Facebook:
"Graph Search" is like a database in that you can query it.
If you're a station that does on-air interviews, for example, it could be a useful tool for producers and on-air talent looking for specific people or types of people.
Facebook states this tool will "enable journalists to do richer searches when trying to find an expert for a story." So if you're focusing on a story about a company and you're looking to interview someone who works there, you'd search "people who work at ACME Inc, in New York" to find potential guests.
Zuckerberg is calling "Graph Search" a "rolodex of 1 billion potential sources."
So those are just a couple of examples of how you could use "Graph Search." But how do you ensure you'll be seen in search?
Facebook recommends the following:
- The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the "About" section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
- If you have a location or a local place page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
- Focus on attracting the right fans to your page by giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.
As you see, there's a little Search Engine Optimization with this – make sure to craft copy that includes keywords that fans use to describe you and your product.
And Zuckerberg's "one more thing" is that Bing is integrated into Facebook, so you can do web searches if you like within "Graph Search," too.
If you want to start using the new feature, you can sign up for the waiting list here if you haven't done so already:
And for you personally, Zuckerberg points out the same privacy settings that already limit the visibility of you and your content remain in place. So, if you've "blocked" someone – they still can't find you. And if your content is marked "friends only" – it's still only friends who can see your stuff.
For more on how privacy works with "Graph Search," here is Facebook in its own words.
This is Zuckerberg's way of freshening up his product, providing more meaningful competition with Yelp and Google's "personal results" search, getting people in the habit of not relying on the live feed as much, and of course, adding another revenue stream for his investors.
I will keep my eye on this feature as it is fluid and notify you as more opportunities come up.
Please feel free to reach out to me on Facebook if there are any questions about this feature I can answer.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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