Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced the next cog in the Facebook
discovery machine: Graph Search. Joining Timeline and News Feed,
Graph Search is designed to give users the ability to filter and
uncover relevant content within their own networks.
Graph Search is also a way to keep
people on Facebook to find this content, rather than leaving for
Google or another search property. And for brands, it is fair to
expect Facebook to integrate user intent (while they use Graph
Search) into its broader targeting capabilities.
The full Facebook announcement can be seen here.
More on Graph
As a shortcut, you might think of
Graph Search as being in direct contrast to Google's model: Graph
Search goes narrow while Google goes wide.
With Graph Search, a user will type a query into the Facebook
search box and get a curated result based on his or her own
network. Contrast this to Google, where a search result yields
higher-level links and content that a user can then drill into to
evolve his or her decision making.
As shown below, users will
also be able to filter search results on a broader range of
For brands, the immediate importance
of Graph Search will likely be dictated by the importance of local
and mobile access because - out of People, Places, Photos and
Interests - Places is likely to be the most relevant. Brands with
physical locations (e.g., retailers, restaurants and hotels) will
want to increase their consumer engagement in order to increase the
likelihood that they will appear in a user's search results.
This is not to say that brand pages
don't remain important. As users conduct queries and filter
results, brand pages will, in fact, be surfaced. Additionally,
there are two ways by which a brand can show up in a Graph
- Because the algorithm decides a user's friends are connected to
- Or a brand purchases a Sponsored Results ad
A secondary implication is that a
brand's organic posts now reach fewer people, following a change to
the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm last October. This means that an
additional investment may be required to increase exposure.
What to do right now
- Review your Facebook Page content
- Work with your team at MediaCom to firm up your fan acquisition
strategy and evaluate the implications to your organic post
- Consider a Sponsored Results ad
- Optimize for Bing (the back-up search engine if a user gets no
results from Graph Search)
What's a Facebook fan
An ongoing challenge for brands is
determining what a Facebook fan is worth, especially now that
calculation is once again changed because of Graph Search. As
brands think about engaging with Facebook users, it will no longer
be just a calculation of sales but also one of influence.
The next most likely evolution of
Graph Search will be mobile integration, and we'll help you keep an
eye on what's happening. Beyond mobile, the most important and
hopefully positive implication will be the enhanced "intent
intelligence" that Graph Search may yield, and the ability to use
that new asset for more relevant and timely targeting.
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