Four Facebook Graph Search Predictions for Your Business
If you’ve not already heard, Facebook is launching its own search function- Facebook Graph Search. Facebook made the announcement earlier this week and, as can be expected, this could make big changes to the nature of search and social. As the feature is yet to be launched, it’s hard to say exactly what Graph Search is going to mean for inbound marketing and businesses. But, if nothing else, we know that a change on a big social player like Facebook will certainly mean changes for anyone using social media for business.
What is Facebook Graph Search all about?
First things first, Graph Search is a brand-new search function within Facebook, which is powered by Microsoft Bing. Facebook claims that their search function is going to be very different to current search engines. Instead of entering a search term and just getting a long list of links, you’ll get a direct answer that is based on who you are connected to and what their likes and recommendations are. In short, Facebook is going to be using social signals to turn search into a social function.
So, if you search for a cafe, then you’ll be given a list of places based on where your Facebook friends like. Facebook will also use signals like location-based check-ins, Likes on the business page and tags to gauge how popular it is. Unlike using Google, which will return a list of links for websites that have done the best SEO job, Facebook Graph Search relies heavily on social signals.
As Facebook is first and foremost a social network, the search results are ranked by how important people are to you. But the search function isn’t just about finding places your friends like. You’ll also be able to use Facebook Graph Search to find the answer to more detailed searches, such as “Books liked by librarians” or “Museums likes by historians”. You can also make you search city or country specific, allowing you to search for places while travelling.
The privacy settings on Facebook do mean that if your pictures are only viewable by friends, then they won’t come up in the search results for anyone who isn’t your friend. Also, Facebook has announced that, before the feature is made live, people will be given the option to review what information is public.
The function is currently in beta. It’s going to be gradually implemented, allowing Facebook to gather data on how it is being used and tweak the functionality.
But, enough about the functionality of Facebook Graph Search, take a look below to find out my top four predictions for Facebook Graph Search and what they mean for your business:
#1 Renewed importance of Facebook Likes for business pages
It’s always nice to be Liked on Facebook. But in terms of creating lasting engagement, Facebook Likes are only the first step. Now, with Graph Search using people’s recommendations and preferences to filter search rankings, we could see Likes playing a very important role in how high your business comes on the results page. Could Graph Search make the page Like the main Facebook marketing metric?
#2 Businesses with a physical location will need to maintain a places pages for each branch
One of the main benefits of Graph Search seems to be finding cafes, restaurants, venues etc. that come with recommendations from friends. If your business is spread across several physical locations, you’re likely to need a business page for each site. Also, if your business only operates in a specific geographical location, then a well maintained Facebook places page could prove to be essential.
#3 It could draw ad spend away from Google and into Facebook
Businesses will have to increasingly think about whether they should put ad money into Facebook over Google. Already, Facebook ads offer more targeted options for marketers. But, if people do take to Graph Search and start using it in place of Google for some searches, then it could mean the people you are trying to reach are more likely to be on Facebook.
This prediction will depend a lot on who it is you are trying to reach and whether they are mostly using Facebook or Google for search.
#4 Bing could start to challenge Google
This one is perhaps the most farfetched of my Facebook Graph Search predictions. But, if Graph Search really does take off, then it could see Bing becoming a more dominant player against Google. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Bing is going to be powering Facebook Graph Search. Second, Second, Facebook will be making suggestions in the search bar and will be displaying results that come from Bing itself.
What are your Facebook Graph Search Predictions? Is it going to be a game-changer or just fall flat? Let me know what you think
Want to up your social media lead generation? Download our free presentation