How Can Digital Marketers Use Facebook Graph Search?

Since Facebook announced a press conference on 15th January, digital marketers globally were speculating the features of the new product. The whole gamut of speculations were related to making Facebook more easy to use and engaging with the users.

Facebook had been asking users to share a slice of their life since its inception. With a huge pile of social data available Mark Zuckerberg announced the Search Graph for its users. It is an interface which allows users to know about their network, based on the data shared by them.What Facebook is attempting to do with Graph Search is build a tool that will compile and organize those massive piles of interest data it holds and map that data according to intent signals based on users’ queries.

Graph Search, however, uses natural language processing so any user can frame queries in a simple way. For example, “pages liked by people who like Oprah Winfrey” or “music liked by people who work at Facebook”  would reveal relevant data according to their intent.

Digital Marketers where awaiting for such a web application which would compile social data available and enable them to understand more about their target audiences.  It unveils a new era of market research for understanding the interests and intents of the present and potential customers.

The challenge for businesses is to take initiatives which enables even more engagement with their fans. Search queries like “restaurants my friends have visited” can increase reach to potential customers who are ready to try out new places to eat out. Reviews about products or services would make even bigger impact on the intent of the customers. As intent replaces keywords for user searches, it can be said that “Keywords are Dead“.

The core concept is this: Web search is about returning links to keywords and phrases. Google made its impact serving up the most relevant Web sites based on Page Rank. But Facebook’s Graph Search is built on the idea that you’re better served by finding content that’s been shared within Facebook. It’s your network of social connections, after all, and the philosophy is that you’d rather see things from that network.

Facebook Ads remains on steroid, but the new Graph Search gives it a high protein shake to be back in business. If my mother (if she joins Facebook!) uses the Graph Search to find out the clinics her friends have visited, it can provide important insight about her intent to the Facebook Ad Exchange. A “smart data” marketers would love to utilize  if Facebook decides to share them in the near future.

If all this sounds familiar to you , then recall the “Search+” initiative of Google, but unfortunately Google Plus has not yet gathered a potential number of users on its social network.  Facebook Graph Search is available to a select English users, you can catch a preview here

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