Facebook’s newest feature, a revamped search engine called Graph Search, has received a variety of responses. Many people questioned why a common sense feature has taken so long to implement while others feel that it will be be a creative curator of online content, allowing you to receive feedback on dining, travelling, reading, etc. While the jury is still out as to whether this new feature will bring back Facebook users who had in recent times been spending less and less time on the site, the small-business owner is likely wondering how this new feature will affect their online marketing strategy.
In addition to your current Facebook marketing strategy, Graph Search changes the game in two ways.
1) Viral marketing becomes even more important. I know, the term ‘viral marketing’ is overused. If there were a predictable formula to attain free marketing, wouldn’t all of us be doing it? What I really mean by this is that word-of- mouth publicity will now yield even greater results. Prior to Graph Search, you wanted people re-posting, “liking”, or commenting on your business and posts in order for others to be exposed to the interactions. Now, however, people will be actively searching for your product or service, and the more people that are engaged in your product on Facebook the more likely someone will locate your product in a search result. Just like Google, you want your comment to be at the top of the search results.
2) Your ads can be even more highly targeted. You can bet that this new search feature will definitely be including paid advertisements. Unlike current Facebook advertising, which may be targeting people who’s interests are outdated (E.g., Britney Spears is still your favourite musician?) you can be sure that people who will be using the new search engine are currently interested in whatever they are searching for.
The question-mark hanging over everyone’s head is why would people substitute Google for Facebook? Even with the charm of searching for your friend’s experiences on say, a restaurant over asking Google, the difference in size and scope makes it hard to imagine Graph Search supplanting Google anytime soon.