Facebook Graph Search MANIA! Must-Read Resources, UI Tour & Review

Fist bump - Pound It

First things first. Since the announcement of Graph Search there have been a number of great reads from marketers and news sources. We’ve pulled together a list of a handful we enjoyed…

Facebook Graph Search LogoAfter enjoying what the industry has to say about Graph Search, we took our stab at it, complete with pretty screen captures. But I can’t resist taking you on a tour of Graph Search’s color first. Stick around after the tour for some soapbox shit.

Search Category Usage Scenarios
Graph Search currently has four search categories (it will eventually expand with more). The four search categories available can be matched up against one-another to not only find out more about user connections, but to find public data on popular places, too. Below is a look at some of the search filtering available in Graph Search.

Graph Search Filters

Hmm, I’d love to have some of these filters in the ad UI, wouldn’t you?

People + Interests

  • Easily find out more about your friends by searching interests, then judge them accordingly. Use case: Put together an intramural game of basketball by searching which friends in your area like shooting hoops.

Graph Search Result Page

Photos + People + Places

  • Photos of my friends in Canada

Graph Search Result 2

Places + People

  • Photos of my friends taken in 2007

Graph Search Result 3

Interest + Interest

  • Other interests my friends have who like Duluth, Minnesota

Graph Search Result 4

Our Two-Cents on Facebook Graph Search
As indicated by the lengthy list of must-read sources cited above, you can’t escape the buzz surrounding Facebook Graph Search, Facebook’s newly released, long anticipated social-based search engine. The New York Post called it “Zuck’s Google killer.” Others say Graph Search is incomplete. Does the functionality offered for Facebook Graph Places Search have implications for local that could threaten popular sites like Foursquare and Yelp (once you get past the engines result wait time 🙂 )?

One thing’s for sure: The Facebook Graph Search release nearly overshadowed the public re-launch of MySpace, which, funnily enough happened the same day.

On its face, the transparency of data certainly could make aspects of community management a bit easier. Any feature that helps marketers identify and follow ever-focused audiences they can then organically engage or serve ads to – well, that’s gold to online marketers.

Whatever users’ options become will change over time. Facebook has made it clear that the initial four search categories released (people, places, photos, and interests) are just the beginning. We can expect events and posts will join the mix soon enough. Where there are SERPs there is inevitable evolution.

You Just Watch: “Graph Search PPC?”
There may be paid psychographic search PPC (only show ad in SERPS for query + psychographic) in some model over time.  Obviously if the engine is good and users use it, FB would be silly not to monetize. We tell our clients not to be concerned about immediate gain. We hope the product’s future is exciting… with increasingly awesome iterations. The idea is rocking. Facebook has badass data and we’ll leverage it however we can. Period.

Page Post Like Stories
If you run your content strategy through your FB wall packaged properly, it will earn likes from targeted users. A Graph Search algorithm, which looks at likes, means that the like is the SEO link in FB. If you use paid organic amplification (FB, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn), then prepare to dominate FB Graph Search. As always, the best “SEO” in Facebook is a content strategy run properly between your blog and company wall.

What Graph Search May Mean for Marketers
At some point, Graph Search will mean a new way of discovery and advertising on Facebook. This technology has already taken its place among the Timeline and Newsfeed as a “pillar of Facebook,” according to the Zuckster. For now, sadly,  Graph Search may provide a new argument for bolstering  AdCenter accounts. Bing search inventory could increase with use of Graph Search. That in hand, psychographic targeting conversation continues with new and emerging social variables. We think it could be good. Of course, what Graph Search means to marketers depends on what FB allows companies to buy.

The high impression inventory available with Facebook display ads makes FB a leading candidate for marketers’ branding KPIs. That said, Graph Search could potentially close the gap between the top of the funnel to the purchase action. They are certainly taking steps. Today, the release of Facebook native conversion tracking in Power Editor was announced. Finally! It would also be great if Facebook integrated an attribution model across all ad units and organic activity, but that’s probably just me getting ahead of myself.

What Graph Search May Mean for Users
Graph Search was designed to be a useful discovery tool for members, allowing them to search more information about their friends. According to Facebook, its new search engine aims to provide “an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer,” and it could change the way we search online, at least to some extent.

What are your thoughts on Graph Search? Is it a game changer? Will it influence the way people search and discover?

© Lisa F. Young – Fotolia.com

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