Facebook is stepping up their search game: This week Facebook updated their search capabilities with Graph Search, now allowing users to search their own and others’ post history without having to scroll, scroll, scroll through the news feed or someone’s Facebook page.
Graph Search, their semantic search engine feature, was launched in January 2013, but this latest update will make it much simpler for users to search by keyword to find what people in their Facebook network are saying about a certain keyword, phrase, or topic. Facebook then uses a personalization algorithm to rank the results for each user.
While this may not seem very impactful to businesses and brands at first glance, there is a lot of possibility for Facebook to move further into the world of search and reviews. Sure, Johnny Appleseed might use it to find that funny video of kittens that his friend posted to his wall over a year ago, but he also might use it to see what people in his network are saying about the latest products, movies, restaurants, news, reviews, etc. This article by Josh Constine at TechCrunch does a fantastic job of looking at the different possible uses of Facebook search.
As he takes the new Facebook search for a test drive, we appreciate Constine’s efforts to go beyond just searching for funny pictures and videos that his friends have posted in the past. What comes up if he’s looking for a dentist in his area? A fun bar nearby? What are his friends saying about the latest movies? There’s a lot of potential here for searching locally and seeing what people are saying in your immediate area or city. Brands should pay attention, especially multilocation businesses interested in local marketing.
What sets Facebook apart from other review sources like Yelp and Google is that an individual’s personal Facebook page is highly customizable within their own network of friends, family and contacts. This search update might not directly affect businesses’ or brands’ Facebook pages, but it will affect how users are viewing Facebook as source of reviews and suggestions from the people they trust most–their friends and family. Even the tagline for the new search page is “Explore The World Through The Eyes of Your Friends.” Constine says it nicely by claiming, “Answers we previously had to go to Yelp or Google for an now be found on Facebook, which should give those companies a reason to worry.”
At Where2GetIt we’ve written before about how marketing involves understanding your audience: It’s also about being aware of the changes in technology and resources as consumers increasingly turn to mobile and digital to gather information before making a purchase. These updates to Facebook are another shifting cog that brands should be aware of as they move forward with their digital marketing plans. Where2GetIt and Brandify help companies create brands that people love and how to best optimize their digital marketing strategies. To learn more contact us here.