Facebook made a big announcement today: Facebook Graph Search. Facebook, of course, knows a lot about everyone including who is located where and who likes to do what. So suppose you want to get a gang together to head up to Lake Tahoe, you can search Facebook Graph for friends who like to ski. In terms of Social Media Marketing where this will really matter is in searches like friends who like Italian restaurants in Boston, or best wedding venues that my friends like – search gone social. This might give Google a headache, but it is definitely going to give Yelp a stroke. Long term, it’s hard to see how Yelp is viable on its own in a world in which Google+ Local closes in from the left, and now Facebook closes in from the right.
But, no worries. Our job as marketers isn’t to worry about Yelp’s long term future. Rather it’s to look at opportunities such as Facebook Graph Search and connect them to our own companies. Basically this is all search gone social – getting friends of friends to like our brand, connect with us, and in a certain active or passive way recommend us to their own friends.
Top Articles on Facebook Graph
Here are some pointer to more information on Facebook Graph –
- Introducing Graph Search (Official Facebook Announcement) – videos and posts by Facebook on Graph Search. Pretty salesy. I wish the marketing departments of these tech corporations would be more imaginative than fun videos of 20 somethings being happy, but that’s how they think.
- Facebook’s new ‘Graph Search’ lets you search everything related to friends – good article from Rosa Golijan of NBC News
- Facebook Graph Search: Facebook Takes on Google With New Search Tool
Facebook Graph ThoughtsI was struck by several items in this announcement. First, it almost seems like Facebook is trying to copy Google but doesn’t really want to admit that, or clarify it. It’s sort of like social search but not really. Second, what’s really interesting and more likely are recommendation searches – like searching my Facebook friends for their preferences in terms of wedding planners, attorneys or whatever. Yet they don’t really clarify that in the announcement. And finally, the demographics of the splashy ads. It’s as if Facebook thinks that everyone is 22, has no kids, and has a world that revolves around going out (especially the outdoors) and hangin’ with friends. That may be true for 22 year olds, but with over a billion users, it would be nice if Facebook thought beyond that stereotype. In my own experience, the No. 1 thing people do on Facebook is share (and comment on) photos of their kids and dogs, not gather up friends to go on a road trip.
So I think that the Facebook marketing staff could dig deeper into new applications – but as Steve Jobs once said, leave it up to the customer to find these new and unforeseen uses. Facebook Graph is exciting, so we’ll see where it goes!