Facebook Graph Search : Beta-Testing now Live for Users, but what about Advertisers?

    Thinktank Social

    In last week’s Thinktank Social blog, we heard from Senior Developer & Strategist Steven Cooper about the introduction of Facebook Graph Search and the technical reasons why this search-function has taken such a long time to launch. Now that we’re well into the beta-testing or ‘soft-launch’ phase of Facebook Graph Search; discussion is turning towards the impact Facebook’s latest social-pillar will have on advertisers.
    As with most Facebook change-announcements; the benefit for advertisers was not as clearly articulated as those of the user.  In case you were still on holiday last week (physically or mentally); the key user benefits of Facebook Graph Search center around accessing unique, personal search results & insights, relative to your network’s consolidated interests… Think of being able to search “Married friends, that have kids, that like Nissan” – in this example, the functionality certainly changes the search-game when you’re making a large purchase decision that is often influenced by close friends. Facebook Graph Search is different to standard web-searches in that it uses personal Facebook data instead of general information for results – (see video links below for full detail).
    Initially, marketers may dream of the new possibilities as search becomes more personalised and less generic than web (or Google) based results; and yet that dream won’t be available as Facebook admits that advertisers will not be able to target users based on data generated by FB Graph searches. The key benefit that Facebook sees for advertisers is more ‘real-world’ and simplistic; if a business/company/brand provides great service or if a product is effective, it will result in more shared stories and likes (ultimately resulting in a higher Facebook Graph Search result). Easy, right?
    We can go one step further here and think about the relative increase in ‘value’ of likes as they will serve a greater purpose through the introduction of Facebook Graph Search.  As Business Insider discussed in a post last week, there will be a greater emphasis or importance on ‘number of likes’, as businesses will feature higher up the search result list if they have more likes. So, it certainly appears that Facebook Graph Search will inevitably lead to an increased necessity to invest in social connections to remain relevant in ‘personal facebook searches’.
    Today, we’re just wondering which of our “friends like Tennis and Corona and live nearby in Richmond, Melbourne”… because we need somewhere to watch the match tonight.
    We will be keeping a close eye on the opportunities & impact Facebook Graph Search has for our clients, and we will be communicating trends & techniques that might be a game changer for social brand equity. So stay social, stay tuned.
    Facebook Graph Search Video of reveal at Conference
    Facebook Graph Search Introduction Video
    By: Julie Anne Longano (Group Account Director, Thinktank Social)