Like a diligent and persistent mother, Facebook has been slowly trying to convince us to: be aware of our surroundings and who we play with (news feed), to share with our friends and like stuff that they do (home page) and to display things neatly or put them away in the correct place (time line). However, with search graph, we’re being encouraged to look for: people, places, photos and interests through the recommendations of strangers!
What does it involve?
No, wait: searches are limited to friends and friends of friends (connections) and only then when they have set their privacy settings to allow this to happen. For example: if you’re looking for photos of Bangkok then you’ll simply search on Facebook for photos that have been tagged with Bangkok and you’ll be able to see all of them that have ever been taken by your connections.
If you want to go to a restaurant then search graph allows you to find suggestions based on what your FB connections: ‘like’, ‘check into’ and have written in their profile data. The same with music and films: instead of more generic results that you’d receive via a Google search you’ll now be able to find results that are personalised just for you that have actually been recommended via people you know. Hey, this is like Linked-in and Google rolled into one!
Good news for ads
Of course, where there’s searching and liking going on, businesses and ad-revenue will surely follow and it will come as no surprise that FB’s sponsored result ads are going to become much more relevant to companies wishing to target specific groups of people.
To appear in FB search graph results, a brand will need to have one of your connections as a fan which, in turn, means that companies are going to start to value fans much more highly. Companies will also be encouraged to supply information that’s much more relevant and useful. Also, individuals will want to keep their details updated too, especially if they’re hoping to interact and meet new pals with shared interests.
As with local searches on Google, physically located businesses are certainly going to benefit from graph search with: hotels, restaurants and shops all bound to come up more frequently in search graph results. However, with the future of Facebook looking evermore-likely to be integrated with the search engine Bing, this really could herald a new way of searching for data that’s far more personalised and relevant in comparison to, say, Google.
What do PPC marketers want?
So this begs the question: what is to become of PPC marketing? Basically, they’re going to want in on the search graph ad action and below are the top 5 requests that PPC marketers are going to want but probably won’t get, from Facebook search graph:
- They’d just love to manage both FB and Bing adverts whilst using the same platform – wouldn’t we all?
- Bing is well-known for its great customer service whilst Facebook, not so much – PPC marketers are going to want more Bing for their buck.
- Wouldn’t it be lovely to personalise ads upon data within FB status updates – yes, but a little creepy.
- Switching FB search ads on and off would be ideal for PPC purposes.
- When creating bid strategies PPC advertisers would like to have separate approaches for both FB and Bing.
So, there you have it, the future of search has now been placed firmly at the feet of Facebook and if PPC marketing is going to thrive then integrating social media is the only way forward.