As of press time, when you go to the Facebook Graph Search page, you will be asked to join a waiting list. Either this is a marketing tactic from social media guru Mark Zuckerberg et al. or it’s clearly a highly anticipated development that you have to join a waiting list. Whether it’s the former or the latter, the Facebook Graph Search page is creating buzz among a number of social media marketers.

This new development has garnered both rants and raves from those who have already tried the feature and most criticisms tackled the possible privacy threat to over one billion Facebook users around the world. However, we’re not going to talk about that here. What we will explore is how Facebook Graph Search can potentially impact the reach of your brand in the said social space.

Facebook Graph Search: How it Can Impact Your Social Media Marketing image facebook search graph 300x168Facebook Graph Search: How it Can Impact Your Social Media Marketing

The Rise of the First Truly Social Search Engine?

Zuckerberg called Facebook Graph Search the “third pillar” of the world’s most popular social network. It’s pretty much on the beta stage as of the moment, but basically, what it does is provide users with an alternative search tool. Unlike search engines, Facebook Graph Search will return results for a search phrase entered by a Facebook member by culling available information from that user’s social connections. According to the FB team, this will yield more relevant results because the feed is coming from the accounts of like-minded individuals with similar interests and passions.

How Can this Affect Your Facebook Marketing Strategy?

First, if Facebook Graph Search boomed and emerged as a total success, the number of “Likes” a Facebook Page has matters because the results are going to be ranked based on this data. Look at “Likes” as if they were inbound links – the more you have, the higher your rank (although post-Penguin, this is not necessarily true). Social media marketers now need to think of ways on how to get more “Likes” for their pages and when it comes to this, one cannot help but bring up the possibility of businesses creating fake accounts or the possibility of marketers “buying Facebook Likes.”

On a more positive note, Facebook Graph Search can help marketers explore untapped markets or identify market segments based on interests. Since Facebook Graph Search allows flexibility in terms of the search phrases, marketers can use this to gain insight into the interests and passion points of their target market (i.e. a restaurant can gain insight into what kind of music people who love the cuisine they serve like). This allows for more targeted messaging and can even serve as a kickoff point to generate ideas for targeted Facebook campaigns or promotions..

Blurring the Demarcation between Social and Search?

Marketers with a strong sense of foresight have anticipated that this will happen sooner than later. How people consume online information are converging at many points – they don’t only search information using search engines, they use their social accounts. As of now, marketers already need to formulate a strategy on how to take advantage of this Facebook development and watch closely where it is going

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