Facebook Graph Search Analysis

Have you ever actually completed typing a name into the Facebook search bar? If you’re like me, all you’ve ever done is begin typing a few letters from the name of a friend or business, then select them from the dropdown menu. Earlier this week, Facebook announced a new function of it’s search capabilities that will change the way you search on Facebook.

Dubbed “Graph Search,” the new functionality allows users to see results based on content shared by friends. Sample searches performed in demonstrations include “friends who live in San Francisco,” “friends who speak Spanish,” “friends who are single,” and “friends who like (tv show).” Searches can vary from broad to specific, and only information selected to be visible will appear in search results. The graph search is integrated with Bing, which will display general web search results along with the graph search.

With the trend in personalized search results that Google has been shifting towards in the past few years, this update comes as no surprise. Google has had integrated recommendations for search results based on shared information from contacts social streams, and displays who “+1’s” a search result. The Facebook system goes a bit further by relying on semantic searches and user-generated content.

The real long-term gameplan for Facebook, as evidenced with the Bing partnership, is to expand into full-service search advertising, rather than just display ads. It may take a while for users to ditch Google for searching within Facebook, but it’s certainly what the brand is banking on.

In addition to bringing an enhanced revenue source to Facebook, the functionality has many key benefits for users:

  • Recommendations from friends – At it’s core, graph search allows users to look for places, photos, interests and people like. With advanced searching skills, you can discover new content or places based on the life experiences shared by connections. You’ll be able to discover a local Indian restaurant that is most liked by people who have lived in India!
  • Benefits of third party sites – If you are not already active on Yelp, Linkedin, or online dating sites, the social graph can serve as a one-stop solution to what these (and other) sites provide. Like the previously mentioned Indian restaurant example, you can search for “friends of friends who work at (company x)” and see professional connections to advance your career. You can also search for “friends of friends who are single and like (hobby)” to find someone new to start a relationship with.
  • Stronger opportunity for page  discovery – For business pages, the social graph allows for a new avenue of discovery even from fans that don’t engage often on Facebook. As long as the settings for search results are open, pages now have the ability to be shown every time a connection of one of their fans searches for pages liked by their friends.

As always, critics of Facebook have described some flaws and downsides to the move. The typical cries of increased opportunities for hackers and scammers to take advantage were made, and privacy advocates expressed concern about what will be shown to whom. The most surprising criticism that I’ve come across comes from CNN Money, which describes Facebook as becoming “the new AOL.”It’s a convincing argument – by offering everything under one roof (messaging, networking, now search), Facebook becomes a walled garden of internet experiences. It may seem like an unsustainable business model, but Facebook has the advantage of learning from the past.

Facebook shares fell some 2.5% to $30.19 following the news on Tuesday on the heaviest volume in two months. Its stock, down another 1.5% on Wednesday, has fallen some 21% since last year’s IPO. The Graph Search announcement did not outline any benefit for its advertisers or investors.

The Advantage of Getting Facebook Likes

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Let’s face the fact, the world has moved online and millions of people use Facebook on a daily basis and business owners should use their fan page to attract a fraction of that traffic and reroute it to their website. The power of Facebook can be harnessed right from their website by introducing a Facebook Like button on the webpage and relevant articles or posts. Most of the websites today use the combination of both like and share button into their user experience and grasp huge success. When used appropriately, it can become one of the greatest online marketing tool.

To really take an advantage of all of the potential business outlets online it is necessary to move way past SEO and embrace other forms such as social marketing. Social media marketing is now part of conventional methods in which businesses and people communicate. With its diversity and popularity many corporate owners are starting to see the advantages of implementing social marketing campaigns on websites such as Facebook. As the world moves to online marketing it allows business owners to reach a larger audience. Businesses such as auto sales, real estate and even medical practices have incorporated the social marketing curve as a mean of online marketing.

Facebook fan pages have emerged as a popular tool to showcase your products and services. With a strong targeted fan base, it can increase sales and popularity of any business as well as having an effective fan page is fundamental for the success of your online marketing effects. Whenever the company posts a message, offer or information regarding a new product, fans receive the updates on their wall. Not only your brand is reinforced, your message will also be shared by many individuals with their friends and business affiliates. The strength of fan page is identified by the number of Facebook Likes. For the very purpose, Facebook Like button should be incorporated on the owner’s website.

Association is an incredible tool online. When a website or business is associated with another trustworthy business, people consider that business to be important and trustworthy too. And Facebook has materialized itself as a place where people can get reliable information and when see the Facebook Like button or logo on a website, they feel that assurance that your website and its content are dependable and legitimate.

Another great benefit of Facebook like button is that it makes the content go viral. Undeniably, “Word of mouth” advertisement is one of the most powerful marketing tool and its power can be felt in social networking websites such as Facebook. When someone clicks the “like” button on a website, it will show in that person’s newsfeed and everyone connected to him/her will be able to see that newsfeed. If they click the link that directs them back to the website and click the “like” button as well, a word of mouth avalanche will be crafted.

A person is not required to be a tech savvy or a web design expert to put the Face Like button. By filling up few blanks, a basic HTML code will automatically generate from the Facebook developer page and the resulting code should be implanted on the website.

Indeed, Facebook Like button implementation in online marketing funnel can intensely increase the traffic to the targeted website or blog.

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