For years, we’ve been watching and talking about the integration of Internet search and social media. It’s only natural for us to come to expect not just what SEO pros can make fly on search engine results, but to get recommendations from people we know and trust. Facebook’s Graph Search, announced earlier this week, is, “what’s next.”
Though purportedly crafted with individual social desires in mind–Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg touted it as a dating tool–there are ways business people can use it. While business media focus on this as the next volley from an entity grabbing for Google’s market share and attention share—and it definitely is that—Facebook’s Graph Search also incorporates key features and uses of other Internet social networks.
This means a potential change in social media marketing. Time is the principal cost of social media marketing so businesses are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiencies while maximizing engagement. Facebook, with a much larger user population and more detailed user data than its rivals in the social media space, stands to chip away at attention share and perhaps market share from other Internet social networks.
Facebook Graph Search’s incorporation of those features may present opportunities for business people. Social media marketers operating from a strategic plan might find their time is more efficiently spent and results richer when using this improvement on a network that already commands a large percentage of time and attention.
Tasks for which businesses have favored other Internet social networks but will now find possible through Facebook Graph Search include:
Social media marketing is relationship marketing and the best business connections often come through personal connections. Facebook’s Graph Search features some of the benefits provided by Meetup.com, with more rapid interaction. Users can search by interest to find pickup softball games, chess partners, literature clubs…
Much in the way people used LinkedIn, Facebook Graph Search can help individuals find people to whom they are connected at companies, in industries, geographic areas, etc. This also works in the converse for recruiting.
Recommendations for books to read, groups to attend, business-friendly restaurants and hotels will all be available. Again, the benefit will be to see what people in your network are reading, where they are going and whether those things and places are referable.
Facebook Graph Search is in beta and there is a waiting list. Double check your privacy settings and watch for your opportunity to take this new toy for a test drive. It might help generate improved ROI from your social media marketing plan.