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The CMO's Guide to Facebook Graph Search
 

The CMO's Guide to Facebook Graph Search

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The newly launched Facebook Graph Search allows members of the world's largest social network to find content through their Facebook social connections. If Facebook can get its members to adopt the ...

The newly launched Facebook Graph Search allows members of the world's largest social network to find content through their Facebook social connections. If Facebook can get its members to adopt the new functionality and power personalized results, marketers may see Graph Search start to own Local Search over the likes of Google Local, Trip Advisor and Yelp. But we are in early days. As Facebook Graph Search evolves, CMOs and their teams should ensure visibility in both Graph Search and users' newsfeeds by sharing engaging content with their audiences. Moreover, employing a holistic social strategy and active community management are increasingly essential to succeeding on Facebook under the new world of Graph Search. In essence, companies will succeed in the era of Graph Search by building connected brands, or a close relationship with their audiences. This point of view discusses in more detail what Graph Search is all about and how brands can use content and conversation to build connected brands.

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    The CMO's Guide to Facebook Graph Search The CMO's Guide to Facebook Graph Search Document Transcript

    • Written by:Ashmi Dang, Social Strategist, iCrossingAmanda Peters, Director, Social Media Strategy, iCrossingDoug Platts, Vice President, Search Strategy, iCrossingICROSSING POV:The newly launched Facebook Graph Search allows members of the worlds largest social network to findcontent through their Facebook social connections. If Facebook can get its members to adopt the newfunctionality and power personalized results, marketers may see Graph Search start to own Local Searchover the likes of Google Local, Trip Advisor and Yelp. But we are in early days. As Facebook Graph Searchevolves, CMOs and their teams should ensure visibility in both Graph Search and users newsfeeds bysharing engaging content with their audiences. Moreover, employing a holistic social strategy and activecommunity management are increasingly essential to succeeding on Facebook under the new world ofGraph Search. In essence, companies will succeed in the era of Graph Search by building connectedbrands, or a close relationship with their audiences. This point of view discusses in more detail what GraphSearch is all about and how brands can use content and conversation to build connected brands.THE CMOS GUIDE TO FACEBOOKGRAPH SEARCHWHAT IS GRAPH SEARCH?Launched in limited beta on January 15, Graph Search allows Facebook users to examine relationships with trillions of objects,currently focusing on a subset of content within its ecosystem: people, photos, places, and interests. With Graph Search,Facebook users make queries by combining phrases to find content shared on Facebook:+ People: “friends who live in my hometown,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like soccer in New York City”+ Photos: “photos of my friends in Los Angeles,” “photos of Nike,” “photos I like”+ Places: “restaurants in Los Angeles,” “restaurants my friends in New York like,” “countries my friends have visited”+ Interest: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “books read by my family,” “videos of TVshows my friends like”Graph Search results are indexed (in order of relevancy) based on the strength of the relationship with one’s social networkconnections. The stronger the relationship between a person or a page, the more likely that content is deemed relevant and isdisplayed in search results. For example, if you are seeking new music and several of the people you engage with on a daily basislike the band Radiohead, the name Radiohead will appear in the results. Graph Search results are also "privacy-aware" and willonly display content that has been shared with the user conducting the search, alongside objects that have been publicly shared.
    • THE CMOS GUIDE TO FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCH2© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. JANUARY 2013Graph Search: search bar (Source: Facebook Newsroom)As the product evolves, Graph Search has great potential to change the way we use the Web to search and share content. Thefollowing section of this iCrossing POV looks at the implications of Graph Search on social strategy.IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIALSince Graph Search results are based on personal connections, brands must focus on fostering deeper connections with theirfans through a holistic social strategy and active community management.Connections are fueled by engagements such as a fan “liking” a brands Facebook page, liking/commenting/sharing brandedcontent, publishing user-generated-content (UGC) that tags the brand, checking in, and other similar actions. The more actionsa user takes with the brand, the stronger the connection and the more likely that a brands fans and friends of fans will see thebrands content in their Graph Search results.And what fuels engagement? Content.Now more than ever, it’s essential that brands create and publish compelling content that resonates with a specific audienceand is formatted to increase engagement on the Facebook platform, ultimately leading to more visibility, discoverability, andpurchases through Graph Search. While Graph Search is in Beta, brands can begin to take steps to help their content index inGraph Search.Data used to rank or display a result is not based on open API content (Foursquare check-ins), Open Graph technology (Spotify),or text status updates. Video and photo posts must be @tagged and shared directly on Facebook. Video links from YouTube andmentioning your brand in text accompanying a photo do not index that content for Graph Search results.Note that while Graph Search presents a unique opportunity for Sponsored Ads and paid media integration, Facebook has noplans to extend their media offerings into the product at this time.
    • JANUARY 20133© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THE CMOS GUIDE TO FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCHKey Considerations: + Publish and publish often. A brands editorial calendars should include a variety of formats including photos and videos toengage each audience. Note: photos and videos must be posted directly to the Facebook platform and not via links to third-party sites such as YouTube.+ Include keyword rich tags and descriptions that reflect the linguistic behaviors of the audience to increase the likelihood ofappearing in a user’s Graph Search results.+ Include the location where photos and videos are taken to index for results in a particular city.+ If a brands post has a physical location associated with it, create or update local place Page with the address and information.+ Consider contests or promotions that encourage users to submit photos and videos and tag the brand in their submissions,further increasing the connections between the brand and the audience.+ Ensure the About section of a brand’s Facebook Pages are optimized with the relevant names, categories and descriptions.In short: create content that is useful, usable, visible, desirable, and engaging – the cornerstone of building a connected brand.Facebook claims that Graph Search does not compete with Google. Indeed, while Graph Search is a big improvement overFacebook’s previous search functionality, it is essentially an expansion of Facebooks current on platform search functionality –but is not yet relevant to broader Web search.That being said, the January 15 launch represents Phase 1. We have yet to see the full breadth of the tool and its greater implications.How does Graph Search stack up compared to Google? In its current state Graph Search can be evaluated across three areas:content, relevancy, and behavior.ContentThe advantage search engines such as Google have is that they constantly crawl the Web and are updating their Index sothat new, fresh content appears within search results. Consequently, content does not need to be “engaged with” or manuallysubmitted to Google’s index to show up.By contrast, Facebook’s “people powered search” relies solely on its user base to create its index and Facebook’s algorithm todeliver relevant results – which entails a lot of manual labor for a brand. As a result, it may take awhile to fuel the Graph Search“engine” with content that is relevant for the majority of users, which could hinder the use of this feature.RelevancyGoogle looks at a range of signals from a variety of sources with different levels of authority and relevancy to deliver results. Thiscomplex algorithm means that a user is delivered results to his or her searches in such a way that the user is not required to beconnected to the content or the people publishing that content.However, with Facebook, relevancy is determined by the strength of the connection with a user or a brands Facebook Pages.But consider a user looking for the “best hotels in Mumbai.” What if none of the searchers connections have liked any relatedcontent? What will appear in the Graph Search results? Will the content be as relevant if those results are based solely on publiclyshared content and not the user’s personal connections – which is what Facebook claims is the advantage of Graph Search?IMPLICATIONS FOR NATURAL SEARCH
    • THE CMOS GUIDE TO FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCH4© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. JANUARY 2013BehaviorFacebook Graph Search will require a change in user behavior. Just as Google+ has struggled to use its Google+ and SearchPlus Your World features, Facebook will likely see slow adoption of Graph Search.It’s not a Facebook user’s nature to search the platform for “hotels in Paris,” as it is already second nature to go to Trip Advisoror Yelp, which already possess a large database of reviews. Yet, over time, as more Facebook users check-in and create reviewson the platform, this situation could change.Google dominated the search industry because Google delivered the most relevant results to the searcher by looking at a rangeof onsite and offsite authority and relevancy signals. Google has remained dominant because Google has continued to update thealgorithm to make its results even more relevant based on previous searches, location, +1s, and so on. Google is so dominant thatthe company name has worked its way into our everyday vernacular ("Ill Google it").Facebook Graph Search has potential. If Facebook can get users to adopt the new functionality, and if Facebook can enrichpersonalized results, we may see Graph Search start to own Local Search over the likes of Google Local, Trip Advisor and Yelp.But we are in early days. When Graph Search becomes available for testing, iCrossing will deepen our understanding and providemore insight.In the meantime, CMOs and their teams should continue to focus on generating authentic connections with their audiences throughconversation and engaging content to ensure visibility in both Graph Search and a user’s newsfeed.CONCLUSIONSTAY CONNECTEDFind out more at www.icrossing.comCall us toll-free at 866.620.3780Follow us on twitter @icrossing and @thecontentlabBecome a fan at facebook.com/icrossing