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Social@Ogilvy gives an overview of Facebook's new Graph Search function.
Social@Ogilvy gives an overview of Facebook's new Graph Search function.
POV: Facebook Graph Search January 16, 2013
SummaryOn January 15, Facebook announced Graph Search, a new form of search based on users’ individual social graphs.The new functionality, which is only available in Beta right now, will allow Facebook users to search for people, photosand places – all through the lens of their friends. Content that used to slide down a user’s Newsfeed is now potentiallyever-relevant as users can search for people, places, photos, and similar interests. Facebook search has long beenone of the untapped resources within Facebook that will now become more usable by members and, likely, moreusable by brands going forward. The simple fact that Facebook users can find which of their friends are fans of Fordvehicles more easily or have liked a brand application may drive more discovery. This new search functionality mayalso breathe new power into the object "like" as users can search for a most liked post or piece of content, and brandswill be able to capitalize on their fans as true word of mouth evangelists.What is Graph Search?Facebook Graph Search allows users to search based on people, places, photos, and interests. Results canbe segmented by interest and other profile variables (e.g. education, gender, relationship, etc.). Users’ privacysettings will determine what their connections are allowed to see.PeopleInstead of searching only by name, users mayfind friends who share commonalities withintheir profile info or interest sections. Examplesinclude “friends who live in New Paltz,” “peoplefrom my hometown,” and “friends who likeWonka candy.”PlacesUsers can discover physical locations theirfriends have been to, not limited to things likemusic venues and restaurants (sample resultspage to the right). Examples could include“Wolfgang Puck restaurants my friends havebeen to,” “countries my friends have visited thatI’ve also been to,” “tourist attractions in Romethat my friends have visited.”PhotosWithout clicking to friends’ pages, users can now findtagged photos on a unique landing page based ontheir search queries. Photo results will include thosehidden from a user’s timeline. Examples include 2
“photos of my friends before 1987,” “photos of theSpace Needle,” and “photos I like.”InterestsUsers can now search based on similar interests,such as “friends who like to watch ‘Modern Family,’”“languages my friends speak,” “business books readby marketers,” and friends who listen to The AvettBrothers.”PrivacyYour privacy settings will determine what others are allowed to see. With Graph Search, users can find items youveshared with them, including public content. This video from Facebook explains more.Implications for BrandsMore Opportunities for Facebook Users to Discover Your BrandGraph Search opens the door for brands to become discovered more easily, by more people. Because Graph Searchprovides the ability to search for which friends have traveled to an exotic destination, or who has eaten at the hottestrestaurants in the city, or who likes the same music, users will be able to find more people like themselves. And brandswill be able to find more Facebook users who are potential fans – and potential brand advocates. It’s no surprise thatFacebook users rely heavily on their social network for reviews and recommendations; now brands can leverage thosenetworks and recommendations on Facebook by ensuring they appear in users’ Graph Search results.Increased Need to Ensure Content is Likeable and ShareableWere moving to an environment where SEO needs to be augmented with the optimization of social engagement.Search graph signals such as Likes and Shares - whether on a Facebook page or on a website - will now increasinglybe part of the process that determines whether your brand surfaces in search results on Facebook. A similar processon Google already considers Google+ sharing and +1s in search result visibility.More People Finding Brands by LocationOne of the filters that can be used is location. For example, a Facebook user could search for “friends who shopped forshoes near Chicago.” Because brands with physical locations will appear in Graph Search results, it’s important tomake sure that your contact information – where your offices and retail locations are located – is readily available. Afterall, if a Facebook user is on hot pursuit for those shoes of yours that debuted during Fashion Week, you want her to beable to find them – and become a fan of your brand in the process.Image Content has New Value for BrandsWho doesn’t love to scroll through their friends’ old photos on Facebook? Graph Search now allows users to searchusers’ photos with all manner of filters, such as “photos of friends near mountains,” “photos of friends taken before1984,” and “photos of friends taken in Chicago.” Because users can search for photos in such myriad ways, brandsshould consider allowing fans to tag them in photos. (Of course, this opportunity should be weighed againstreputational risk.) Additionally, brands should consider when it is appropriate to post images and albums of their own,with detail-rich captions and meta-data, so that their images appear in Graph Search as well. 3
Community Management Best Practices MatterAccording to Facebook, brands that are most popular among the Graph Search users’ closest friends will be displayedfirst. This means that it may not be enough just to get a Facebook user to “like” your brand page. More than ever,brands will need to exercise best practices in community management in order to build brand advocates on Facebook.Brands will need to establish relationships with their fans, and cultivate those relationships through two-way dialogue,in order to give the fans the opportunity to become ambassadors – and give the brands the chance to appear high inGraph Search results.Paid Media May Connect with Graph Search in the FutureCurrently, there are no new ad formats available with Graph Search (Sponsored Search results are still offered). Adswill not appear in the search results page, but don’t be surprised if that changes in the future. Bing Search results willremain part of the platform, and Graph Search may at some point provide a new way for brands to raise their visibilityvia paid media.FAQs1. How is Graph Search different from search engines?Facebook has indicated that they are not developing a search engine, but with over a billion users on Facebook, itseems likely that users will start to turn to Facebook to run certain types of search queries that may have previouslybeen run on Google or Bing. Graph Search does seem to compete with Google+. Facebook currently has apartnership with Bing to deliver web search results.2. How is Graph Search different from current search options on Facebook?Current search options allow users to search for people, places and things by entering a keyword. Graph Searchallows Facebook users to search for which of their friends have specific likes/interests and allows for deepersegmentation. Some criteria users may search by include Likes/interests, employer, school, current city, hometown,friendship, relationship status, gender and language.3. Why do I see different search results than my friend, when we are searching for the same thing?Search results are personalized for you and your network. Even though you are searching for the same thing, yourfriend’s network may be comprised of different Facebook users who have different likes/interests.4. When may I start using Graph Search?Graph Search is currently in beta testing to a small group of users who use Facebook in the United States. To join thewaiting list to become a beta tester, visit https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch. A global launch date of GraphSearch has not been announced publicly.5. I want to learn more about Graph Search and its impact for my brand. What can I do?Your Social@Ogilvy team can set up time with you to strategize around Graph Search and walk you through steps toensure your brand page is maximizing possibilities to appear as a result in a Graph Search. 4
About Social@OgilvySocial@Ogilvy is the largest social media marketing communications network in the world. Named 2011 GlobalDigital/Social Consultancy of the Year by The Holmes Report, the practice leverages social media expertise across allOgilvy & Mather disciplines, offering an extensive list of services within the foundational business solutions – Listeningand Analytics; Social Business Solutions; Social Media Marketing and Communications; Social Shopping; Social CRM;Social Care; and Conversation Impact. For more information, visit social.ogilvy.com and connect with us atfacebook.com/socialogilvy, slideshare.com/socialogilvy and on Twitter @SocialOgilvy 5