Facebook Awakens a Sleeping Giant Called Graph Search.
Back in April of 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion and most of the internet community and financial community thought Facebook had lost their marbles with this deal.
Now we know the real reason why Facebook needed user-generated photos all over the world and comments.
Their goal was to develop the photos into a social search engine unlike any other.
The problem facing most search engines today is the sheer amount of noise that you must filter through to get to the result you are looking for.
Cutting through all that grey matter can be done very easily with the most powerful marketing tool around…
A friend giving a recommendation
So, here is a perfect example; a friend has just arrived from Sydney and needs to find a restaurant in Brisbane within 10 minutes walking distance of his hotel.
Rick loves sushi, so he decides to search for Sushi in Facebook and, low and behold, not only does he find a great sushi place, he gets recommendations from a few friends and photos of great sushi; friends having a good time while eating sushi. So it’s an obvious choice for him to go to that particular restaurant.
The purpose of the search graph is quite simple; find a way to show you what your friends like in the right context at the right time and place – Which sushi places are the most popular with your local friends?
When can we expect to see this fully released by Facebook?
This massive giant (graph search) will take a few years to roll out.
One clever thing Facebook has been doing for the past three years to get us ready for this rollout is they have established a search bar so that users can find people, places and friends.
The only problem is few people use it.
All of this changed when Facebook acquired Instagram; they became the iPod of photography.
The real benefit to marketers, here, will be understanding that user-generated photos and comments allow friends to see other friends’ photos of and comments on specific locations, and this can help users make informed decisions to buy a service or a product.
The only other search engine with advanced filters and millions of viewers is called Google.
Ok, so where is the real opportunity to make money from Facebook?
Graph Search for Places
Facebook places solve a very important problem for outstanding local businesses and could be worse problem for businesses that are less than stellar.
Here is a typical example: Rick has arrived from Sydney and just got settled in at his hotel. He would like to know the best place to eat breakfast in Brisbane, as the hotel’s buffet looks horrible, and wants a restaurant that’s close by.
So, Rick grasps his iPhone5 with Siri and asks, “Where is the best place to have breakfast within walking distance of my hotel?”
Answer: Siri goes off to hunt for it in Yelp and the Yellow Pages and brings a few choices, all within 12 kilometers of the hotel. Not great or useful.
Then, out of frustration, Rick Google’s “Best Breakfast in Brisbane” and gets a list of breakfast places that are all over the map with none in the area where he is staying and no recommendations.
Facebook App on iPhone
He hits his Facebook app and does a search for breakfast places in Brisbane.
Sure enough, a bunch of nearby breakfast places show up with recommendations from people and friends he knows in Brisbane, along with photos, menus and even great comments.
He even sees which places have the most likes and reviews, and which received terrible ratings, making his decision easy.
- Get on the waiting list for Facebook Graph Search
- If you have a brick & mortar business, create a Facebook business page
- Sign-up for Foursquare – Facebook shares data with them
- Hold contests and promotions for likes and check-ins – free pancakes for a check-in
- Stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates on Facebook Marketing