Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled their new Graph Search functionality, a new way to browse information on Facebook. While we predicted Facebook would move heavily into Search as a way to add additional revenue streams, up to $2 billion a year in additional advertising spend, we couldn’t anticipate exactly how the new search engine would work.
Now that it’s launched, Facebook’s search engine is beautiful in its simplicity. Unlike Google Search, which is designed to provide links to where you can find the answers to your query, Facebook Search is designed to provide the answer to your query. See the difference? On Facebook, you can search for things like “Who do I know in Chicago?” or perhaps “What are some Italian restaurants in Chicago?” With queries like this, Facebook can return results utilizing their massive social graph technology to show the things that are connected to your social circle.
Graph Search promises to be a large boon for both small and large businesses, as the sheer amount of traffic on Facebook means that if only 10% adopt the Search technology in the first year, that could amount to trillions of connections. Think about it this way: now, your Facebook page is more than just your presence with which you can connect to users, it now doubles as a branded search engine result.
What should you do for now? Continue to engage your customers by growing the number of likes that you have as well as by purchasing sponsored stories. As Graph Search takes off, there will be plenty of opportunities to move part of your search advertising budget into Facebook Search and reach over a billion people by a trifecta of personalization: demographics, context and intent, and customer connections.