January 15th was the big day… at least for those of who were awaiting Facebook’s much speculated announcement. In case you aren’t aware, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook unveiled Facebook’s new ‘Graph Search’ this past Tuesday. According to Zuckerberg, “Graph search is not web search. It’s about graphing part of the web.”
Instead of us boring you with a ton of details from the press conference, take a look at the video that Facebook produced to tell you about their latest creation.
Feeling the love for Graph Search or just curious in checking it out? Not so quick! Despite all the hype surrounding this new feature, Facebook is slowly rolling it out in limited beta. I just signed up to join the waiting list, and you can too by linking to this page and scrolling to the bottom. However, I warn you that nothing magical happens when you do it. They just kindly thank you and tell you that you will be informed when it is available.
So, while we patiently wait, now is a good time to think about how all of this is going to affect small businesses. Inc.com highlighted 3 ways in a recent article.
- Word-of-mouth – Graph search is similar to Yelp, but it is a lot more personalized. You can prioritize results on the basis of how close they are to your friends. Getting people to recommend you on Facebook just became even more powerful.
- Recruiting – LinkedIn is a great tool for looking for qualified talent, but Facebook aims to to take it a step further with hyperspecific searches within your existing Facebook network.
- Ad Targeting – More and more, you have to ante up to get seen on Facebook. Now may be the time to finally spend money on Facebook advertising. In order for Graph Search to work, Facebook is going to have to get even more personal data from you. If they are encouraging people to get more detailed with their profiles, you might as well use it to your advantage with even more targeted ads.
So, does this mean that you need to turn all eyes on Facebook marketing now? Well, definitely keep an eye on it, but remember that all of this does you no good if your potential customers aren’t active on Facebook. Casual users aren’t going to keep accurate and detailed information on their profiles. Without that, Graph Search doesn’t mean squat for your business. If your customers are extremely active on Facebook, this new search feature could really help customers find you. We will all just have to stay tuned!