Facebook’s new search tool could be solid gold for marketers. Graph Search is in beta at the moment, and the launch blog post warns that it’ll take a while to get beyond that stage, and you can sign up to join the waiting list to use it here.
One of the first differences to standard web searching is that Graph uses ordinary phrases. The example Facebook uses is: "my friends in New York who like Jay-Z".
With plenty of bad publicity in the past Facebook has also been careful to announce that Graph will respect privacy, so it won’t take you to private content.
The first roll out of Graph Search is focused on four Facebook staples: places, people, interests and photos.
Some more examples from the Facebook blog: “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” "people who like things I like," “photos of my friends before 1999,” "photos of my friends taken in New York," “cities visited by my family,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “books read by CEOs.”
It’s not hard to see how useful this could be for businesses who want to connect with their fans.
The people at Mashable are among the lucky first users and they had some fun with their first searches.
They discovered that people who liked Star Wars also liked KFC; engineers like the geek comedy Big Bang Theory (I could have told them that), musicians like Tetris, Google employees like Pink Floyd while Apple’s people listen to David Guetta; people like uploading old pictures and in Chicago they snap their pizzas before they eat them.
It’s fascinating in a trivial sort of way but could be extremely useful marketing information too. KFC now knows a Star Wars giveaway is likely to be a hit and if your customers tend to like a local restaurant perhaps it’s time to team up with them for a voucher deal.
If everything goes to plan then Facebook could become an even more powerful tool for businesses.
If you are not already on Facebook we do have a fantastic Facebook set up service where we will create an account for you.
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