About Facebook’s Graph Search

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Facebook Graph Search

Facebook’s recent Graph Search announcement has left many pundits yawning.  To be honest, I am uncertain if Facebook can do anything to get the pundits excited.  It seems that Facebook it the social network site (SNS) that everyone uses yet everyone loves to criticize.  But I think the pundits are wrong about Graph Search and they simply don’t have the vision to see where this is going to take us.

I can say this because I have been around a long time and seen a number of SNS’s rise and fall.  For instance, one of my early favorites, Yahoo! 360, had fallen fairly rapidly, but they had a nascent version of the Graph Search that allowed you to search peoples interest lists.  It was a way to connect with people you didn’t otherwise know you had anything in common with.

This is great for individuals, but what benefit does this bring to businesses with a Facebook presence?

To me the key is best put by Paul Adams in his book Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web:

“[F]riends can be a proxy for relevance.  When people see friends recommending or simply being associated with businesses or brands, they are often interested in the connection, despite having little initial interest in the brand.”

What Graph Search does is to easily allow individuals to find businesses that their friends, or even people in their community, are linked to which immediately boosts the business profile and make a purchasing decision much more likely.

When you realize that the key to marketing online today is about attention, any edge to being noticed is a good thing.

Facebook has detailed out some information in a blog post that describes what a business can do to their page to get ready.  Website Magazine has even simplified this even further with a list of five things a business should know about Graph Search.  Both great resources.