Despite its obvious benefits, one of the glaring challenges of marketing on Facebook can be the difficulty and time required to sift through over 500 million worldwide users in order to reach your target audience. The creation of targeted ads helped this along, and the latest addition to Facebook features, the “Graph Search,” has brought targeting even further. Now in beta, this new tool allows users to enter general terms and keywords into a search engine and get simplified results. At a unveiling with journalists on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg was very clear that this tool isn’t a “web search,” but rather a search limited to Facebook content and for privacy reasons, limited to content that your friends or fans have already agreed to share with you. Graph Search isn’t letting you access any more information, but it is allowing you to access the loads of information available to you more efficiently.
At the unveiling Zuckerberg and Facebook’s other top dogs showed off the new feature by searching things like “Photo’s of Facebook employees,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” and “Friends who like Harry Potter.” This capability has its advantages for personal interactions of course, but the marketing benefits shouldn’t be ignored. For one, this gives more of an advantage to your brand when it is “liked” by a fan. If someone likes your hair salon for example, you are now the answer to someone’s query about “local hair salon’s my friends like.” For now, the search engine only has access to people, picture, places, and interests, but posts and statuses will not be far behind according to Facebook. This means that you can see what people are saying about your brand name, your product, your market, and your industry, which ultimately leads to more engagement.