Making Sense of Facebook Search
Facebook officially announced its “social search baby” back in January and various social media and SEO experts shared tons of speculations, predictions and wins (mostly via mixed campaigns of Facebook page marketing and advertising). Yet, being a limited beta, it still puzzles search marketers or ignites excitement with glimpses of unique data.
But… do not discount it so fast! Facebook Wheel of Fortune is rolling out in full swing. Because Facebook search is so much more than the search as we know it.
1. Facebook search is one key component of the rich unique data that advertisers, publishers and online retailers can now fully get their hands on and put to a good marketing use.
It is still in development and works on a limited set of queries (people, places, brands, interests and activities). Yet, like internal site search so much needed with the expanded product catalog, once it is on, more shoppers will be converting within the Facebook experience for any given brand.
2. Smart marketers are already enjoying Facebook unique data benefits through genius-like recommendations and unique offers,
while also discovering so much about their best customers (engaged via apps or posts or ads), new segments (alike audiences) and co-marketing/co-petition partners (other pages, pictures and videos liked by your customers). Now, Facebook timeline and feed serve as discovery channels for users, similar to recommendations and merchandising modules on the ecommerce site, capable to work with good enough precision.
3. Yes, it will require users to learn how to do Facebook search properly.
From my own Facebook search experience, it reminds me my 1st SQL training through user-friendly business objects UI. You still need to understand the formulas how to do it to make magic appear.
Plus, Facebook itself already invests into autofills, suggestions and incentives, especially through its mobile app. It makes sense and feels so natural to sync your photos (they upload fast and in private), update your interests and movies and fill in any other missing data and set it public to get awesome offers.
Why would anyone willingly update and give more private info away? Why not! It is already ingrained into our evolving habit to share more TMI to get other social and economical benefits.
Facebook makes it so easy to share in volumes. Facebook rewards when we share in public (with search results, offers and any brand contests’ perks).
We got over Facebook timeline release just fine. We learned and adjusted through other online experiences as precedents that it pays to be discoverable to find money and love (skills section of LinkedIn and online dating for you and even your grandma to expand your options & learn how to do it).
We just have to re-learn how to search. Do it smart and targeted vs. lazy style as we learned years ago with Google. So, we will learn new ways to search with Facebook too.
Then, the retailers that play Facebook channel well already (use apps, power tools and data) will enjoy the amplifying effect of search, especially on mobile devices. Yes, mobile, because once you subscribe to too many pages, you can only find them through search vs. browse. Or you will scroll the hole through your device by trying to find what you are looking for.
What would the range be? Could it be 5 to 25 % for any given retailer well represented in videos, photos, content tags and apps? Possibly.
I asked this question to some of the brightest SEO minds: semantic-savvy Barbara Starr, mobile-fancy Cindy Krum and enterprise-smart Dennis Goedegebuure. They all already experienced the benefits of big and unique data (from Google similar structure or applying creatively any internal company data). They all see solid money-making opportunities with targeted search and advertising. So, should you.
Join me on Tuesday, June 4th, at 10:30 am at IRCE 2013 (Internet Retailer, Search Marketing Workshop).
1. Become an expert on Facebook search marketing for ecommerce in 20 min (which could take you hours and days on your own).
2. Get success stories directly from other retailers on how they got the gold and what power tools they used.
3. Join the thought leaders and the doers and strike your own riches on Facebook goldmine.
4. And then, get that bonus (a chance to get a discount to my upcoming ecommerce book) and the literal performance pay in February next year, if you implement what I’ll show you.