It’s been less than 24 hours since Facebook announced its foray into search – known as Graph Search.
Though Facebook has initially focused on positioning the product for the consumer, AdExchanger reached out to a selection of executives in the ad ecosystem and asked their thoughts on the implications for advertisers.
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- Sean Muzzy, CEO, Neo@Ogilvy (WPP Group)
- Megan Pagliuca, GM & VP of Display Media, Merkle
- Jesse Pujji, CEO, Ampush
- Michael Wiley, Chief Social Media Officer, VivaKi (Publicis)
Sean Muzzy, CEO, Neo@Ogilvy (WPP Group)
“Facebook’s announcement was nothing shocking, but I’m sure someone is claiming to have used ‘big data’ to make the prediction. Still, they did introduce a new user feature -and one, that while not fully baked, will certainly have an impact down the road. As they termed it, they released a ‘people-powered’ search engine.
But what does this mean for marketers? For starters, you need to look closely at your current social SEO strategy. Where social SEO in the past impacted the SERP off FB, you must now have a solid approach for Graph SEO.
In terms of implications for advertising, here are some immediate thoughts:
- If usage is strong, there will be more demand for sponsored search results.
- Facebook ad products that grow fan bases and engagement become necessary to increase your ranking.
- The use of natural language implies that next up could be products like local paid inclusion or voice search.
- While not available yet, Graph Searches can feed ad data targeting.
- In a post beta world, this will be a huge mobile play, providing not only more social discovery, but more ad opportunities for FB to introduce.
Now all of this is predicated on a few factors.
- What will user adoption look like?
- Will Graph Search bring us any closer to understanding ROI?
- Are privacy concerns muted or do they deter rollout?”
“Through Graph Search, Facebook is enabling user behavior that happens today, offline or via email, around planning trips and activities (i.e. what are top restaurants in New York) as well as buying products (which tablet should I buy?). This provides a radical opportunity for marketers to create competitive advantage.
For targeting on Facebook, long term this will most clearly lead to the use of intent data, which we primarily gather through paid search today. For measurement, marketers can leverage 2012 Facebook advertising advancements such as post-view tracking, their offline data partnerships and api enhancements to track likes and shares at the individual level, ensuring those individuals are the right audience driving true ROI.
Graph Search will succeed as Facebook does not have the same challenge as competitors like Google’s Zagat or Consumer Reports. If Zagat had inaccurate and unreliable recommendations, consumers would have stopped buying guides long ago. If I get a recommendation through Facebook, I will blame my friend, stop trusting them but keeping using Facebook.”
Jesse Pujji, CEO, Ampush
“Graph search by FB is huge for (at least) two reasons: intent and utility.
The first is the most obvious: now Facebook is capturing user intent and they are entering the “search” game. Users can and will start by looking for people, pictures, photos and places. But why stop there? Why not use it for movies and TV shows? Or a product I’m about to purchase? Ads will come into place both directly and indirectly. Since Facebook can now harness intent (given their unique/proprietary data), advertisers will fall over themselves to directly place a “sponsored result” (with social context) for a given query. Indirectly, likes and other ‘social’ actions (e.g., installs) that advertisers now pay for become significantly more valuable. If you’re trying to figure out what Insurance company most of your friends use, whoever has the most “likes” will be important to your search. And this doesn’t even address the huge mobile discovery opportunity.
The second is a bit less clear but with huge upside. We believe that Graph Search will be one of the first time’s Facebook is showing users the inherent UTILITY present in the Open Graph. Before Graph Search, users didn’t have access to such great data with a few keystrokes. Now they do. And they will start to realize how useful it really is. What does this mean? Facebook usage will go up, for sure. But users are likely to participate more in the Open Graph than they did in the past because now they finally “get it.” This means more app installs, off-Facebook likes and beyond. This will teach FB more about users and grow the graph significantly ultimately leading to better/more relevant ads across the board.”
Michael Wiley, Chief Social Media Officer, VivaKi (Publicis)
“[First,] from a user’s perspective, dependent upon the richness of one’s network and the strength of one’s connections, Graph search could prove to have tremendous utility, especially for power users. The big unknown is how will brand pages and brand presences ultimately be impacted? Today, many brands share content hosted on third party sites — their .com, youtube, flickr, etc. That content will not appear in Graph search results…for now. As a result, brands may have to re-consider their digital asset/content management strategy.
While Graph search will likely provide impetus for brands to further invest in their fan base, to improve the likelihood of connections, thereby appearance in search results, the launch will not offer any new ad products particularly on the results page. We expect this product to be monetized somewhere down the road and look forward to further developments.”
Read yesterday’s event coverage: “Facebook Graph Search: The Picture for Advertisers.”