Let me Facebook that for you: Search marketing comes to social networks

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
Facebook adds keyword-oriented search to its list of functions aimed at making the site a search marketing competitor to Google.

Facebook may be a social media marketing powerhouse, but it’s all about immediacy and the latest, freshest post. According to Bloomberg, Facebook is experimenting with a new functionality that will make searching for social content even easier and could extend the shelf-life of social posts buried weeks, months or years in the past.

The feature – ostensibly part of the Graph Search project – is being rolled out on mobile devices, where user patience is already low and better search functionality will improve UX. In essence, the feature will let people type keyword-oriented queries into a Facebook search bar (e.g. “Sandra BuzzFeed article” or “Lou’s Boutique summer hairstyles”) to bring up older posts or any other previously unseen comment.

This is great news for brands. Should the feature roll out to all users, it will give social content another shot at being read by customers and prospects. Rather than hoping posts get seen the first time, brands can hope that at least some searches will extend the life of status updates, article shares or videos.

This search function also helps Facebook cement its place as a second search option behind Google. The network is obviously making a play as a tool for research. As Brafton reported, Facebook does have access to a great deal of contextual information and interpersonal data that would make it a formidable competitor to Google.

This development also highlights the importance of a specific UX function for brands: Site search. Facebook is clearly going all-in on content organization as a key factor in user experience, and sites need to make sure users can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. As Graph Search and Facebook’s keyword organization demonstrate, this is especially important in an increasingly mobile world.

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