Marketers usually talk about the intersection of search and social marketing on Google SERPs, but Facebook wants to remind companies and users that it has an important search utility. At TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network processes more than one billion searches every day. While most users look for specific pages and profiles using Facebook search, the results also include general web listings powered by Bing. The interview, which was Zuckerberg’s first since Facebook became a publicly traded company, painted a potential picture of the social platform’s future in search.
While SEO strategies currently focus on the major players in search, Facebook’s data on user interests could result in a highly customized, alternative search portal for users moving forward.
“Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions people have,” Zuckerberg said during his interview with TechCrunch. “[The type of restaurants friends like] are queries you could potentially do on Facebook if we built it out.”
“Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions people have. [The type of restaurants friends like] are queries you could potentially do on Facebook if we built it out.” – Facebook CEO Marck Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg went on to say that the company will likely roll out a more robust search tool in the future, and that there are already employees dedicated to Facebook’s search tool. The team’s current focus is perfecting internal search.
The problems experienced following the company’s IPO and continued drop of its stock price have led many to question Facebook’s future. Improvements to the site’s internal search ould make a more attractive and important option for marketers and users. Currently, Facebook is the most popular platform for social media marketing. Brafton highlighted data from eMarketer that that suggested 89 percent of companies will be active on Facebook by the end of 2012, with this figure expected to reach 88 percent by the end of 2014. Adding new features to the site could results in even greater adoption moving forward.
In 2012, Facebook’s additions for marketers have come frequently. Most have shifted the way companies use social marketing to focus more on sponsoring organic social content to drive views. For example, Sponsored Stories, visible for both mobile and desktop users, lets businesses pay to ensure a piece of content receives a specific number of impressions. Moreover, the feature can help Facebook in its ongoing struggle to make its mobile apps more useful and a greater source of revenue. Using marketing tools that allow paid content to be inserted in users’ news feeds can help Facebook ensure mobile viewers see these ads as well as those accessing Facebook from a desktop or laptop.