What Do You Think of Facebook Plus?

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I know, it’s not called Facebook+, but how could I resist?

Zuckerberg christened it Graph Search and chances are you don’t have access to it yet as it will be in beta and will be rolled out slowly over a period of months – kind of like Google+ was. (You can join the waiting list here.)

You’ve likely seen news, reports and analysis of  Tuesday’s big announcement so I’m not going into details about it here.

I’ll give you my take, a heads up on how to prepare for Graph Search and a look at some possible negative repercussions.

Facebook +-logo

Just as Google expanded its model from search into social by adding a “Plus” to its name, Facebook expands from social into search by creating its own search engine, Graph Search.

As Google+ isn’t a direct competitor to Facebook, Graph Search isn’t a direct competitor to Google.

Why should you care?

If you’re in business, you can’t ignore Google or Facebook.

If you already have a Facebook Page, there’s some work you will have to do to prepare for Graph Search. (This means more time invested in managing your Page.)

  1. Grow your fan base with quality “likes”. Facebook’s stock may have  dropped a bit, but the value of a “like” took a huge spike.
  2. Assess your Page management and cover the basics like making sure your local business info is complete and include relevant keywords.
  3. Be sure to have Facebook links on all of your internet real estate. Did you know that only 19.5% of small businesses have a link to their Facebook page on their website?

My fellow SteamFeed author, Keri Jaehnig includes this helpful checklist in her post: How To Safely Prepare For Facebook’s Graph Search:

  • About – Is this key word rich?
  • Likes – Is your brand connected strategically?
  • Timeline – Are your milestones & events noted correctly?
  • Photos – Do they all have descriptions & appropriate tags?
  • Apps – Too many? Not enough? How are your settings?
  • Facebook Ads – Brush up on how to write ad copy!


Knowledge – Inside Search – Google

Social Graph

“If you love Facebook, you’re going to love Graph Search. If you hate Facebook, you’re going to hate Graph Search.” – Mike Elgin

People who love Facebook and spend a lot of time there, will have even more reason to do so. (Average user spends 8 hrs a month on Facebook. Canadians spend even more)

With Graph Search, you can check inside Facebook to see what your friends think of a restaurant then check on Google to see what the experts have to say.

Personally, I trust most critics over my friends whose tastes lean towards poutine and cheesecake. I don’t see Graph Search causing a lot of Google Plussers to move over to Facebook but it might motivate some Facebookers to move over to Google+ due to privacy concerns.

“There may be a wave of unfriending and deletion of interests, fewer checkins, removal of personal details and pages getting unliked. In fact, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. Just because I like a page to see their updates does not mean I am recommending them to my friends. -Michael Currey -Facebook

How Privacy Works w Graph Search

What could be some negative repercussions of Graph Social?

1. “Like” gamification – Mark Traphagen wrote in his blog post:Facebook Graph Search, Search Quality, and the Meaning of Like:

“Not only are recommendations based on Facebook Likes of dubious value, Graph Search may be about to cause them to get even worse, in an inflationary spiral.”

We could see a rush to buy or obtain “likes”. Although Facebook maintains that the quality of the likes are more important that the number, that won’t stop many Facebook Page owners from gaming the system as much as they can to weigh the results in their favour.

2. Expect a crop of SGO (Social Graph Optimization) experts to sprout up. Facebook Page management has just gotten more challenging. People won’t be so free with their likes. Nurture existing customers – they’re the ones who will spread word of mouth.

3. Savvy users will lock down their privacy settings and be be more conservative about “liking” brands. The side of effect of this is that the value of a “like” will increase as people will be reticent to have it thought of as a recommendation.

4. People will tweak their profiles either by making them non searchable or making sure they can be found if they want to:

  • Find a job
  • Find a date
  • Avoid getting fired
  • Find clients

Reputation management will become more important.

5. Your private becomes public knowledge. People who don’t pay attention to their privacy settings and post “public” mostly will find that everything they have share on Facebook becomes discoverable and used by people they don’t know.
“Public is the new social norm.” – Mark Zuckerberg.

Tool Tip: PrivacyFix is a browser app that points you to privacy concerns on Facebook, Google and other sites and alerts you to changes and issues.

Do you think that Graph Search will improve your Facebook experience?
Please leave a comment below!

What do you think of Facebook Graph Search?

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Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. He's a believer in the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking. Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus on his blog: NewRayCom.com. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and freelancers. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.
Ray Hiltz

@newraycom

Social Strategist. Tweet recipe; mix generous portions social media & Google Plus into marketing batter. Cover w/ personal observations & bake. Share when done.
25 Ways to Make a Statement with Your Facebook Cover Photo http://t.co/ONt53HyMwE via @SteamFeedcom - 2 hours ago
Ray Hiltz
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Comments

  1. Thanks Ray… always awesome content.

    I'm skeptical. I have a wait and see attitude since Facebook and I have a strained relationship.

  2. I really like the idea of Graph Search. The main problem people have with Facebook (in my opinion) is that they do not know how to use the various settings that control privacy, or make browsing easier. Of course the point of view of the individual, vs. business or marketing user will be a different one. I really like the way you have outlined things above. Thanks Ray! It will be really interesting to see how many people use the Graph, vs. marketers etc. Its a huge development (potentially) for the business side of things. Your tips are great.

    • Thanks, Mila.
      Graph Search is great for Facebook. They needed a good internal search engine.
      As we well know, the vast majority of users don't pay attention to their privacy settings or note who they're sending updates to.
      This might be a rude wake up call to them.
      Brands could go either way; engage more to grab valuable recommendations, or spam and whore for "likes". Only time will tell.
      Appreciate your feedback on the article. :-)

  3. Solid post Ray "Google+" Hiltz

    Nice job breaking down the pros and cons. Let's be honest, we live in a copy cat world. I mean Google has tried for years to create a social network trying to compete with the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. We all saw this coming for a while, it makes sense they did this and I think competition is good for all of us.

    I think the one major difference between G+ and FB is that a good percentage of Facebook users are there playing around and not aware of the impact their comments, likes and action have(will have) on a search driven world. While people initially react to the changes, the majority do not even take advantage of many of the updates.

    As for the G+ community, they are made up of a more savvy social user. For example: My mother might spend time on Facebook but she'll never adapt to G+ or any other shiny, new network. Being on one network is more than enough, just as I assume the same will be true with casual social users who already invested time finding their friends, relatives, neighbors and classmates on Facebook.

    Great job on the post Ray. +1 for you my friend. : )

    • Much appreciated, David.
      You're right. It's pretty predictable. The kids are stealing from each other's lunch boxes.
      Ever since Google lost it's access to Facebook and Twitter data in 2010, it needed a way to mine personal data from it's millions of users. And since Facebook went public, it needed to dig up even more data gold to attract advertisers and pay of stockholders.

      Meanwhile, Mom and Aunt Tildy are exchanging knitting patterns and Joey's sharing party photos.

  4. Mallie Hart says:

    Great article, Ray. You really hit on many of the key "issues" and ideas that hadn't really been held under the light or inspected under the microscope.

    I've been a caller-outer of the like trade and gaming of likes from the get go. As I have always said, the like with intent and connection means so much more than the like for like's sake. Will be very interesting to see what occurs as Graph Search rolls out and becomes part of daily scope.

    • Thanks, Mallie.
      It doesn't seem we'll know for quite awhile. Especially those of us living outside the US.
      But this represents a good opportunity for people and brands to clean up their Facebook act.

  5. You make me laugh Ray, I just wiped coffee off my keyboard. Tell Aunt Tildy I'll be looking out for her knitting patterns. : )

  6. Great article Ray! As I said before, your number 3 point in the "negative implications" will mean number 1 will be a waste of effort and will not happen to the extent that people think.

  7. andreaeldridge says:

    I thought the title was perfect LOL

  8. ideagirlmedia says:

    Ray,

    This is a beautiful post. Your graphics are terrific and you've included resources that make this a bookmark truffle, for sure!

    I'm honored to be mentioned – Thank you for including me, and my post here!!

    Thank you for the recommendation of PrivacyFix. Look for your mug on my page soon, as I can't wait to share with my fans!

    To fabulous search and tweaked privacy,

    ~Keri

  9. ideagirlmedia says:

    You mean there's a question?? haha ;)

  10. Gettysburg Gerry says:

    Excellent post Ray, I think this is clearly a move to counter Google Plus gains, that being said… it is our reality to deal with. I definitely agree with your point about a new crop of Graphperts…they will always be out there waiting to con the masses. It also seems to me a perfect storm of another wave of "like" buying, for the life of me, I just wish people could understand that a "like" is just a small piece of what a fabulous Facebook page is supposed to do.
    What I do love about all this is that we as consumers are being given cool new tools and sites, that is what competition is all about.
    Well done Ray…..

  11. Thanks, Gerry, very much appreciated.
    I don!t think that's there's any doubt that it will be a big change for how people & brands use Facebook.
    Concern is hat search results are only as good as information at the source. Facebook or any other social media feeds aren't known for their journalistic standards (if that exists still).
    Have a great week.

  12. SteveHughes says:

    Hey Ray – Great title. I think this is just the beginning. The FB announcement was sort of ho-hum, but I think they just might be setting to deliver outside of Facebook. Practice within Facebook, improve it and deliver to everyone. It would seem like a logical next step.

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