What’s a “Like” Worth? Ask Facebook’s Graph Search

The recent debut of Facebook’s Graph Search allows marketers to actually quantify the value of a Facebook “like”. Fortunately, this new feature that provides search results based on the favorites of their friends makes it as simple to determine the ROI of a “like” or follower as it is to gauge the efforts of SEO. AdAge.com highlighted how Graph Search is ushering in a new means of SEO.

Graph Search has really turned search upside-down by using the filter of friendly recommendations to determine final search rankings. There’s no denying that the approval of friends carries enormous weight and is often much more trusted than any type of advertising. As a result of this new search format, marketers have had trouble working out a way to optimize and measure their Facebook search marketing in order to bring in new business. Yet once marketers understand how to properly leverage the new format, they can easily assess the value of the “likes” their clients covet.

It’s vital to realize that brands and places will never appear in search results or receive any recommendations if they don’t have a Facebook page. Since search rankings incorporate the interactions of users, these pages must feature user communications and not just be an empty page for the sake of claiming a Facebook presence.

Just as important as maintaining an active Facebook page is gaining “likes” and “check-ins” since these hold enormous weight when it comes to ranking on the Search Graph. While these “likes” previously held little tangible value beyond proving a brand’s popularity or increasing their audience for their News Feeds, these approvals now convey the level of user engagement and ultimately determine where the brand appears in search on Facebook.

Still, “likes” aren’t the only way for brands to rank well in search. In fact, brands that have basically paid for “likes” by requiring them for special promotions are likely to lose those fans and their “likes” over time, which would negatively impact their search rankings. Instead of forcing users to “like” them, these brands should focus on giving users genuine reasons to approve of them by providing interesting content and striving to constantly engage them. This is the only real way to maintain a steady Facebook fan base and generate new relationships to continually improve the brand’s search ranking.

Google may have dominated the search arena for many years, but Facebook’s Graph Search and extensive personal data give the social network a prime opportunity to completely redefine search. In theory, Search Graph should allow for better targeting, higher click-through-rates, and a greater number of conversions than traditional search. This should strongly benefit brands and local businesses and help search evolve into an even stronger marketing tool for tomorrow.

To learn more about integrating Facebook’s Graph Search into your search marketing strategy, contact MDG today at 561-338-7797 or visit www.mdgsolutions.com.

MDG, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top integrated marketing agencies. Our 360° approach uses just the right mix of traditional and digital marketing to reach your advertising goals. While some industries may fare better in print and others online, we strive to create a balanced approach, where traditional, digital, social media, and search marketing efforts support each other and your message is tailored to the medium. To stay on top of the latest Facebook trends and what’s new in search marketing, contact MDG today at 561-338-7797 or visit www.mdgsolutions.com.

Read more at Adage.com.