A Graph Search Thought for Brands & Page Owners

For a long time, a Facebook like has been a public demonstration of someone showing that they value something. And for years, people have clamored for a Dislike option as well. Facebook has never given in though, and has avoided much “Troll”ery on the site. However, the problem is that by focusing solely on the the Like, Facebook has subconsciously created a false dichotomy of either Like, or Dislike.

Alternatively, one’s value in a product/service/brand (pbs) is almost always scalar, and deserving of additional categorizations; Like, Dislike, Impartial, Inexperienced. Simplifying categorizations down to Like/Dislike eliminate any measure of magnitude, and grays the lines between dislike/impartial/inexperienced.

The problem I see with today’s announcement about Facebook’s Graph Search is that emboldens the line between Like and everything else. As it’s adopted, users will limit their consideration sets of products/services/brands to those that show up in “my friends based” Graph Searches. Thus, if your pbs isn’t Liked (or liked enough to push to the top), it’s perceived that you’re NOT liked or, worse, don’t EXIST. Yikes.

There are similarities to plain old search rankings and “If you’re not on the front page, you don’t exist”, but with normal search there’s still a chance that someone will go through a few pages and notice you. You’re not omitted. With Graph Search, if you aren’t liked in a circle of friends, you will not show up. Period.

That creates even more necessity for page owners to generate and maintain Likes, and could detract from the even more important responsibility to build relationships with your community. It’s paradoxical if, like most others, time is a limited resource for you. You end up prioritizing campaigns to generate Likes against those the build community and strengthen relationships. Kind of feels like we’re going back to 2011.

As a user, I think Graphl Search will be useful and enlightening. As a Page Owner, i think it will create even more headaches for managing and deriving value from a presence in the Facebook ecosystem.

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