In today’s world it’s black and white. You’re either into Facebook or you’re not. Did you know 54% of Australians now have Facebook?

With a global audience (as of 20 January 2013) of 981,101,800 and 11,841,820 in Australia (ranking it #21), it’s no wonder that Mark Zuckerberg has turned his eye to search in 2013.

Yes Facebook has launched Graph Search that pulls together the value of all the likes, check-ins and photo tags that we are all adding at a rate of knots to our Facebook Timeline. It has also been developed with the engineers from Bing so will also display Bing results.

Engineered by Facebook and Bing

Launched January 2013

It’s still in beta and has had limited rollout, however soon you’ll be able to take advantage of four main areas from what’s called a recommendation or social search engine:

  1. People – friends who like a particular interest
  2. Photos – photos of friends in a particular place
  3. Places – places such as restaurants liked by friends (watch out Foursquare and Yelp)
  4. Interests – interest such as music liked by friends

It deepens the notion of the ‘social network’ and from my point of view will make sure that 2013 is in fact the year of being socially enmeshed.

It’s also a play to make sure people stay engaged within Facebook (which is sure to be an ongoing struggle in the coming years).

So how will this impact marketers in 2013?

1) Geo targeting

Social search means everything can be geo-targeted, hence consumers will be able to find brands by location. So expect a growth in local area marketing on a mass scale. Check out Maccas new App ‘TrackMyMaccas’ which is a great example of utilising geolocation, augmented reality, and data driven ingredient and supply chain information

2) Research and insight

Social search will allow marketers to conduct insightful research in an instant on their brand and competition. So be prepared to lower your research budgets and utilise more powerful & insightful data. It will spell the death of 10 people research groups over wine and crackers!

3) Co-branded opportunities

Social search brings with it brand and product correlations. So I expect marketers will look for more non-competitive brand associations that are consumer driven in order to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Ultimately it’s all about Trust

Whilst no-one is really sure how Graph Search will change the world (or whether it will) one thing is guaranteed. We trust people we like and are wary of those that we don’t know.

So it makes sense that we should trust our friends, and by definition our friends of friends, when searching for things to do, places to eat, places to shop or people to meet.

From my perspective, if you’re a Marketer in 2013 that’s not taking advantage of Graph Search then I’d suggest looking around for a new career.

What do you think?