Every time Facebook announces something new the debate always goes two ways – invasion of privacy or something brilliant. Same goes for the latest Facebook tool Graph Search.
As a business owner, you should be ecstatic about it as it brings a new way how your customers will find you and on the flip side how you can find you customers and followers.
What is Facebook Graph Search?
Graph Search is a new Facebook feature currently being rolled out that will allow users to search through Facebook’s content. It’s similar as Google and other search engines; however Graph Search searches only within Facebook. This means that unlike other search engines the results will be specified for each user and his or her social network on Facebook.
The search results are based on three key factors:
Facebook Graph Search will scan all of the content on Facebook for keywords that match the user’s search terms. This is similar to Google, however search results will be limited to Facebook content only.
2 – Category
These are categories that pages use to self-define their business. Graph Search will scan these categories to determine search results. This is very important for Facebook business pages.
3 – Connection
Facebook will give preference to results based on who the searcher knows and who is in their larger network – friend of friends. This reflects the notion that people prefer to take recommendations from people they know. You can only imagine what this can do for your business.
So, how will all these influence search results?
Let’s say you are searching for a ‘beauty salon’ on Facebook Graph Search. The tool will scan all content for the keyword ‘beauty salon’ with particular emphasis on businesses that have words ‘beauty salon’ listed in their category. To determine results Facebook Graph Search tool will scan profiles, posts, comments, check-ins within your network. This is an important factor as it means that your search results will be limited to your connections, which includes, your physical location, shared connections, pages you liked or commented on and any other interactions with a page.
So why should you care?
If you have put two and two together, you’ve noticed that if you don’t have your keywords strategically placed on your page, or your pages don’t sit in the right category or your connections are bad – you might not come up in Graph Search results at all.
How to fix this?
Here are 7 simple steps that you need to do to prepare for the Graphs Search:
1 – Check your category
Category of your business page will have a significant weight in search results. Take time and think about how you categorised your business and weather it really describes your business accurately. Put yourself in shoes of a user who is trying to search for your business – what would they search for.
2 – “Keyword” your About section
Using your keywords in about section is not a new technique. It has been used to boost Google rankings. But if you haven’t thought about your keywords yet now it’s time to do it. Rewrite your about section and include as many keywords people might use to search for your business. Keep in mind that your content still needs to read well.
3 – “Keyword” you content
Tags will be another key element that Graph Search will use to determine results. Use your keywords in your post, tag your photos, videos and encourage your clients and customers to tag your business as much as possible.
4 – Encourage engagement
Engagement with your followers was always important for your page to have higher priority in news feeds of your fans. It will also be important for priority in search results.
Same rules apply – Create content that is relevant and engaging and you will gain better interaction.
While funny and odd things gain a lot of likes, comments and interaction, you need to think a bit more strategically about what you post. Your Facebook content will now be searchable; therefore keywords will become more important. Informative and keyword rich content will outperform content that is irrelevant, even if it has better engagement.
As a business you need to think about what value are you adding for your fans, potential clients. Make them laugh but also teach them or help them in their life in some way. Whatever content you are posting, encourage interaction. The more people interact with you and the larger is your network the better are your chances to show up in results.
With each LIKE or share you connect to whole new network of potential clients. Think about that J
5 – Location, location, location
Keep your address up to date as this determines your location. Facebook Graph Search will give priority to results that are geographically connected to the searcher, his network and your business.
You can boost your rankings simply by asking your clients to “Check-In” when visiting your business. Think of ways how you can encourage and reward them for doing it.
6 – Embrace the change
It’s not a new idea that those who embrace the change and innovations get to rip the benefits earlier. Imagine if you have not hesitated using social media marketing and expending your business online earlier – do you think you would be ahead of your competition?
Faceboook is releasing Beta version of Graph Search slowly and if you want to be one o the first ones to use it join the waiting list https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
7 – Get excited, open your eyes!
As Facebook is releasing Graph Search the new developments will be coming out. Follow announcements, listen to experts and open yourself to possibilities of learning how Graph Search will work and how it can benefit your business.
To summon up – Graph Search is an amazing tool that combines the power of personalized recommendation with large scale of social media. It gives your customers (and their friends, and friends’ of friends) an amazing tool to find you. It takes the word of mouth to a whole new level. Imagine what this will do for your business.
I would love to hear what you think about the Graph Search – Share your thought in comments below. Thanks.