Jan 16, 2013

Facebook Announces Graph Search...And We’re Ready.

Do you remember the days of pure, unaided discovery? I mean, when was the last time you found a new place to eat by just walking by a random restaurant? For me, it’s been a very long time.

Why? Social media and review sites have become my go-to place for finding, well, my new favorite “go-to” places. Around the office, it’s a well-known fact that before I leave on a trip for a new city, I’ve already consulted Yelp on the best places to eat, drink, and be merry. And many people are like me, too.

So when Facebook announced its new Graph Search feature yesterday, I have to say I was on the list of those who saw tremendous opportunities for the social media sites I manage. Why?

If your brand has a Facebook page, Graph Search will make it even easier for people to discover and learn more about your page and business. And there’s nothing bad about that.

Here’s how it will work.

With Graph Search, Facebook users will be able to search the never-ending, behind-the-scenes social graph for terms such as “Mexican restaurants my friends have been to in Louisville” or “Games my friends like to play”. These terms will then search the social graph, giving users search results based in their friends’ historic activity.

The search bar (which is an adaptation of the current Facebook search bar) will then return results including pages, apps, places, groups, and people for the search terms, which is ‘per usual’ in the Facebook search world. The new addition is the search suggestions. These search suggestions will take users to a unique results page. The search results on this new page are based on relevancy of information that has been shared by your business and connections that the searcher has with matching pages.

 

Here’s what this may look like:

 

(Courtesy of Facebook)

 

How can you prepare for the new Graph Search feature? Here are our suggestions.

 

1.) Now more than ever, the emphasis on content searchability is taking a front seat. That means keeping your company name, vanity URL, categories, and information in your About section current AND optimized.

 

2.) For brands with location based or local pages, be sure to keep addresses updated in order to appear in search results when specific locations (like a search with the term “near me” in it) are wanted.

 

3.) Again, it’s all about interactions. In order to be found in searches, your fans need to interact with the content. Give them a reason. Writing content that is engaging and action-oriented.

4.) Even though numbers aren’t anything, the more fans you have, the more searchable you can become. Focus on growing quantity and quality, though (which is a best practice at any time).

 

    And remember, this new function is a win for brands. You just have to know how to take advantage of this searching opportunity.

    Want to try Graph Search for yourself? Sign up for the beta test here. And let us know what you think. We’d love to hear.