The announcements from Facebook at the launch of their new Graph Search understandably focused on the benefits to users but make no mistake, the new Facebook search will have massive advantages for businesses.
Important enough to be described as Facebook’s third pillar after Newsfeed and Timeline, Graph Search will enable users to find people, places, and things that match specific characteristics. Users currently obtain information and content from their Newsfeeds and the Timelines of others. Graph Search will become the third way that information and content is obtained.
For example. you could search for ‘photos of the Cotswolds taken in 2009’, ‘books read by Manchester United fans’ or ‘single men who like yoga’. The possibilities are endless. You’ll also be able to search the web from within Facebook using Bing.
An improvement to Facebook Search is long overdue with the current search being rather clunky, lacking the ability to index status updates plus it’s also historical; Google Search is real time. If you would like to be one of the first people to try Graph Search go here, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Join Waiting List.
The advantages to businesses are considerable. For example, people will be able to use Facebook to find products, services and venues that have been liked and recommended by their friends. Right now you will see friends who have liked a Facebook Page in your newsfeed or activity stream but Graph Search allows you to directly search and collate this data.
So if you wanted to find ‘Italian restaurants liked by my friends in Cheltenham’ you’ll be able to. Facebook will display results according to your friends interaction with Italian restaurants in Cheltenham eg Likes, check-ins, ratings. recommendations, comments and shares. So for consumers to find your business you need to be on Facebook with an up to date, completed and optimised Page AND make it engaging and popular Page with lots of interaction – here are 5 ways to encourage interaction. For more on this read my previous article on the recently launched Facebook Nearby which is using some Graph Search functionality on mobile apps for bricks and mortar based businesses.
The difference between Nearby and Graph Search is that the latter will be available on facebook.com as well as mobile and will search all businesses and profiles. It is likely to be become part and parcel of our everyday use of Facebook and will be easily accessible on the top left hand side. Regarding the search of personal profiles with Facebook have stated that only content you currently have access too will be displayed in Graph Search results.
In addition to being found by consumers wanting to buy from you, there’s plenty of other uses that businesses could make of the new tool. For example, market research and competitor analysis both spring to mind. A wedding photographer could obtain a listing of all engaged men and women in their local town or a tennis club could find local people interested in tennis. Both business owners could also find out which of their friends had liked a competitor. Plus these results could be combined too! There are an unlimited number of possibilities and therefore there’s a huge amount of potential.
So make sure you have a Facebook Page, it is fully completed, set up correctly and that you’re engaging with your fans and customers. This is important now for raising awareness of your business and your products or services but once Graph Search has launched the benefits will be magnified.
For more on how you can set up your Page and use Facebook to benefit your business, give me a call on 01242 639023 or check out my Facebook for Business and Advanced Facebook for Business workshops – full schedule and booking.