Facebook Changes: Graph Search and what it means for your business

Do you 'Like' Facebook Graph Search?

Do you ‘Like’ Facebook Graph Search?

Changes are afoot again at Facebook headquarters as they chase after a piece of the Google search pie! Let’s look at the changes and what they mean for your business social media strategy.

After a few months of being quiet on the blogging front, we are re-starting in 2013 with renewed enthusiasm, bringing you the easy to understand facts about how to use social media for your business.

So what are these changes and do we like them?

The latest changes are all on the personal profiles, which may not seem relevant to your business on Facebook. It is, however, important that you understand how these changes work so that you can make the most of them for your business page or place.

Example: People who live in my City

Example: People who live in my City

What is Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook have today released a new feature called Graph Search. Users will now be able to sort through Facebook in a much more powerful way to find people, places, businesses and information that are most relevant to them. It allows you to search for things that have been shared through Open Graph. These could include apps used, places visited, recommendations left and comments on photos and posts. This is the new frontier called social search; feeding you what is most relevant based on what your network is doing.

Mark Zuckerberg stressed that this is not just another search engine. “Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer.”

Make it work for your Business

The holy grail in any social media is to get your fans talking about your products, services and business. Now when people search within Facebook, it will feed up posts by friends about the topic, service or business type they are looking for. It also shows pages about that topic or business that your friends have ‘Liked’. Now whether people ‘Like’ your page or not really does matter and people talking about you is more vital than ever!

If people have ‘Like’ your content and engaged with your business on Facebook, this too will increase your visibility when anyone in their network searches for your business, products or services. The more people ‘Like’, check in, comment and recommend your business page, the higher you will rank in search.

If you pay for sponsored stories these will also show up in the new Graph Search.

Top Tips

– Use keywords in your page and your posts. If people are searching for ‘Friends who have been to a Spanish Restaurant in Sydney’ and those words are not in your Spanish Restaurant profile page, you won’t show up in results. It’s time to audit your page!

– If you have a physical or localised business ensure that your business page is set up as a ‘Local Business’ and that your address and contact details are correct. This will help your ranking in the search results.

– Both places and pages will show in results. If you have both, make sure you bring them together as one for maximum results.

– Photos with the most likes, from people most relevant in a users network, will show highest in search. Engagement on photos is still key.

– Ensure that you respond to questions and comments on your page, as these will show up in search results. If comments go unanswered, this will be the first thing people notice about how you have treated their connections. This is a big influencer on whether others will engage with your business.

Put it to the Test

Graph Search is in very early Beta and there is a waiting list. Join it here!

What if it isn’t on Facebook?

If you ask a question or search for something that doesn’t exist on Facebook, it will feed you search results from Bing instead. This important feature means your business will still come up on search if not within Facebook. I’m often asked if a website is still important or whether Facebook business page is enough. Both are important!

What about Privacy?

If you are concerned about privacy and this new search feature, watch the video from Facebook on how to protect your privacy.