Were you waiting with baited breath for Facebook’s exciting new announcement last week? I actually thought it would be about the new requirement that text make up 20% or less of your cover image (and promoted posts images).
But, no, that wasn’t the BIG announcement. Instead, Facebook announced that it wants to compete with Yelp (or maybe Match.com?) All of the fanfare about a “business changing” new announcement from Facebook was ALL about it’s new Graph Search. Basically, graph search lets you search the profiles of your friends (and people who like your fan page) for profile information, things that they’ve likes, etc.
You can also search for multiple characteristics. Are you an Albuquerque theater company doing a production of Miss Saigon and you need a dozen male Asian opera signers under the age of 35 for the chorus? Facebook graph would be very helpful for that.
And, theoretically, Facebook graph could be an amazing market research tool. The trouble is, the search results are based on whether or not people have liked the page (or somewhat creepily) whether they have checked in at that location. You and I both know that likes aren’t necessarily “likes”. I might like a restaurants page because the owner is in a mastermind group with me – not because I love the food there. The graph would be amazingly useful if Facebook could actually search the text of the posts – but that might raise some serious privacy concerns among Facebook users.
The most interesting part of the graph search for business is that promoted posts and sponsored results ads are going to be included in the search results. If the graph search catches on, it might be worth buying ads for the searches that are the most important to you.
In the meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Here are 3 things your business can do to get ready for Facebook Graph Search
According to Facebook, the main thing you should do is make sure that your Facebook fan page is complete. Here’s how:
1. Make sure that you have filled out ALL the information in the about section of your page. Make sure that the business name, category and vanity URL are all completed. You can also optimize this information to include words that your customers might use to find you.
2. If your business has a physical location – make sure that address is filled in so that you can appear as a result for that specific location.
3. Start offering incentives to customers for checking in at your location – this will help you show up more often in the search results.
The graph also makes it more important that you work on attracting “the right” likes to your page. You want to engage people who are actual prospects not just people who are exchanging likes with you.
What do you think of the Facebook graph? What are some searches you would like to try?