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Preparing Your Business for Facebook’s Graph Search

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The world of search engine and social media marketing are growing closer and closer together, and the announcement of Facebook Graph Search only proves to show that these two vital elements of Online marketing are merging into one powerful engine that brings people and online interaction closer together.

Only a few lucky American Facebook users had the opportunity to test-drive the beta version of Graph Search earlier yesterday. Australian Facebook users will have to wait for a bit before getting a chance to personally experience this magnificent upgrade to the popular social networking service.

So, what exactly is this “Graph Search”?

Simply put, it is an expansion of Facebook’s existing Open Graph, the feature that shares everything you do on the social networking site. The biggest difference now is that Graph Search will enable you to instantly search for the people, photos, places and interest that are relevant to you on Facebook, all in real-time.

It varies from regular search engines because of the depth of personalization that you can only obtain on Facebook. All your information and data are collected through your profile page and search results are subsequently tailored according to your search queries. For example, Graph Search allows you to type in a phrase such as ‘People who like shoes’ and the search results page will give you personalized results that will give you the precise answers to your queries from friends, and friends of friends and beyond. This integration of search and social could possibly be the next step in the future of Online marketing for businesses to reach out to their audience on a more personal level.

At the product launch earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg said, “”Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links that might have answers. What Facebook is doing is much harder. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer.”

The best part is that Graph Search allows you to find something that you specifically like such as photos of your family gatherings or your aunt’s graduation from 1987, rather than giving you generic search results. It is solely focused on finding people that share the same passion and interest as you do and you can go as far as finding the TV shows that are watched by lawyers or apps that friends of friends are using.

You can also be absolutely specific with your search with phrases such as ‘People who like shoes who live within 10km of the Melbourne CBD who also has blonde hair and loves cats’, and you can literally find that particular person through Graph Search.

What does this all mean to your business and your social media efforts?

It means that it’s time for an upgrade in your social strategies, and you have to be more active, up to date and have good information all the time!

Now that it is so easy for people to connect to your page through Graph Search, you must update your addresses so that they show up in local searches and help your business hook in the right target audience. Results will be highly based on data shared on your business page and connections of your fans, and overall rankings will be based on the engagement and quality of your Facebook page. So, it is highly recommended that you start making changes today and include only quality content and start conversing more with your fans on Facebook.

There are a few things that we can speculate to be highly important for a Facebook business page to stand out in Graph Search:

1)  Tagging photos with your business location, dates, and if possible, the official business page of the product that you are distributing. Let’s assume that your target audience will search for something like ‘Vintage 1945 Tag Heuer watches in Melbourne’, if you have tagged the year, brand and location into the photo, there is a high possibility that your photo will come up in the search results.

2)  Filling out page fields correctly so that the information from your business page can be easily retrieved and put into the search results by Facebook.

3)  Writing copy with keywords as if you were writing it for SEO and Search Engine Rankings.

4)  Number of page likes might also become significantly important when it comes to search rankings and visibility on Facebook Graph Search because the more fans and connection you have, your chances of showing up in search results are higher.

The product is still very new and it is definitely a very exciting change for social media as a whole. With only the beta version currently available in the US it has already shown us a small glimpse of its full potential.

I’ll leave you with this introduction video on Facebook Graph Search so that you can get a glimpse of what is installed for the future of search engine marketing. Whilst it’s still making its way to us in Australia, let’s take this exciting time to learn more about Facebook Graph Search and get ready to start connecting with our fans on a whole different level, and reap the rewards of this ingenious social media marketing innovation!

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