Facebook is working really hard to improve its search functions.
For me, search on Facebook has been one area that has needed some work for a while.
But Facebook is now slowly rolling out something called Graph Search and I think this will have a huge impact for small business.
Facebook Graph Search for small business – what could it mean for you?
The bottom line is, it could make it easier for people who need what you offer to find you on Facebook.
Now, of course, this means you have to have a Facebook business page to find. If you don’t have one, I suggest you make one now!
According to Facebook, here’s how Graph Search works:
- The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play.
- These search suggestions take people to a unique results page. The results returned are based on factors that include information that has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching.
- As has been the case for some time, we may also make search suggestions in the search bar that then can trigger web searches. Web searches will display Bing results and Bing ads, similar to results on Bing.com.
- Pages and apps can still use sponsored results, which appear to people whether or not they have Graph Search (sponsored results have been globally available since August 2012). There are no new ad formats available today. Here is more information on creating a sponsored result.
Some ways I see myself, my friends and my clients using graph search:
- Myself: To find cool local companies. I love food and I love Durham, so I’m always looking for new local places to eat. Theoretically, with graph search I could search “restaurants my friends like in Durham” and get a list of cool local eateries. Will yours be in the list?
- My friends: I have a lot of friends of love to shop. They could search “Clothing/Fashion stores near me” to get the inside scoop on what top local fashion brands they should be watching.
- My clients: My clients can use this to prospect. For example, a local magazine can, theoretically, used Graph Search to find new local businesses to advertise with them, by searching “New local businesses near me.”
If it works as advertised, Facebook is upping its game with this Graph Search – so you want to make your business page ready for the switch.
Here are tips, directly from Facebook, on getting your business page ready for Graph Search:
- Fill out your Page name, category, web address and About section.
- If you have a location or local place Page, update your address so you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
- Share content directly on your Page: Only photos and videos shared on your Page can appear as results for photo and video-related searches.
- Strengthen your Page connections: Ensure you’re attracting the right people and having them interact with your content. If someone searches for restaurants in a particularly city, those that are most popular with their closest friends will be displayed first. Also, results that are similar to a searcher’s existing likes and interests may be more likely to appear.
For more information about Graph Search check out these resources below: