Facebook Graph Search – what it means for your business
With great fanfare earlier in the year, Facebook launched Graph Search, a tool that connects users with the web via their connections. It allows users to search for businesses and services that their friends like or have interacted with, so could spell big changes for small business clamouring for attention in the busy Facebook arena.
Graph Search is all about connections. Facebook’s mission is to ‘make the world more connected’ and Graph Search is their answer. Unlike web search engines, Graph Search uses recommendations from your connections to get you personalised results. So if you’re looking for company whilst you hang off a cliff face, you could search for ‘friends who like rock climbing’, which will also direct you to friends of friends who have that hobby. Importantly for businesses, pages that friends have liked or checked in at will be at the top of search results.
At the moment, Graph Search isn’t a real threat to Google. Only a small selection of people have access to Graph Search (in an office of digital marketers, I’m the only one with access) and it’ll be a while before it’s the go-to place to search. However, with trillions of connections ready and waiting to be accessed and the fact that people set so much store by their friends’ opinions, it’s vital to think about the affects sooner rather than later.
So what can you do to Graph Search proof your business? The crucial thing to consider is how social your page is. It’s not enough to set up a page and hope your customer base will flock to it and stay there. Firstly you need to advertise your page on your other channels: email, web and other social media platforms like Twitter. Then once you’ve attracted fans, you need to engage with them; otherwise it’s like hosting a dinner party and sitting in silence when your guests arrive. So start conversations, ask questions, post interesting pictures and share exclusive deals. The higher the engagement on your page, the more likely you are to appear in graph search results. Appearances in results will lead to more likes and ultimately, more business.
To get more information about how to use Graph Search to its full potential, contact Louise Davies on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 870 8194.