Have you ever wanted to be able to filter and find your Facebook friends who, say, live within 10 miles of you and enjoy rock climbing? No? Well, by golly, Facebook wants to give you the opportunity anyway with its new Graph Search feature. The ever-changing social network intends to update its search algorithm by allowing users to explore their social graph intuitively, based on traffic, likes, common interests and a number of other complex factors. Users can search using natural linguistic patterns, as seen below when I searched, “Friends who like rock climbing.”
From there I have the option of refining my search and filtering by gender, location proximity, employer and even relationship status. Crazy, huh? The most significant aspect of Graph Search is that it provides a social context for Facebook search that wasn’t there before. It goes deeper than keyword matching by adding the mulitfaceted social dimension.
Along with a redesign of the general newsfeed (notifications are on the right now?!), Graph Search started rolling out gradually to the population of English-speaking Facebook users in January. Its widespread use is fast approaching and as a business, it’s important that you prepare your Facebook business page for Graph Search’s scrutiny.
Facebook hasn’t been very forthright about Graph Search’s impact on business pages, so marketers are currently in the shade when it comes to specific steps to take to optimize Facebook pages for the readjusted algorithm. That being said, there are several things you can and should do now to make sure your business can adapt to Graph Search’s demands and expand your Facebook reach in the process.
Get specific and accurate
If a person that knows nothing about your business pulled up your Facebook page, how full of a picture would they get of who you are, what you do and where you are located? In order to optimize your business page for Graph Search, make sure that your company’s essential details are clearly laid out in your About section. Ambiguity will cause you to get lost in the fray of the new search format, while specificity will help you take advantage of the complex search traffic.
Also, Facebook Graph Search displays ratings and reviews from Yelp, so its important that you create, claim and manage a Yelp listing for your business. The more positive reviews and ratings you get on Yelp, the more legitimate your business seems to Facebook.
Optimize your personal page, too
This is a small but potentially important detail for the business owner who is a big part of his or company’s “personality” or brand. List your role at your business under employment and take care to keep your personal Facebook professional.
You might be thinking, “Isn’t that what my personal profile on LinkedIn is for?” Yes, but Facebook Graph Search will make it very easy for potential customers and potential future hires to see the big picture of your business, and that big picture most likely involves you as “Works at” is one of the options for refining a search. You can avoid personal scrutiny by keeping a tight lock on your privacy settings and encouraging your employees to do the same.
Grow your follower numbers and engagement
Easier said than done, right? Building a following on Facebook takes time, but there are things you can do today to bolster numbers tomorrow (check out this excellent list of ways here).
More likes means more credibility with Graph Search, but don’t stop there. Facebook also takes into account the degree of user interaction and engagement on your page. Along with utilizing Facebook advertising, you can increase the amount and quality of interaction on your page by updating it frequently with things that your target audience cares about or finds interesting.
While we aren’t fully aware of the specific implications and ins-and-outs of Facebook Graph Search just yet, it is definitely the next big thing in social media marketing for small businesses. Prepare now and stay ahead of the curve!
And if you need any help, please call or contact Primm. We can help you navigate the social media waters and make sure you come out on top.