How to Get the Most Out of Facebook Graph Search
by smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
- Created: July 12, 2013, 4:54 pm
In January of 2013, Facebook starting rolling out a Beta version of something called Graph Search. And this week, they opened up Graph Search to all U.S. users.
Graph Search has been touted by some as Facebook’s answer to search engines such as Google and Bing, but it’s truly not a replacement of a standard search engine. In fact, Facebook actually incorporates Bing search results in a feature it calls “Search the Web.”
Rather, Graph Search simply does a better job of searching through Facebook. Graph Search is especially good if you want to search to see what your friends are doing, what they like or other information related to them. Graph Search in its current form is also good at searching by location.
Graph Search can help your business get discovered by more people, especially if you run a local business.
Here are some pointers for how to make the most out of Graph Search for your business:
(1) Experience it yourself.
If you haven’t yet used Graph Search, do try it out as soon as you can. Many people will still have to push a button and enable it, if they want to use it. The simplest way to do that is to go the Facebook Graph Search page, and click the button to “Try Graph Search.”
Once you’ve signed up, spend 20 minutes doing some sample searches. Insert a search phrase in the newly enhanced search box that now appears at the top left corner of Facebook. You’ll see many more search options “auto-suggested” in the search box. You’ll see options such as “Friends of ___,” “My friends that like ___” and “Friends near [city] that like ____.”
This way, you will see what users see, and you’ll get an idea of the kinds of search results returned. In order to capitalize on the advantages of Graph Search, you first have to understand them yourself, as a user.
(2) Make your business page as complete and detailed as possible.
Local businesses will want to make sure their location is spelled out clearly on their Facebook Page. Indicate products and services, too. Have a good image, also. This way you’re more likely to show up in searches and look impressive.
(3) Encourage fans to share their location when they visit, and leave reviews.
Reviews show up in Graph Search results for local businesses, so you will want to have as many reviews as possible. Also, searchers will see friends who have visited. For instance, if I search for a restaurant on Facebook, one of the results will show me restaurants near a city of my choice that my friends have visited.
(4) Offer discounts and specials on Facebook.
If you regularly offer specials and discounts via your Facebook page, people will get used to checking it for them. It then increases activity with your business. And the bigger your network, the more visible your business will be when people use Graph Search. People will see their friends’ activity, Likes, etc. -- and that in turn will grow your network. The more engagement, the more opportunities for additional engagement.
While Graph Search is not the single answer to all your Facebook marketing, it offers some advantages that you will want to take advantage of to market your business, especially a local small business.
Finally, for those concerned about how of their activity appears on Facebook, go to the Graph Search Privacy page to verify your privacy settings.
About the Author
My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.
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