Facebook’s vision for the new Graph Search…
In the past, Facebook has been about staying in touch and communicating with people you already know. They are now building a product which can also be used to find people you maybe should know, who have common interests.
It’s interesting because most people today don’t think about Facebook as a place to discover where they could go eat or things that they could go do, but with this product it’s just so natural to be able to do that.
Mark Zuckerberg, speaking about the new Graph Search feature.
While some are labelling it a “stalker’s dream come true” the basic premise of the new Graph Search functionality is a utopian one; find friends of friends who enjoy common interests, grow your community, make new friends who share your views and values, likes and dislikes.
From a personal perspective, it’s worth conducting a review of your privacy settings after any change Facebook makes, to ensure that you’re comfortable with the amount of data you’re sharing about yourself.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Facebook is made for sharing, that’s its purpose (apart from advertising to you; the product). Always be mindful that any information you share online has the potential to be seen by people unknown to you.
From a business perspective, the new Graph Search means – theoretically – that more new fans can find you based on searching what their friends and friends of friends like and share.
Tips for optimising business pages for Graph Search:
- Ensure all your page information is up-to-date and accurate (name, categories, vanity URL “About details”; fill in all of the fields available, the more information, the more search can index it)
- Tag your business in photos and videos
- Make sure your page is listed as a Local Business and that your address is correct
- Encourage visitors to “check in” and engage regularly with your page by creating content that they might want to like and share
- Post meaningful content; discover your keywords (what terms people are using to find you via search engines such as Google or Bing) and include these in your page posts; add captions to your content that use your keywords as well as tags and locations
Optimising your company’s Facebook page and keeping it up to date has benefits for organic SEO, particularly if you have your website and blog linked to your Facebook page.
Graph Search is seen by Facebook developers as one of the pillars of the service, along with Timelines and Newsfeed. This would indicate they’re throwing substantial effort into developing it. The interesting thing about it is the way it produces a unique set of search results for each user, unlike traditional search engines.
If social media is part of your marketing strategy, it’s worth keeping an eye on any changes that are made to the platform and looking at how you can use them to optimise your online presence.