What Facebook’s Graph Search Means for Mompreneurs
In case you haven’t heard, Facebook is dipping its toes into the world of search. Called Graph Search, this new feature was announced on January 15 and it’s already the topic of much conversation around the Web.
So what’s the big deal when you’ve already got Google, you ask?
It could be a very big deal. Not only will it be a great way to connect with new people and get personalized recommendations for places to eat or books to read, it has the potential to be very powerful for folks who use Facebook to market their business or service. Let’s look at what Graph Search is and how it can impact you.
Graph Search Uses Natural Language
Google’s search engine is keyword based. In order to successfully appear in Google organic search results, you have to have a pretty good understanding of how keywords work, how people search them, and optimize your website and content to be targeted at the RIGHT keywords.
Facebook’s Graph search uses natural language. You can type in “people who live in my city” and it will search YOUR network, content that’s been shared with you, and content that is viewable to the entire public and give you back relevant .
Let’s say you have a handmade jewelry business in Cincinnati, Ohio with a fan page on Facebook. In order to find your business on Google, you’d have to research the right keywords that people use when looking for handmade jewelry in Cincinnati. Then you have to put effort toward making sure your site utilizes those keywords wherever possible.
With Graph Search, someone could type in “handmade jewelry in Cincinnati” and your site has a shot of appearing in the pool of results (assuming your fan page information has your location and business info) without you doing anything else.
Graph Search Lives In Facebook
Google searches canvas the entire Internet. Two people running the same Google search will get roughly the same results (many of them being irrelevant).
Graph Search will canvas Facebook. Your search results for “handmade jewelry in Cincinnati” will be different than my results because the Graph Search is intended to be highly personalized. It will key off your network and their likes, interests and locations. The premise is that you’re likely to see much more relevant results this way: we hang out with people who share our interests, both in real life and on Facebook.
When I search “handmade jewelry in Cincinnati”, Graph Search will likely look at who I know in Cincinnati and whether any of those friends have liked any jewelry fan pages within Facebook, checked in to jewelry stores locally, and so on – and present results accordingly.
This is powerful for businesses, because it ‘s a hands-free, word-of-mouth marketing tool. If it works as it’s touted to, Graph Search results will be much more relevant to the person searching, and highly targeted at what’s happening that person’s individualized network.
Now, this is all speculation at this point since Facebook is only beginning to roll Graph Search out in a limited release. But here are some steps you can take to make sure your Facebook presence takes advantage of Graph Search as soon as possible:
- Update your business Fan Page with correct location information, a detailed description of your business, and other information that people would want to know if they were searching for your busines
- Review your “about” section to make sure you’ve got some rich information about your business there as well.
- Keep the discussions going on your Fan Page so engagement remains steady as Graph Search becomes more widely available. If you’ve been a little MIA on your page, now’s the time to jump back in.
- If you’re concerned about privacy, you should also have a look through your personal account and check your privacy settings. Remember that friends will be able to search anything you’ve shared with them in the past (that photo you wish you hadn’t taken 4 years ago, for example). Facebook said it’s taking the privacy concerns with this product seriously, but that remains to be seen.
It will be exciting to watch this new product develop and see if it’s helpful as Facebook says it’s going to be.
What do you think – would you use Graph Search to find local businesses, movies to go see or new friends to connect with? Do you have privacy concerns about the ability to dig through everybody’s virtual past?