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February 20, 2013

The Good and Bad of the New Facebook Graph Search

Facebook is preparing to introduce its newest feature, the Graph Search. The social network already has several great tools available to help you analyze content, build apps and get closer to your target audience. The Graph Search is another offering that has the potential to improve your social media marketing strategy.

This tool will have the ability to scan through user posts, photos, videos, pages and check-ins in order to make connections between different users throughout the network.

Here are some of the good (and the bad) points of the new Graph Search on Facebook:

The Good

New Fan Research

You will be able to gather new information about your fans with Graph Search, including favorite athletes, music, books, movies and more. You can use filters to segment your fans based on interests. (This will only work for profiles that are public.)

New Competitor Research

You can also use the tool to find out more about your competition, if they have Facebook pages. It is always good to be able to see what others in your industry are doing, how they are interacting with fans, and what new products they are introducing.

More Emphasis on Location

Businesses that rely on location, like restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and retailers, can really benefit from the Graph Search feature. Each check-in by users will determine search result rank. This will help users find your business when they use the “Nearby” feature.

Opportunity for Advertising

Graph Search will allow businesses to pay for sponsored results, much like Google or Bing advertising. Facebook may also be planning to offer some new types of advertising units for businesses to take advantage of in the next few months.

The Bad

Search Rankings
Results on the Graph Search will be based on App or Page activity, factoring in these metrics:

* Number of check-ins
* Fan activity
* Size of fan base
* User location
* User relevancy
* Relevancy to user’ friends

The algorithm used will be a lot like EdgeRank, which determines where a post appears in a News Feed. That means you will have to keep up a high level of engagement with fans and maintain a broad fan base.

Accuracy of Information

It is important to make sure that your brand’s “About” information is correct. The “About” info will appear in the results. If it doesn’t contain the right data, then your page won’t show up in the right search results.

Before Facebook completely rolls out the new Graph Search feature, it will be a good idea to go through and freshen up your page to make sure that it is ready when the time comes.

That includes:

Updating Your Brand’s About Page

This is an important source of information, so make sure it is up-to-date and accurate. Is the address, phone number, and store hours correct?

Having a Great Profile Picture

This is the image that will show up in search results, so make sure that it is a good one. Have it at a 620×620-pixel resolution with your brand name or logo. You want it to be something uniquely yours and easy to recognize.

Adding More Photos

Include shots of your products, shops, employees. Anything that users can see as a direct link to your brand. These will show up in search results so you want them to represent your brand’s essence. Add and remove tags as needed.

Building Up Your Fan Base

Don’t stop working to increase the number of fans you have for your Facebook page. The more you have, the higher your page will rank in search results.

Getting More Check-Ins

Encourage your customers to check-in when they come into your location. You can ask them directly, add it to your receipts, or put it on the door so they can see it as they walk in. More check-ins will also help to increase your ranking.

Do you think Graph Search will be better for businesses? What new features would you like to see in the future?

Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking today & see how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!

11 Responses to “The Good and Bad of the New Facebook Graph Search

    avatar Business Owners Direct says:

    Very informative article. Many thanks! We will share this.

    avatar AYO says:

    i hope the good aspect of graph search will help in the improvement of advertisers search marketing plans.

    avatar Dave Cook says:

    I have Graph Search as a developer. Your “bads” seem to be a bit misleading. The “search rankings” metrics that you mention here play such a small part, if any where I am trying to find companies and organizations that friend and friends of friends are using for goods and services.

    And since when is having accurate information bad? I do think Facebook needs to expand the choices in the creation of pages, but I have had ZERO issues in making Graph Search my Search Engine of Choice.

    Interesting, we are an adventure tour operator and very few clients ever come to our office, the majority of our clients find us online, book a trip and we meet them in country for the trip, so I’m curious how we can improve our rankings with Facebooks new features for our business?

    avatar George says:

    Facebook is a mine of user generated data, and graph search enables developers to develop a wide variety of facebook apps.

    avatar Supplier Jati says:

    very nice also the application of facebook now, hopefully useful to us all.

    avatar Nina says:

    The Face book graph search is basically another search engine like Google and Bing. So it is no longer the social network it set to originally to be

    avatar Dee Blackman says:

    It seems as though there is a never ending list of add-ons to which we much constantly be optimizing for. Our sites are primarily optimized for Google and Bing, so optimizing for Facebook will just be one more network that we will have to keep happy. The thing that bothers me is what do we do when these search engines start working against each other and you have to pick the one you want to optimize for? By allowing them to dictate how and for what each one of them ranks a page, we are opening ourselves up to being limited at some time to which search engine provides us with the most activity. Although I hope it doesn’t come to this, the thought has crossed my mind more than once. Anyone else get the feeling of impending change? Just curious…

    Thanks for sharing, you have good idea for me

    Facebook is a mine of user generated data, and graph search enables developers to develop a wide variety of facebook apps.

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