A Primer on Facebook Graph Search
There’s no two-ways about it: the internet is going crazy for Facebook Graph Search.
It’s rapidly shortening the distance between you and your customers by letting them find you more easily than ever before. ‘Experts’ say it’s the next generation of social media. Ahem….didn’t people say that about everything else that happened the past year?
Well, we’ll let you judge for yourself, but Facebook graph search is shaping up to be some pretty powerful sh*t.
What is Graph Search?
With Graph Search, users will be able to see what new bands their friends are listening to, where they’re eating, and what events they’re attending. Users will have unprecedented access to brands, companies, and services that are relevant to their life – all at the click of a button.
Facebook Graph Search is still in limited preview, but here’s what we know. It’s a search bar that appears on each page. After typing in a query (e.g. Japanese restaurants in San Francisco), you’ll see a page that’s organized around people. You can edit the title of your page as well as how you view the information.
Graph Search will probably undergo some key changes over the next few months, but have no doubts – Facebook is repositioning its business to transform social data into actionable insights.
Great, right? Not so fast. Graph Search isn’t a magic bullet. You have to hold up your end of the social media bargain by optimizing your social presence to make yourself discoverable.
Don’t Get Left Behind
What makes Graph Search unique from previous search technology is that it’s completely socially driven. Top results will be based on social prevalence. What are my friends consuming, doing, and liking? It’s these key questions that Graph Search will answer.
This is an exciting new opportunity for startups to leverage their engaged fans and followers to reach into new networks and attract new customers.
This means that in order to stay influential, your startup needs be invested in social now. As a founder, you should probably take the hint that social content is moving in this new direction. Focus on building out your audience so that when something like Graph Search does ultimately launch, you’ll already be socially connected.
What Should Startups Do?
As a startup, it’s key that you make sure that your business’s data is visible on your page. Begin by covering the basics:
– Company overview
– Location and contact details
– Website information
– Links to social media sites
No matter how Facebook reorganizes this social data, your customers must be able to find you and interact with you in order for your startup to unlock the power of Graph Search.
This means consistently producing and sharing content that is of interest to your fans (useful articles and tips, photos, product status updates and offers, etc.) in order to generate new likes, shares, and check-ins. Don’t forget your existing loyal fans. Make an effort to actively interact with them by responding to their comments and messages in order to keep them engaged and inspired to spread the word.
And finally, take the time now to refine your calls to action on Facebook. It’s all well and good to create kick-ass content for your page, but if you aren’t inspiring action, it’s just a waste of time.
The Bottom Line
Honestly, it’s too early to tell how people are actually going to use Graph Search. Beta testing will work out a lot of kinks, as the data is in very rough form. But experimentation is key to building a successful product, right? Remember when Newsfeed launched, and everyone seemed to hate it? Over time, it quickly became a social media staple – it’s impossible to imagine the value of Facebook without it.
Just make sure that you’re prepared so when Graph Search does ultimately launch, you’ll already be socially connected.
Are you excited about Graph Search for your startup? Or do you think it’s just another fad? Share your thoughts below.