Can Graph Search Help Your Business?

You may have noticed a change to your Facebook page within the past few weeks. This is Facebook’s new Graph Search, which enables users to, well, search. If you are a business or brand, even better, because Graph Search allows you to know a great deal of information about your fans so you can strive for better engagement rates. Although we’d rather not face it, Graph Search took Facebook’s stalking potential to an entirely different level, but hopefully we can look past that after I’ve gone through the feature’s abilities.

The main perk of graph search for a business, simply put, is that you are able to identify your fans better – their interests, other page likes, age and gender – to better your social media strategy. This allows you to create better contests, post more relevant topics, and get more likes along the way. So how can you optimize your Facebook for Graph Search?

Search Yourself To See Where You Stand
This is necessary so that you can make any tweaks to your page information, enabling your page to be found more efficiently. When you search yourself, you’ll be able to see where you stand in the ranks, as well as any information about your page.

After you’ve seen yourself, you can adjust what needs to be fixed – your address, your hours, and your about. Make sure that everything is up to date and accurate so that you can better your chances of being found. In terms of optimizing your profile, try adding keywords in your description so that you can be more searchable by Facebook users.

Search Groups With Shared Interests
It’s good to search for groups that share your interests because it gives you a chance to collaborate with others within your industry. This not only gives your company exposure, it also allows you to demonstrate your knowledge by sharing various information you’ve written or stumbled upon while browsing.

If you have a blog, these groups would be a great way to share your content to others in your industry. If you can’t find a relatable group, try joining a group for the area your company is located in. This way, you’ll stay up to date with what’s going on nearby.

Find Out What Followers Like
This is the key feature that makes Graph Search perfect for businesses who want more exposure throughout Facebook. It provides you with the ability to know exactly what or who your fans like! Why is this important? For several reasons, one being that you can adjust your efforts accordingly in an attempt to increase engagement. For example, if your fans like dogs (or cats), you can include a meme or an image of that which they will be more likely to respond to since it’s an interest. In addition to finding out what your fans like, you can also zero in on what or who your competition is following.

You can do this using the following search terms:

  • “Favorite interest of people who like __(page name)__”
  • “Pages liked by people who like __(page name)__”
  •  “Pages liked by __(page name)__”

By knowing what your fans and competitors are interested in, you can tailor more appealing contests, create better content, and post relevant and engaging articles or photos. Upon doing these searches, you can also see your fans’ relevant information like age or gender. Again, this helps you in terms of posting relevant content to increase engagement.

Personally, the entire system reminds me of Yelp, in terms of searches. A typical yelp search would entice “Japanese restaurant” near “New York, NY” whereas a graph search term would be “Japanese restaurant” and it will pull up results close to your current location.

Although this new addition is great, there are still some kinks that need to be fixed. First, Graph Search is currently not available on mobile app versions. There is also no way to sort your options by name or location, and individual privacy settings can alter the search results.

I think in the near future, after they work out the kinks, Facebook’s Graph Search will become the primary way to search for nearby services and events, especially after they make it available on mobile devices. People are more likely to trust what their friends like or recommend, and because the majority of their friends are on Facebook rather than a site like Yelp, Graph Search will inevitably become a better source to discover new things.

How have you utilized Graph Search so far?