Our ears perked up last week when Facebook announced the launch of Graph Search. The new tool, which is still being rolled out, allows users to get search results based on information found on their friends’ profiles.
Looking for a good yoga studio, for example? You can now see what your Facebook friends think by searching “yoga studios my friends in San Francisco like”.
The marketing potential is obvious. The greater your Facebook following, the more able you are to reap the rewards of high rankings in Graph Search.
Here are eight tips for getting the most out of the new feature:
1. Focus on ‘likes’ again
A new emphasis has been placed on getting ‘likes’, review signals, and check-ins because people will search “restaurants in St. Louis my friends have been to”. Consider encouraging customers to check-in and leave reviews. The social media interaction may just help you appear at the top of someone’s Graph Search.
“Engagement will continue to be important for a number of reasons, but the page ‘like’ will be back in play as a primary Facebook marketing metric,” says Social Media Today.
2. Create photo albums
Currently, most brands upload photos to status updates versus albums. But only photos uploaded to brand albums and user photos that tag brands will show up in search results. So brands will need to shift their focus.
3. Use it to optimize for local search
Graph Search will consider a number of factors, including check-ins and “likes”, when ordering results. That means if people aren’t “liking” or talking about your business in status updates, it will likely not appear or appear low in search results. Use graph search to your advantage by optimizing for local search.
4. Keep generating word of mouth
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools, if not the most powerful tool, marketers can use to their advantage. As Graph Search evolves, it could prove to be essential in giving marketers the opportunity to take advantage of what people say about their brands on social.
5. Optimize for Bing
Graph Search digs through your friends’ profiles to find the information you need, but what if nobody has information that matches “salons my friends like”? Instead of a “results not found” message, Graph Search turns to Bing. This makes it even more important for you to optimize your website for Bing.
6. Keep it personal
If you have good social media marketing habits, this shouldn’t be much of a change much at all: keep creating personalized content regularly for your fan base.
7. Wash your Face
Ensuring that your posts, ‘likes’, and news feeds are clear of embarrassing content was a no-brainer before Graph Search. Don’t let your business appear in scandalous graph searches. Consider using FaceWash, an app designed to scrub unsavory content from your profile.
8. Assess the value of Facebook to your business
Graph Search can help you decide whether Facebook is a good fit for your brand by determining how big a presence your target audience has the platform. This insight can help you allocate your social media time, resources, and money more effectively.
Brian Conlin also contributed to this piece.
Image via: Clover_1 (Creative Commons)