Earlier in the year Facebook launched a beta version of Graph Search, which is essentially a search engine that provides socially relevant results based on content shared solely within Facebook. When you consider that this information is drawn from over a billion users and their one trillion plus social connections, you can begin to gain an appreciation for just how powerful a tool Graph Search could potentially be for businesses.
Where Google uses keyword matching and linking domains to determine what results to display in its SERP, Graph Search makes use of the enormous amount of data that exists within Facebook to filter personalised results based on your social connections. Put simply; Google relies on links where Graph Search references ‘Likes’. For example, say that you wanted to search for a good Mexican reswwwrant in Brisbane. Graph Search allows you to find Mexican reswwwrants in Brisbane that your friends have ‘liked’ or recently ‘checked in’ at – instantly ratifying your results through these ‘virtual recommendations’ by your friends. Google, on the other hand, would only return results based on data derived from its algorithm that could simply be the result of some slick SEO work on that reswwwrant’s behalf.
As Graph Search is rolled out to more and more Facebook users, you should consider these 3 basic tips to ensure the visibility and rank of your business within Graph Search results;
1. Optimise Your Business Page
Much like traditional onsite SEO, your first step to optimising your Facebook business page is to ensure that the content contained in your ‘about’ and ‘description’ sections include relevant descriptive keywords and information about your business. Additionally, be sure to check that your contact information is up to date and that your page is publicly viewable and shareable.
2. Set up Local Pages
If your business has multiple locations across Australia, be sure to set up local listings for each outlet, including all the relevant contact information and a link back to your website. Whilst it is still important to have a main fan page, local listing interactions will be significant ranking factors in Graph Search results, especially when users include geographical references in their search queries.
3. Encourage Interaction
After setting up your business’ Facebook presence, the next crucial factor in ranking within Graph Search Results is to encourage your customers to interact with your page and local listings. Try to come up with creative ways to encourage your customers to ‘like’ your fan page or ‘check in’ when they visit your business, such as loyalty programs, competitions and give-aways. Just be sure to check that any promotional activity via Facebook complies with their promotional guidelines which you can find here. These interactions are the foundation which Graph Search relies upon to provide its results and therefore it is vital that you engage as many customers as possible to boost your Graph Search rank.
Think back to the Mexican reswwwrant example from earlier in this article. It is possible that this Graph Search query will return more than one Mexican reswwwrant in Brisbane that your friends have ‘liked’ or ‘checked in’ at. The reswwwrant that ranks higher will be the one that more of your friends have had interactions with and ultimately will be the reswwwrant that you would most likely choose.
Facebook Graph Search is scheduled to be rolled out gradually and is currently available in an invite only beta version. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start to incorporate these 3 tips into your social media strategy today. A large and engaged social media following will ensure that your business is able to take full advantage of this new era of social search once Graph Search becomes widely adopted by the billion plus Facebook users.