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January 23, 2013

Facebook Graph Search

Graph Search Image

Yesterday, Facebook announced that they are rolling out their new Graph Search in beta. Facebook is leveraging their most powerful weapon – incredible data on you and everyone you know – to help users find more useful information on people, places, and content that has been shared within the Facebook environment.

How it works: users use phrases to search for people, places, and interests (in the future, Facebook will allow you to search across posts, comments, and Open Graph actions – so stay tuned). As users type their queries into the search bar, suggestions will start to appear in the drop-down menu. What makes this special is that users search by phrase, like “Photos of my friends in New York” or “Sushi Restaurants in Paolo Alto my friends have liked.” Facebook’s search engine accordingly dives into your Facebook friends and connections to deliver a personalized result.

Obviously, the ultimate goal is to ensure that your brand is a top result when users search relevant key words. By doing so, you’re helping build an audience of potentially more engaged users (they are seeking you out, after all), as well as opening up unique opportunities for organic community growth.

So how can you optimize your brand channel to make sure you’re achieving this?

  • Photos rule. According to Facebook, Graph Search helps you find a “set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.” Between the Instagram acquisition and EdgeRank’s preferential treatment towards photo content, don’t be surprised if imagery is a major factor.
  • Build your audience. The Graph Search results will be based on a user’s closest connections. If a user has ten friends who like Brand X, its page is more likely to show up in the results. Building a solid fan base amongst a target demo will help ensure that this happens more often.
  • Places. The more people who use Facebook Places to check-in at your restaurant, store, or event, the better. If you’ve got a storefront, start thinking about innovative ways to adapt your consumers’ behavior and to encourage Facebook check-ins.

Facebook, Social Media

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