Facebook Graph Search – First Thoughts From The Natives…
Finally, the question of “how can I use my connections and their connections to answer my questions…?” has been answered (…sort of – the release will happen over the next few weeks). And the trend for “social proofing” (where users look at sites such as Amazon or TripAdvisor before making a purchase) will finally hit Facebook…
Here’s founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Facebook’s new search function using the information provided by the actions of their users (the Open Graph):
“We’re not indexing the web. We’re indexing our map of the graph – the graph is really big and it’s constantly changing.”
As preferred Facebook developers responsible for launching hundreds of apps and preferred Facebook marketer who have managed billions of campaigns, we know this better than most. But what does this mean for users?
The plan is that it will make it easier to find things you want based on your immediate and second-degree connections’ activities.
I as a student would like to find out “which is the best course for photography in Brighton”. I will be able to search Facebook for things that my friends have liked, commented on, shared, tagged in photos etc that are related to this search. The experience of my connections will dictate my results and potentially influence my decision.
So, what can you do as a business/college/organisation to prepare? Well, apart from the usual stuff you need to do to make sure your page is up to date (read this), Facebook recommends the following:
· The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook
· If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location
· Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.
· Your number is going to be a primary call to action so make sure it is mobile relevant (not an 0800 number)
· Make sure all of your check in identities are appended to the correct page
· Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis
The points are pretty straightforward: the more information, and the more accurate information you put on Facebook, the more likely your Page will show up in a search. The last point once again highlights the importance of engagement and an ongoing relationship with your audience.
When you think about the potential and pitfalls this could bring, this is truly a potential “game changer” if results from Facebook’s search will affect users’ decision making. But let’s just get prepared and see what happens next…
Once we have seen how it works in practice, we’ll follow up with some more thoughts, but, for now and for more information, feel free to contact us…
And some additional reading…