What Does Facebook’s Latest Announcement, Facebook Graph Search, Mean for Businesses?
I will admit Facebook’s big announcement yesterday was disappointing. I was hoping for bigger reach on image posts for business pages, or an explanation of the 20 percent rule for cover photos, or maybe even a new timeline format. However, as the development team explained further, Graph Search has a pretty big advantage over Google: your personal network.
To put it simply, Graph Search is a way for Facebook users to search their network of friends to connect with new connections; whether that new connection is someone you met at a networking event or if you are looking for a new dentist. Graph Search uses your personal connections to give you a more trusted response to your search questions.
For example, in the near future I am looking to buy a new car or SUV. I’d be interested to in knowing which of my friends may have a brand relationship with a Honda or Dodge dealership, as I am looking to potentially buy a Honda Accord or Dodge Avenger. With Facebook Graph Search, I will be able to search friends who live near me and who may like a Honda or Dodge dealership on Facebook. From there, I can get personal recommendations from friends as to whether they would buy from them again or not. It may also lead me to discover different used car dealerships that I may not have discovered on Google Search.
For businesses, this means now, more than ever, it is important to have an active Facebook presence. When a Facebook user goes to search for a new dentist using Graph Search, they may discover that four out of eight friends in the area are fans of a specific dentist – and they will be encouraged to click through to that dentists’ Facebook page. If the page is promoting engaging content, showing specials, and interacting with their current fans; that user, using Graph Search to get to that page, will be more inclined to give the office a call and/or like them on Facebook.
It is also important for your current customer base to like your brand on Facebook. Without your current customers, Graph Search will have no content to feed back to the searcher; and therefore your brand may never come up on Graph Search.
Facebook Graph Search is still in the beta product stage, and has a wait list (get in on the wait list here) In the upcoming year, it will be rolled out gradually. What do you think of the possibilities?