While Facebook Graph Search is in essence a search engine, it’s fundamentally different from the traditional search engines. Google and Bing searches return results based on what the search engine’s “spiders” find when they crawl through a website. Facebook Graph Search, however, is all about who you know, and how you interact with your friends and fans.
So if you’ve been applying standard search engine optimization techniques to your Facebook page(s) and profile, it may be time to rethink your strategy.
Facebook says that its new Graph Search is all about connecting people with information that other people are already talking about on Facebook. So it’s technically about who knows you and your company – Graph Search makes connections from public pages and friends’ shares. What does this mean to businesses that use Facebook?
- It means that your fans have instantly become a referral marketing force for your business – whether that is what they intended when they clicked Like or Share or not.
- The value of persuading someone to hit the Share button just became much higher.
- Adding location data to your Facebook page is now a critical part of any Facebook strategy, because Graph Search is based on geolocation.
Facebook is quite clear about the fact that engagement matters more now than it did in the past. “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,” reads the official Facebook Graph Search tutorial.
At the Marketing Zen Group, we’ve been helping our clients get their friends, customers, prospects, and evangelists to share stuff as often as possible for years. Now, we’re putting even more emphasis on this because the new Facebook Graph Search algorithm, when given two choices for a search, will pick the result with the higher engagement factor to list first.
As Facebook puts it, “Facebook users want a search tool that can help them get access to things people have shared with them. So Graph Search results are ranked by people that users care most about. The rest are sorted by mutual friends and other signals in the Facebook system.” That means that users will see search results that are recent, relevant, and close to their geographic home first.
Here are the five things every business should do now to improve the way their business shows up in Facebook Graph Search results:
- Make your Facebook page as complete as possible. (Beef up the About section, add milestones to your Timeline, and add good photos.)
- Post high quality information on your Facebook page regularly, and encourage your fans, followers, friends, employees, and evangelists to share it through any legitimate way possible. (Email, Twitter, blog postings, and simply asking people to Like a photo or status. Asking can increase your results by 216%!)
- Comment on other people’s pages and posts, and like their pages. (Remember: Facebook Graph Search is about interactions and connections – and that’s a two-way street.)
- Use Facebook events, Facebook Ads, campaigns and contests to give your fans more reasons to visit your page and interact with your business.
- Add apps to your Facebook Page to keep it interesting and give followers more reasons to visit.
Want more tips on making your Facebook page deliver great results with Facebook Graph Search? You’ll find everything you need to know in Chapter 6 of the brand new third edition of Shama Kabani’s best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing.