Facebook Graph Search was announced in January of this year, but wasn’t implemented until much more recently. The Graph Search allows you to make more complicated queries on Facebook than ever before, such as “friends of my friends who like coffee,” or “pictures I’ve liked.” Mostly, the response to this change is that it is now easier than ever to stalk your friends (or enemies, or exes), and some mild irritation over setting changes (similar to Facebook’s implementation of hashtags).
The new search options were at first feared to be competition with Google search. The goal of the team heading Facebook Graph Search, Lars Rasmussen and Tom Stocky, both former Google employees, was to give users a more natural answer, as opposed to a list of website links. But while Facebook has achieved this goal, they fail to measure up to Google, despite being backed by Bing’s search engine.
In an effort to encourage searches, Facebook now supplies query examples for the user. These include “photos of friends” and “games my friends like.” Only one search example matches something that an Internet searcher would habitually type into a Google search bar: “restaurants nearby.” This search is useful in that it is more precise with your location than Google generally is, giving you restaurants on the very same streets as you. Google’s search results include those same answers, but as a whole are much more generalized, limited by city regions.
Facebook Graph Search is not the first place Internet users will go to find what they need. The good news for local business owners is that it takes no effort to get your business included in the search results: Facebook takes the information from your business page to include in the search parameters. As long as businesses have a Facebook business page, this new feature might draw more traffic from local viewers to their location.
There are a few ways to get your local business to the top of the Facebook Graph Search results. Start out by making sure all of the information on your business page is accurate and complete. Don’t leave any part of the profile empty. The amount of interactions your company has with Facebook users will affect your placement in the query results. To elevate your business’s Facebook status, work on obtaining more likes, shares, posts, check-ins, and tags on pictures. Then make sure that your Facebook username matches your business’s name. You can set a username by going to www.facebook.com/username.
“Facebook Announces Its Third Pillar ‘Graph Search’ That Gives You Answers, Not Links Like Google.” http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/15/facebook-announces-its-third-pillar-graph-search/. (18 July 2013).
“The 9 Step Cheat Sheet for Facebook Graph Search Optimization [INFOGRAPHIC].” http://righton-nobull.com/blog/2013/07/the-9-step-cheat-sheet-for-facebook-graph-search-optimization-infographic/. (18 July 2013).