Top 10 Facebook Graph Search questions answered

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6. Are Consumers Likely to Use Facebook Graph Search?

That's a "big if" and the most important question," Straley says.

"Where I think this is possible is on mobile devices. Industry research suggests that many consumers turn to specific mobile apps to conduct vertical searches, like using Yelp to find restaurants, the Weather Channel app for local weather, and Google Maps for directions," he says. "It is in the app environment on mobile devices where I think Graph Search has the greatest potential to reach critical mass and experience rapid adoption.

That said, Staley adds that it's "doubtful" Facebook Graph Search will be available for mobile devices in 2013.

7. Which Types of Businesses Will Benefit Most From Facebook Graph Search?

It's still early, says Jon Loomer, a Facebook marketing coach and consultant, but his immediate reaction is that Graph Search will be best for local business-to-consumers (B2C) companies.

"These are the companies that often complain about not seeing direct revenues from Facebook, but the improvement of social search could change that," Loomey says. "If people use Graph Search to find restaurants, electronics stores or contractors, they'll be running these searches with purchase intent. As a result, I see this changing the value of an active Facebook presence for local businesses. This also creates big opportunities for advertising within these results."

Analysis: 3 Reasons Facebook Graph Search is Good for Small Businesses

Straley agrees that Facebook Graph Search has potential for businesses with a local presence, saying, "It will be a great way for people to discover local businesses their friends like and use." One reason is because mobile users tend to search frequently for local businesses on their devices when they're out and about.

"Mobile users tend to share and respond more to content they find," he says. "The combination of local, social and mobile is exploding right now, and Facebook Graph Search could present a gigantic opportunity for brands that tap into this. Graph Search, in fact, could be the killer app for Facebook."

Brands enjoying a high level of engagement from their content will benefit, as well, Loomer adds, especially with the potential to gain more fans of a business' Facebook page.

8. Will B2B Companies Benefit From Facebook Graph Search?

The potential benefits of Facebook Graph Search aren't limited to B2C companies, says Krista LaRiviere, co-founder and CEO of gShift Labs, which offers SEO software for agencies and marketers. It may also benefit B2B companies, even if they've traditionally seen Facebook as a place only for consumer marketing.

"If you're a B2B company, your potential buyer probably isn't on Facebook during the day," LaRiviere says. "But when they go home at night, they are on Facebook, and they have the opportunity then to interact with your brand. The lines are really gray between work and home life these days, but one thing is clear: Your B2B prospects are on Facebook."

9: Will Facebook Graph Search Have SEO Best Practices That Differ From Organic Google Search?

"I don't know that I would consider these new SEO practices, or simply magnifying the best practices that Facebook Page administrators should have been practicing from the start," Loomer says. "They should have been creating valuable and relevant content, not fluff, that inspires comments, likes and shares. They should have been advertising to extend their reach and grow their audience. If they've been doing these things, they'll benefit the most from Graph Search."

Loomer further anticipates that brands small and large will reach out "to influential people to get them to like their Facebook pages, in an effort to improve their search results on Facebook.

Straley adds that the most important factor for organic SEO is "the number and quality of links pointing to your content. And one of the best ways of getting those links is through social media sharing. Not only will social sharing be great for Facebook Graph Search results, it is also fantastic for organic SEO. While the disciplines of SEO and social are still fairly different, with different ways to measure and track performance, ultimately both benefit from the same core behaviors--linking to and sharing content."

LaRiviere agrees: "When you look at the underlying principal of organic search, relevancy is at the core. Social media sharing helps create that relevance, which in turn impacts organic search results."

10: What Should Digital Marketers and Publishers Do About Facebook Graph Search Now?

"A simple rule of thumb is that, the more content that gets shared, liked or commented on through Facebook, the greater the chances are of users discovering that content through Graph Search," Straley says.

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