February 11, 2013, 10:26 AM — Facebook is changing. Again.
Last year, the social media powerhouse rolled out Timeline, a feature that set off a stream of concerns about privacy as it became easier than ever for visitors to scroll through years of Facebook posts. For businesses, though, Facebook Graph Search is likely to bring consumers. Rather than having to wait for a customer to recommend your company, you may find that searches are naturally leading new customers directly to your Facebook Page.
What is Graph Search?
Before we can dive into what Facebook Graph Search can do for your small business, it's important first to understand what it is. While other social media sites encourage users to connect with other users, Facebook has been a closed site. Finding others who share your interests has been impossible, with Facebook's search limited to people, places, and things. Type the word "restaurant" into the search box, and you'll receive a list of pages on the site related to restaurants.
But what if you want to find out Mexican restaurants your nearby friends have "liked" on Facebook? To do that under the current system, you have to manually search through each of your friend's pages and browse through each person's interests.
However, the new Graph Search will allow you to discover restaurants your friends have visited and liked. This same search will allow Facebookers to find friend-recommended healthcare providers, travel destinations, shops, hotels, and more.
Prepare your business for Graph Search
While consumers have privacy concerns about the new feature, businesses have every reason to be excited. Anything that can broaden visibility of your company's Facebook Page is welcome.
Want to try Graph Search early? While you're logged into Facebook, visit this page and sign up for the waiting list. Once you're in, you can experiment with how your business appears in search results.
While Facebook Graph Search is still in limited beta testing mode, take a look at your company's page to make sure its content and photos would be easy to find in a search. You never know when that photo of your storefront will lead a local consumer to your Facebook Page.