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How You Can Use Facebook's New Graph Search for Business

Tue, Jan 22nd 2013 01:00 pm

Since the unveiling of Graph Search on January 15, Facebook's latest feature has been the talk of the tech world. Currently available in limited beta to US English-speaking users, the new search function enables people to find information through the filter of their friends.

According to Facebook, here's how Graph Search works:

  • The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play.
  • These search suggestions take people to a unique results page. The results returned are based on factors that include information that has been shared by your business and the connections of the person searching.
  • As has been the case for some time, we may also make search suggestions in the search bar that then can trigger web searches. Web searches will display Bing results and Bing ads, similar to results on Bing.com.
  • Pages and apps can still use sponsored results, which appear to people whether or not they have Graph Search (sponsored results have been globally available since August 2012). 

Okay, so what now? The first move for any small business owner using Facebook is to make sure that your brand page is complete. Facebook recommends finalizing the following items to ensure your page is fully optimized:

  • The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the "About" section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
  • If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
  • 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.

At the moment, there's little else that can be done until Graph Search is rolled out to more users, unless you're included in the beta. If you are one of the chosen few with access, we hope that you're using the new tool as it was intended to be used - to develop search queries that will aid in your market research, competitor analysis, and help you better understand your audience - and not creating controversial searches to post on tumblr.