Ever since I started using Facebook, I’ve never found their search function very useful. Results were never exactly what I was looking for, and my attempts at locating useful information left me empty-handed. I always looked to Google to find exactly what I was looking for. Despite the recent article outlining a great Facebook search “trick” earlier this week (see Facebook Introduces ‘Graph Search’, but this Search Secret Already Helps Marketers), Facebook really had no handle on search.
Now, that all changes.
What is Graph Search?
Graph Search allows users to search for anything connected with them through their “social graph”. This new search tool basically searches through everything you have ever done on Facebook, and everything your friends have done and shared publicly, and answers your search requests with that information. Facebook is going to give you the exact information that it thinks you want, based upon your connections within the site.
For example, if you search Google for restaurants, you will get many pages of restaurants that may or may not fit what you are looking for. Search Facebook for “restaurants my friends like” and you will get very specific results, based upon your friends “likes” and comments. Based upon the theory that we “trust” our friends on Facebook, these results will more likely result in a purchase, or a visit.
This is great for business.
If you are a small business with an optimized Facebook page, and lots of connections, Graph Search will customize results to the individuals that are searching based upon their connections, and not any SEO tricks and not based upon the popularity of your site.
More importantly, as research has shown, consumers are 71% more likely to choose a product or service when a friend recommends it to them within social media (see Consumers 71 percent more likely to buy based on social media referrals). Word of mouth marketing is alive and well! Remember, people do business with people that they know, like, and trust. And, if a Facebook friend has used, recommended, or “liked” a business, there is an inherent level of trust in that recommendation. And, that is the information that will be served through Graph Search.
In addition, businesses with a physical location may benefit most from Graph Search. Especially if they encourage people to “check in” to the location. This will provide Facebook more information to provide your friends searching for similar businesses.
In order for graph search to meet its full potential Facebook business page users will need to make sure that their information is complete, including the address, and make sure that the category your page is in is the correct one for your business. You don’t want your jewelry company being listed as a non-profit, now do you? The more information you provide on your business page, the more accurate the search results will be. In addition, the more people that check-in or “like” your page, the more likely it will show up when searched for.
How do I get Graph Search?
Right now, it is only in beta, but you can apply for Graph Search by signing up for an invite. I signed up two days ago, and received my Graph Search today!
So, are you impressed? Does this fill a need you had? Will you use it? Let’s discuss it in the comments!