Facebook Graph Search May Impact Small Businesses

Facebook wants to rival Google’s core product: web search. The social network has recently introduced “Facebook Graph Search” and it’s a very big deal if you ask search experts. Some say it could rival Google’s ad model. Others hope it’s going to be different from Google Search.

Let’s forget the buzz and talk about facts. Will Facebook Graph Search affect my small business? Short answer: yes. Here’s how.

Searching for a Business on Facebook

Graph Search disrupts the state of web search by allowing users to search within their networks than search on Google. Users can, for instance, search for “restaurants my friends go to” or “friends who love sushi and live in San Francisco.” Notice how location-specific and establishment-specific these search terms are

Facebook has already announced that it’s going to launch Graph Search as local search. There’s no denying that the Bing-powered search engine will change the way small businesses get found online. Yes, Microsoft Bing is deeply integrated with Facebook Graph Search. So expect Bing results to pop up along with your friend’s social information.

Searching for Content Within a User’s Social Context

This is something Google failed at doing. Even Google+ doesn’t make the cut. Search results culled via Facebook are expected to be socially relevant. And Graph Search does a good job by utilizing social signals such as likes, hobbies, photos, music, videos, memes, status updates, and check-ins to incorporate all content that matter to you and your friends, not strangers.

Getting Started with Facebook Graph Search

Facebook content is critical to your small business success. As early as now, sign up for a Graph Search Beta and see how Facebook implements its search engine during its critical early stage.

Once you get it to the Waiting List, don’t wait for Graph Search to go live before you optimize your (business) Page. Do it now.

Optimize the “About” section of your Page by updating your location, category, name and vanity URL so that your small business can appear as a result when users search for location-specific establishments.

Attracting the right fans by giving them reasons to interacting with your Page can also boost your visibility. Be sure to include your location when running small promotions on your Page or sharing localized content.

Plan for creative and engaging content even before Facebook Graph Search goes public and your marketing efforts will never go to waste.

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Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.