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What Is Facebook Graph Search and Why Is It Important for Business?

In his 2001 book, Seth Godin wrote the following words: “We live in a world where consumers actively resist marketing. So it’s imperative to stop marketing at people. The idea is to create an environment where consumers will market to each other.” As social networking tools and websites have gained traction with the masses using the web, Seth’s words have increasingly rung true. The influence people have on the purchasing decisions of their friends has grown exponentially. Marketing is no longer about finding customers. It’s about recruiting them.

Enter Facebook’s new graph search. Graph search can best be described as the Google of Facebook. It is a search engine within Facebook that enables users to more easily find recommendations, friends with similar interests, and other items based upon their respective social graphs. Need to find a steakhouse in Savannah that your friends like? How about finding some friends who like basketball and are starting a pick-up game? Perhaps you want to find a good vacation spot based on the recommendations of your friends. Facebook’s new graph search can help.

So the benefit of Facebook’s new graph search for users is obvious. Users get recommendations and find connections that they can trust. But what does graph search mean for businesses? How do businesses need to change in light of Facebook’s new feature? And, more importantly, how can businesses leverage this new technology? Here are three takeaways:

  1. Location-based businesses, if they don’t already, need to have Facebook pages. And if they are on Facebook, they will need to clean up their profiles. One of the key ideas behind graph search is to help users find business recommendations from their friends. A great many of these recommendations will inevitably be local. Users searching for accountants in Topeka will be given a list of their friends who are accountants in Topeka, their friends’ friends who are accountants in Topeka, and accountants in Topeka that their friends like. If you are accountant in Topeka, you want your Facebook page to show up in those results.
  2. It is more important than ever to market to influencers. Product director Tom Stocky (Facebook) says of graph search, “What this will do is make your community feel a bit smaller—make the world feel a bit smaller.” How? Because people will start to look to their own communities rather than to the whole world for recommendations on what activities to engage in and what products to buy. Seth Godin’s words are coming true in a profound and tangible way. With this new technology, it makes more sense to market to the customers who are most likely to influence their friends’ decisions. The takeaway? Businesses will need to focus more on individual influencers and less on mass end-consumers.
  3. Make sure your employees are on Facebook, linking to you as their employer. Yes, LinkedIn is still the primary platform for professional networking. However, Facebook does give prominence to users’ occupations. When users begin to search for friends who work for Company X, you want your company to show up. Tap into the networks of your employees to generate leads for you business.

Google isn’t going away, but Facebook is introducing a whole new spin on search engine marketing. People are still going to use Google to find many products and services. But as far a building brand loyalty, Facebook’s new graph search might play a critical role in the future of search. The technology is going to be slowly rolled out over the coming months. Now is the time to get your business ready. If you need any help with better understanding Graphic Search, SEO, and Digital Marketing feel free to contact Brian Hong. Infintech Designs specializes in SEO and Facebook Marketing services for businesses of all sizes.  Email or call us to setup your free Face to Face Consultation – 504-717-4837

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Facebook. Introducing Graph Search.
Godin, Seth. Unleashing the Idea Virus. 2001.

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