Today, Facebook announced the limited release of Graph Search—their radical attempt to add a search feature to their social platform.
Just like Google has moved to make their search results more personalized with Google+, Facebook is attempting to merge search and social too—but in an even more radical way. Instead of incorporating Google’s search function on their site, Facebook decided to create their own: Facebook Graph Search. It’s still in beta-testing, so don’t be surprised if you haven’t noticed any changes, but you can go here to get on the wait list now.
Rivaling Google, Foursquare and more, Facebook Graph Search will let users search for businesses, content, and connections all in the same place. If you have a page on Facebook, Graph Search can help all sorts of users discover it, meaning new ways to reach customers and a new outlet to help generate business for your brand.
As Gizmodo phrases it, Facebook is attempting to do “what Google failed to do.” How? By bringing you everything you need to know in the context of the networks you actually care about. With the ability to search for things like “bars my friends have been to in Los Angeles” or “shoe stores my friends like,” search and social have never been more intertwined.
What This Means for Internet Marketing
What all this proves is that just having a social presence isn’t enough.
Social outreach is more important than ever; you need a living breathing brand that people can engage with. But what Facebook’s newest feature shows, is that search based results are what ultimately drive sales.
Facebook knows that making businesses money is the key to making their own business successful–which explains why Facebook is expanding. Content and social media may be the hot tactics right now, but paid and organic search results are still the most profitable marketing strategies. In the end, search is what’s essential for getting your business found and optimization for search, weather it’s on an engine like Google or a social site like Facebook, is key.
Although there are rumors that this move will be accompanied by a move towards a Facebook ad network, Facebook hasn’t announced any new ad formats to go along with this new roll out. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of ways you can make sure your business is getting found on Facebook’s new search feature.
What This Means for Your Business
If your business already has a Facebook page, and especially if you’ve already taken the time to foster a powerful presence on Facebook, Graph Search can mean great things for your business. Taking the time to optimize your page (or create one, if your business hasn’t gotten on the social media bandwagon yet) can help you access a whole new audience and start driving traffic.
How to Optimize Your Facebook Page
Facebook has a few tips to help optimize your presence for when their search feature is fully launched, but for now, focus on ensuring your Facebook page is up-to-date and relevant to fans. Have posts, share special deals, add photos, add a local page if you have a location, and make sure your name and all your details are current so that you show up for the right search results and start building new connections, reaching new fans, and generating new leads once Graph Search makes its full debut.
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