Facebook’s big Graph Search announcement today was a wake up call for businesses. Essentially, Facebook is the next big search engine and local search app. Your potential customers are on Facebook, and if you’re not using Facebook for marketing, you won’t be found.
If you’ve been on the fence about using Facebook for marketing, or you haven’t done much with your page, this is why Graph Search matters:
- There are 955 million monthly active users
- 80% of those users Like business pages on Facebook
- 150 million people visit Facebook pages each day
- Not all of those visits are via a desktop or laptop – users are accessing Facebook through their smartphones; 88% use the mobile app and 85% use the mobile website.
- Mobile activity influences purchasing decisions. 79% of smartphone owners are using smartphones to shop.
So, you can see where this is going. Facebook is where we’re going to find the products, services and recommendations we need. A lot of this searching is happening when we’re on the go with our smartphones – which people are already using to access Facebook. Graph Search is how you’re going to be discovered.
This is a win for businesses and marketers. We’ve all been trying to figure out how to beat EdgeRank to make sure our posts show up in our fans’ news feeds, because – due to the EdgeRank formula – only 16% are seen by your fans. As more people use Facebook as a search engine, your chances of coming up in a search will increase because of the content you’re already creating.
How can you prepare your business for Graph Search?
- Fill out all of your profile information – even if it’s already complete, give it a second look. Is everything current? What keywords could you add to your description that would benefit you in a Graph Search?
- Make sure you’re regularly adding visual content because photos and videos shared on Facebook will also come up in a Graph Search. It’s a good idea to do that anyway – posts that include images will get 120-180% more engagement than just text.
- Grow your fanbase. A no-brainer, but Graph Search results are personally tailored based on what a Facebook user – and their friends – like. So make sure you are:
- integrating your marketing efforts. This sounds basic, but only 19.5% of small businesses have a link to their Facebook page on their website. Make sure there’s a link in your email newsletter, your blog and anywhere else you’re listed (LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, etc.) in your profile or about information.
- creating engaging content to keep your fans interested, improve your page’s EdgeRank, and amplify word of mouth. The more your fans interact with you, the more likely you’ll show up in their news feed. And the more your fans interact with you, it will appear in their friends’ news feeds.
- preparing offline. Do you have signs or decals in your store that promote your Facebook page? Do they have the entire URL (facebook.com/yourbusinessname) or a QR code so they’re easier to find and Like by smartphone users?
Want more info on Graph Search? Check out this business guide on the Facebook Studio site.
What do you think of Graph Search? Let me know in the comments.