How Facebook’s Graph Search Impacts Small Businesses

Facebook’s latest announcement revealed that they have been working on a friend-based search engine—that will integrate with the current search bar—called Graph Search.

Graph Search uses your friends’ recommendations and activity to connect you with items across Facebook.

Here’s how Facebook’s Graph Search works:

“The search bar first returns the top search suggestions, including people, Pages, apps, places, groups, and suggested searches. People can search for things like restaurants near them, hotels in places they want to travel to, photos posted by Pages they like, or games that their friends like to play.”

Imagine you are looking to try a new local restaurant, instead of searching on Google and discovering the local restaurant with the best SEO, you can uncover a local restaurant that several of your friends have “Liked” or visited.

Think of a more customized Yelp. You can refine by place type, liked by, places in (location), visited by (My friends)—similar to Foursquare.

You can make your search as granular as, ‘Italian restaurants in Boston, MA my friends from New Hampshire have visited.’ With Graph Search, you can slice and dice Facebook information specific to you on a whole new level.

Graph Search’s suggestions will be based purely on your connections and the information a business has provided on Facebook—not based on how many “Likes” your Page has.

Currently, Facebook Graph Search is rolling out gradually.

Here’s how to get your small business ready for Facebook Graph Search:

1. Make sure your Facebook Business Page is complete and up-to-date.

The name, category, vanity URL, and information in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be complete on Facebook.

Admin Panel > Edit Page> Update Info>Basic Information

2. If you have a location or a local place Facebook Business Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.

Admin Panel > Edit Page> Update Info>Address

3. Be sure your Facebook Business Page has the correct category.

Edit Page>Update Info> select the appropriate category and save.

4. Begin to ask people to check-in at your business on Facebook.

Another factor that will boost a Page’s ranking in Graph Search’s results is how many people have checked in there. A simple sign on your business’s door or at the counter is an easy way to remind folks to check in to your business.

Graph Search can make it easier for people to discover and learn more about your business – but only if your business is on Facebook. The bottom-line is if your business is not on Facebook yet it should be.

Need to set up a Facebook Page for your business? Check out the Social Media Quickstarter for help.

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