Facebook_Graph_Search_1"Pictures of my friends in 2009 taken in Lisbon, Portugal". "Friends that live nearby who like sushi and watching How I Met Your Mother". "Single women who live near me".  These are the types of queries that Facebook's just-announced Graph Search will be able to parse.

Cool, creepy, revealing, or useful? Graph Search gives a new, powerful reason for why we put so much data onto Facebook. Why share so much if it's not discoverable by others after all?

With the advent of Graph Search, Facebook is tapping into its users' behaviors beautifully. Everyone wants to think their opinion and interests mean something; now they do! Similarly, people don't want to miss out on being included, so it will prompt them to open up and share even more. Well played, Facebook. As Internet chatter keeps stating that Facebook is past its prime, it launches the search feature and refreshes everything.

As a business owner, I'm thinking about how to ensure we show up when people use Facebook search. Having only watched the video that Facebook provided explaining how it developed Graph Search, I'm only speculating that the below will help:

  • Number of likes becomes more important--since search will begin with people connected to Pages, the more people liking your Page means more people connected and thus the higher frequency of showing in search results.
  • Fill out Page fields properly--for your business Page, ensure each field is filled out with the relevant, properly-formatted information. Don't try to create your own sub-category, follow the standards. Don't put text into phone number fields.  Facebook should be pulling lots of data from these fields.
  • For the open-ended text in description fields, write copy that includes keywords, as if you're writing copy for Google to "crawl".
  • Tag your photos with locations, such as your business, and dates--I wonder if there is opportunity here to somehow create searchable product catalogs.
  • Tag your photos with a Page name (for example, my business Page is "Standing Sushi Bar")--Assuming Facebook treats a photo where Standing Sushi Bar is tagged similarly to how it treats a tagged human, then "Show me photos of Standing Sushi Bar" would show photos tagged with Standing Sushi Bar. Slightly different than tagging location.

Time to prepare your business's Facebook presence for search! Hopefully this will be a great new way for people to discover what you're about.  Though part of me thinks the first few million searches will be dedicated to "single girls nearby that like beaches, bikinis, and old men".

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