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How Facebook's Graph Search Affects Your Business

By now, you have likely heard of Facebook’s humorous entry into the search game.  While humor was not the intention, a Tumblr parody account spun it funny with great success.  So, what is Graph Search and how will it affect your business?  In short, it’s a highly targeted search of Facebook friend history; and, it should be a good thing for businesses on Facebook.

Graph Search has been lauded as a search that could potentially outrun Google.  If you have experience with paid promotions on Facebook, you know how great it is to be able to target your campaigns based on very detailed demographics and “like” history.  Now, Graph Search users will tap into that same permanent history to find people or businesses using multi-dimensional strings of information.  Google would love to have that data, with Google+ being the closest thing to it.

It truly is amazing and congratulations are due to Facebook and Bing for the joint effort in building it.  But, here is where functional gets funny.  You can type in a detailed search for something like, “Current Employers of People Who Like Fencing.”  As you can imagine, that could very quickly turn into one great a party game.  Privacy issues are at the forefront of discussions around Graph Search, even though it simply uses public data.

For business owners, knowing how Graph Search is used does not matter as much as understanding that it generates more traffic and potentially more exposure to your page.  If you don’t yet have a business page (and if Facebook is a good fit for your field), this would be a great time to get one started.  All those interactions on your page go into the database that spits out Graph Search results.  Eventually, I would expect Facebook to offer sponsored results that appear at the top of the list.  You can also use Graph Search yourself to find people who might be interested in your products or services.  Proceed respectfully.  We don’t want to turn social media into what telemarketing became.

Initially, it was thought that the Facebook version of search could replace traditional search engines.  It doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.  Despite Facebook’s deep knowledge of its users, the search is internal to Facebook and results are very different than what you would get by typing keywords into Google.

I think there is room for both Google and Facebook in the world, each with unique benefits.  It doesn’t cost anything to build a business page on Facebook.  So, think about it.  At the very least, go to your personal profile and check your privacy settings now, before the Graph Search rollout is complete.  You wouldn’t want to come up in a search for “Friends who have businesses but haven’t built a Facebook page yet.”  Actually, I’d be surprised if the Facebook geeks haven’t already run that query to target your business for advertising!

New technology continues to explode, providing more and more marketing opportunities.  If you need a little direction or advice, Spiral Cities would be glad provide it.