Facebook Graphs - Potentially Powerful Marketing Tool

Any business that did not see the value of a Facebook page or its advertising potential before may very well change their mind with the implementation of the graph search.

Currently only available in English and on desktops, Facebook plans to expand the graph search to mobile users in late 2013.

The graph represents a realm of marketing possibility to businesses as an advertising and information collecting tool. Users can now pinpoint products, services and stores that are liked by anyone on their friend list. The ability to specify a search is unprecedented as the search engine has a dropdown with suggestions to specify the search before you even finish typing. Each successive search suggests more and more options to pinpoint a target audience.

Business benefits

For example, if you own a Mexican restaurant in Houston, Texas and want to reach out to people not on your current friend list, you can run a search for "people who like Mexican food in Houston, Texas" and a page of results will appear with your target audience.

A rock band on tour might search for "people who like alternative rock in Wichita, Kansas" and create an event invite for a future show in that city to everyone appearing in the results.

On the flip side, Facebook graph search gives businesses an opportunity to show up in more search results using local SEO than ever before. The more relevant keywords used on your business page exponentially increases the number of ways customers can find you.

Simply put, Facebook graph search is both a powerfully specific lead generation tool and allows a business to show up in a vast number of searches that did not exist before its implementation.

Tips for using graph search

According to the Small Business Administration, "Graph Search can help your business get discovered by more people, especially if you run a local business."

  • Make your page as specific and detailed as possible. The more detail used will vastly increase the number of ways you can be found in the search engine. If you are brick-and-mortar, list your exact address so people nearby or visitors can find you.
  • Interact with people on your page. By starting conversations with your customers, these interactions create keywords that will increase your search presence. Every post potentially creates new ways you can show up in search results and gets your customers working with you just by interaction.
  • Utilize all types of media. Pictures show up in graph searches so taking pictures of your business or products and captioning them is just another way to make your presence known.
  • Get involved now. Since Facebook has not released the graph search to mobile yet, creating a strong Facebook presence will give you an edge when the graph search goes mobile.

While no one can be certain what the future of social media has in store for users, one thing remains certain. Those who stay on the cutting edge of changes to social media have a head-start on their competition and stand to reap the most benefits from making these new concepts work to their advantage.