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