By Erin Roberts, Digital Coordinator, Vladimir Jones
Search is getting even more social.
Last week, Facebook began rolling out a phased launch of an advanced internal search system called Graph Search, which gives users the unprecedented ability to search within a personal social graph for specific information relevant to their social network. Facebook Graph Search will allow users to find people, places, photos and interests based on who they are connected to and how frequently they interact with Facebook.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
This new tool presents many exciting and challenging opportunities including: optimizing a Facebook page to increase search visibility and discovering more about a fan base to strengthen a content strategy. Here are the three most important things marketers need to consider in order to stay on top of the consistently changing social environment:
1. Stay on your toes — Update and Optimize
Results of the Graph Search are populated by Facebook check-ins, pages that people "like" and geographic location relevant to a business location. All of the information on your page should be as relevant and up-to-date as possible. Here are a few tips:
- The name, category, vanity URL and information you share in the "About" section will help people find your business and should be accurate and align with how people are searching for your page.
- If you have a location or a local place page, update your address to make sure you appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
- Search results will now display a higher resolution photo, so businesses should update their profile pictures to 620×620 pixel resolution.
2. Discover more about how your fans and target audiences interact on Facebook — Customer Research
Graph Search can also be used to discover more about your target audiences' characteristics and interests allowing you to define commonalities and specific language that is appealing and engaging. Individual privacy settings will affect exactly what can be discovered, however, the new tool allows us to search for other Pages Liked and Interests that a fan base has in common. Below is a screenshot showing an example of a search query.
Here's how this feature can be used to influence your strategy:
- Engage with the community and other organizations that align with a target audience's interests.
- Create opportunities for cross-promotion with other companies and look to build strong community partnerships online.
- Use this information to inform your content strategy and better communicate messaging to your fan base.
- Strive for a more holistic understanding of consumers. From a traditional advertising and public relations perspective, this tool can allow you to analyze trends among your fan base in order to gain insights to which blog or publication would be best to pitch or what incentives will help drive engagement, based on your audiences' preferences.
3. Create Effective Content & Strengthen Engagement — Content Strategy
The more fans that engage with your content, the more likely it will appear in the Graph Search.
- As always, focusing on attracting the right fans to your Page and posting content that engages your audience on an ongoing basis is a necessity.
- Adding more call-to-action items within posts helps to prompt engagement and will help to increase your visibility.
- Graph Search only indexes items such as photos and videos that are posted through Facebook or a third party tool such as Hootsuite, meaning other content, like links to YouTube videos won't get indexed. Businesses should upload their most important YouTube videos to their Facebook page.
This article originally appeared on the Vladimir Jones blog. Vladimir Jones is a full-service advertising and marketing agency in Colorado. Follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter for more insight on marketing trends.