Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search in the UK

Facebook graph search has been live in the USA for some while now and is gradually being rolled out in the UK, if you talk to people using it, predominantly they are not impressed, but much as I hate Facebook, I see graph search as a fantastic new tool that can really help with marketing, on the flip side it can be used in a negative way as well. This post is here hopefully to help give you some ideas and possibilities with graph search. I am lucky and have full access to it right now and have had the pleasure of testing.

What is Graph Search?

Well my friend Mr Google is great at delivering results to searches you make inside it’s search engine, based entirely on matching (or close matching words) which work to complex equations to make sure the results are suitable for what you actually searched for. Facebook graph search is very different, it has large data based on the things we like, see and do, it understands relationships between people and things. Because of this data, it is then able to offer search results based on those relationships, such as “restaurants my friends like based in Hastings”. Can you see how clever this is? Using my relationships, ie friends I already trust, show me the restaurants that they like which are in the area I live. This relational search is called Graph Search, and currently only available in certain parts of the UK.

Facebook Graph Search

How Can I Use It?

It is quite simple to use, using the search bar at the top of Facebook, you can simply type in the parameters of your search and Facebook Graph Search starts helping you fill in the blanks. I could potentially search for companies based in Kent. This then, would deliver results based on companies in Kent that have a presence on Facebook. That will not deliver all companies in Kent, but rather those in Kent, on Facebook. Is that important? I think so yes, because you are already on Facebook, there are easy tools to start a relationship with people you want to connect with, and so develop a relationship that is meaningful to both parties. This now makes it very important that as a business you create social media profiles and get them up to date with your data. If you don’t you will miss out. Have you noticed how things like the yellow pages are so little used these days, people are turning to their social media and trusted recommendations. You have to be present. You have to allow monitoring of your relevant search phrases and keywords.

What is the down side?

As a business there isn’t much that could be considered a down side, other than you have to be a part of the revolution, to take advantage of the full power coming. As an individual you may consider this new graph search a little bit invasive of your privacy. Someone could search for single females under the age of 25. Friends of Joe Bloggs who like smoking. As social media consultants Sammy and I are constantly advising people on the dangers of social media, and for the younger generation, the risks of security and employment. As you know you should already keep your profile free from distasteful things, but now with graph searchyou have to be careful of what your friends post, because now, by extension an opinion of you can be formed from the company you choose to keep. And whilst this is your private business, I can see employers using the tool to narrow down the numerous applicants to posts they hold.

What do you have to do?

What you have to do is get a profile, be social, and stop trying to sell. For me, this is the most important thing of all. My career in print shows me that printers are traditionally the worst for using social media, they know it all. You will find post after post on social media constantly trying to sell you cheaper and cheaper products, with no regard for what an individual might be looking for, no giving, no listening, and no responding. I have posted previously about Facebook and not using it to sell, when people are on Facebook they are catching up with news and their friends they very rarely are interested in buying, they are interested in creating relationships or looking for help. You have to understand this fundamental truth. For me, you have to join a conversation earlier in the process. People might post on Twitter or Facebook “Can anyone recommend a Printer based in Kent” rather than “Cheap leaflet printer”. Stop chasing those likes and followers and start offering useful information, engaging content, regularly updated and stop the big sell, because nobody will listen. With new graph search you do not necessarily have to have those likes, what you need to have is relationships and correct content and graph search will do the rest.

So that is the way forward with Facebook Graph Search, I hope you have found it useful and that you start thinking positively about what social media can do for you, if you would like to engage with us, why not try our social media profiles, which you can find in the top right hand box, in the column on the right “Our Social Media Spaces”. I particularly will be interested to answer any questions you may have.

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