The roll-out of Facebook’s new Graph Search is upon us, and although Google is running for cover, it’s a game changer for Local Small business.
The new search venue greatly enhances Facebook user experience by allowing people to search the entire Facebook directory based on specific criteria. It will allow people to access everything that is indexed in Facebook’s database. This is a breakthrough in online search because you can now tap into information that Google’s search engine doesn’t even have access to!
Graph Search is a great marketing tool for local small businesses, because they can now actively find highly targeted customers. For example, let’s say you own a pet store in York, PA. If you type in the search bar, “People from York, Pennsylvania who like Dogs”, you’ll get a huge list of people who like dogs. If they like dogs, there is also a high probability that they own a dog, a potential customer for your business.
Being the owner of a pet store, you probably like dogs yourself, a common interest you would share with people listed in your search result. So the next step would be to send them a friend request from your personal Facebook account. Being a dog lover, you most likely have posts and pictures about dogs, which will show if the other party happens to check you out before they accept your friend request.
The goal is to have your new friend see some of the posts on your timeline that originated from your business fan page. If the post interests them, there’s a good chance they will click on the “Like Page” button that Facebook now places below fan page posts.
The key here is, as a business owner, you need to be actively marketing your business on your fan page. If you are, it creates a greater opportunity to convert your new friend into a customer. An active fan page also helps bring in new customers who are searching for your type of business, as you will see below.
Graph Search is also a great tool for attracting customers to your business. If someone searches “pet stores in York, PA”, it will return Facebook Fan Pages for all the pet stores in York, PA. If you want your business to be seen, you need a fan page.
According to Facebook, pages with more likes will show higher in the search results. Meaning it’s important that you get as many fans as possible!
Other criterion that helps a page receive a higher rank is the frequency and number of posts on the page. A side tip on that subject is, be sure to optimize your posts so they include words that would attract targeted customers.
In summary, if you plan to market your business on Facebook, you need a fan page that is active and optimized. With that in place, the new Facebook Graph Search can definitely become a game changer for your local small businesses.