Clarifying Facebook Graph Search

facebook graph searchWith all the talk this week about Facebook Graph Search I decided to break from the Killer Marketing for 2013 series to talk a bit about this new search tool. Although understanding Graph Search will certainly play a part of your success in 2013, so maybe it is not that big of a break after all.

Over the past couple of years we’ve heard a lot about the Social Search. This is the idea of using information from your social media to help you find what you are looking for online. Google has tried to tackle this with Google+, where Facebook is trying to break into the world of search with their new service Graph Search.

Ok, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

What is Graph Search?

Think 6 degrees of separation.

Graph Search is Facebook’s attempt to really use their platform to find information. So, you can search for things like:

  • Restaurants in Philadelphia my friends like
  • Music my friends like
  • Photos of my friends that live in Lancaster
  • Cities my family has visited
  • Friends who like soccer
  • Etc.

Facebook is using what is called the Social Graph to accomplish this. Social graph is the graph that represents the personal relationships of internet users. Think 6 degrees of separation.  So it is feeding off what you and your friends have done on Facebook, as well as friends of friends.  Which creates one of the main differences between Social Graph and regular search; each person sees unique results.

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Great, what does this have to do with online marketing?

As with search engine optimization, understanding Graph Search is going to be important to your business for the same reason your company is online in the first place… To get in front of more sets of eyes!

I love the expression “social media is like word of mouth on steroids.” Well this has the potential to make it possible to organize that word of mouth and easily find out what the best restaurant in town according to your friends without even having to ask them the question.

One area that Graph Search will be helpful for online marketing is finding out if your target market is on Facebook. As Mashable discovered Engineers like “Big Bang Theory”, “Friends” and “Games of Thrones”. This might save you money if you’re target market is not actually using Facebook.

OK, what should I do now?

Mastering Graph Search will take mix of engagement, outreach and old fashioned sharing. Actually this doesn’t change what businesses should do to promote their brands on Facebook. Here are a few tips:

  • Engage: Keep writing thoughtful relevant posts. Make it a point to personally engage with every fan who comments on your page and don’t just go through the motions. Really talk with them.
  • Build your community: Let people know that you’re on Facebook. Add it to your literature, emails, website, etc.
  • Develop your page: What is on your company page will help people find you and Graph Search builds from this. Make sure everything is up to date and accurate. Use, the About section to really talk about your company. Try sub-categories here too.
  • Share: Photos of your business, products, people and services.  This gives people something to interact with and “like.”

social graph searchGimme Some Graph!

Ok, we know. You want it now. Yes, right now! Well, Facebook is in the process of rolling out the beta version to the USA. This may take some time so be patient.

You can join waiting list for the Graph Search Beta right now.

While you wait for your invite to come make sure your ducks are in a row by continuing to follow the tips above.

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Facebook Thinks I Should Subscribe to MySpace?

Ok, not really MySpace, but one of the creators of MySpace; Tom Anderson. With Facebook’s new subscribe feature You can subscribe to people’s updates without being friends. This is a clear reaction to Twitter and Google+. So not only does Facebook serve up friend suggestions, but now who you should subscribe to. You can control how your profile is setup and if you allow people to subscribe to your feed. (Post coming soon)

I remember Tom was the my first friend on MySpace. Well, I guess he was everyone’s first friend in fact. It’s even the same picture as was on MySpace.

I think it’s a bit funny Facebook would suggest the founder of it’s dying competitor, MySpace.

What do you think? Do you use the new subscribe feature? Who do you follow?