While it may be uncomfortable for businesses, the most influential messages about them come from sources they have the least control over. The only messages people trust more than unsolicited customer reviews are the experiences shared by people they know personally, as indicated in by Nielsen. Facebook’s newly announced Graph Search gives users more power than ever before to make decisions based on their friends and family’s experiences beyond any one moment in time or always asking directly for suggestions. This could boost business’s visibility within personal networks, positioning them within their category in relation to relevant user searches.
Adding Context to the “Like”
Before, in order to see which friends like a business users had to have a business already in mind and visit their Facebook page. The “Like” alone is vague and lacks context. Graph Search incorporates user check-ins, photos and reviews for locations, providing both personal and general context.
Not a Search Engine
Graph Search is internalized to Facebook, opening up personal networks to users based on the qualifications they seek out. It’s less of a challenge to Google as much as it is a challenge to Yelp! By integrating organic user content from personalized networks, Graph Search has the potential to be the go-to source for exploring options based on others’ prior experiences. This should encourage prioritization of real world customer experience, followed by inspiring interaction with your page online.
Get Around the News Feed Filter
Facebook has been accused of limiting visibility of Pages’ posts, but they claim that is not true. According to facebook, posts have typically reached an average of 16% of a Page’s fans, simply due to the timing of a post in relation to whomever is online at the same time. Promoted posts allow for greater visibility during the duration of a promotion, gaining placement at the top of users’ newsfeeds beyond the timeframe of the initial post. The extent of reach is determined by how businesses set up their promotion, ranging from just fans to friends of fans. Promotional opportunities with Graph Search have not been announced. On principle, however, user generated results hold the greatest influence within their networks, so make an effort to optimize your Graph Search placement through your fans.
Social Archive, a History of Moments
The challenge of social media is the asynchronous nature of content. Users have limited access to anything outside of a span of a few hours. Graph Search exposes the full extent of users’ posts related to a query (as far as others’ privacy settings will allow). Now, users can observe their friends’ historical activity with a simple archival search.
Above all else, Graph Search means you should maximize offline engagement with your customers and clients, encouraging genuine social reactions while they are on site. Focus on delivering outstanding experiences in the real world, and seamlessly tie in user online activity. Facebook continues to improve its services, from location based tags on photos to linking check-ins to business pages. Incentivizing interaction by creating a call to action when your customers are within reach, such as tagging photos in real-time of their visit to your establishment, will create a record and increase your online visibility and reach in the present and in future Graph Search queries.