Lets face it- we all had some guesses about what Facebook was going to announce Tuesday. And yet, the day came, and my guess couldn't have been more wrong (as I'm sure everyone else's was too).
So here it is- Facebook Graph Search. Everyone's thinking... What does it do? And more importantly, the question on every marketer's and business owner's mind, How can I use this to my advantage?
First, lets start with the basics...
What is Facebook Graph Search?
Graph Search is an Facebook-internal search engine to find information (photos, interests, and places) about your friends and others that have shared content with you.
As everyone already knows, the regular search bar only lists friends or pages you enter into the box. Graph Search allows you to enter a term like 'friends that like cats and Justin Bieber' and Facebook will tell you all of your friends that like cats and Justin Bieber. I'm not sure what you are going to do with that information, but now you can get it.
Alright- I didn't use the best example, but the bottom line is Graph Search lets you find extremely detailed information about friends. People can search for friends in their hometown that like the same things as them, or pictures of friends that have been to a specific landmark. Super cool, right?
Worried about your privacy? Don't be! Facebook's Graph Search follows your existing privacy settings, and actually allows you to modify even more settings.
How Can It Help You?
Now that you know about Graph Search, the most important information to discover is how can it help you. Marketers and business owners are always looking for new ways to connect with customers. But here's something more important- customers will be able to connect with you easier (every inbound marketer's dream).
Improving your company's Facebook is always important, but is now even more important because of Graph Search. People have the ability to search for a restaurant, for example, in their hometown or area they are in. So make sure your content is up-to-date and accurate, so every customer will be able to find you.
Another possibility from Graph Search is for marketers and business owners to find more information about customers. If your customers all have a certain interest, you can find other information about them. This may help build buyer personas, and create better content that will speak directly to your customers.
By gathering information from this new Facebook addition, your content will improve and people will be able to find you easier. Graph Search will supply a new way to make your company's Inbound Facebook strategy even more powerful.
So Graph Search has been announced, but... you can't get it (way to tempt us, Facebook). Currently it's in limited beta testing, and only a handful of people have it. You can put yourself on a waitlist, but there's no time frame as to when you would actually get it.
Maybe that's good though, because they can work out all the kinks before 'us commoners' get to use it. After all the tweaks are made, marketers and business owners can use Graph Search to the fullest extent.