If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, get one now. If you aren’t active on Facebook — posting, connecting with your customers — log on right now and get going!
What is Facebook Graph?
Facebook Graph is a search tool Facebook will roll out over the next few months. It will enable you to search across your network – your friends – to tap into their likes, reviews, and places, to get recommendations, as it were, without actually asking for them.
For example, let’s say you’re really into Star Wars and you’re thinking of throwing a Star Wars-themed party. Pull up Facebook Graph and search for “My friends who like Star Wars.” Now you know whom to invite!
If the search for “My friends who like Star Wars” pulls up too many results, or friends who are scattered across the country, you can refine the search by “Current City,” or any number of criteria.
What does this mean for small business owners?
It is critically important, now more than ever, to have a presence on Facebook. When your potential customers are looking for your product or service, you want the largest number of your current customers to already like your Facebook page. To stay relevant to your current fans, and therefore in their newsfeed, you need to stay active. That means:
- Sharing relevant content frequently
- Inviting participation by asking questions, asking for comments, and posting polls
- Asking for and sharing positive reviews
- Interacting with your fans via the comments section
What does this mean for other social media networks?
That remains to be seen, and you shouldn’t ditch your other networks, if you already have a presence and your customers are there. As a cautionary tale, look at Yelp. The review site’s stock dropped almost 6 percent after Facebook announced the new search. After all, now you’ll be able to search “Ashburn Thai restaurants my friends like.” Even without reviews (although that will likely be incorporated), if you see that 50 of your friends like a particular restaurant, you will be more likely to try that restaurant.
What steps should I take?
In a nutshell, get your fans to hit the ‘like’ button on your page. Ask your fans to share your page, ask your newsletter readers to like the page, ask through your other social media channels to like the Facebook page. Now your fans are your sales force, whether or not you or they like it, so to speak, as what they ‘like’ on Facebook will be available to all.
- Engage with your fans. Facebook Graph will pull to the top the searches with the most engagement and activity.
- Build your Facebook page completely, especially the location.
- Continue to ask your current fans to share your content. But not every time, that is a turn off! If you see people disappearing from your page, adjust.
Think of Facebook Graph as the old “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. We’re all interconnected at some point, and when someone comes looking for you, make sure enough people are out there who already like you, so you can be found.
What changes will you make? How will this impact your business? Let me know in the comments.
About Lisa Karl
Lisa Karl is the president of Nova Creative Media, a social media/marketing firm in Ashburn, VA. She is also the publisher and editor of Find It In Ashburn! Connect with Lisa via Facebook (NCM), Facebook (FIIA), Twitter and LinkedIn.