Social media marketing is constantly changing, and recently many of the changes have been at the hands of Facebook. Last year, the social media giant shocked everyone with the new Timeline layout and now it’s making waves with the introduction of Graph Search. If you want your business fan page to reap the benefits of this new feature, you have to stay on top of what’s going on and prepare your page accordingly.
Hold on… What is Graph Search?
We’ve explained Graph Search in an earlier post, but if you’re unfamiliar, basically it allows Facebook members to use the social network like a search engine to find things based on their friends’ preferences. So, no matter what a user is searching for, the “likes,” comments, etc. of their Facebook connections will influence the results. The purpose of graph search is to use recommendations from friends to give people hyper-relevant search results. For businesses, this means you won’t have to wait for your current followers to share your brand with a friend, as more consumers may naturally find your page through a search.
Although, Graph Search is still in beta, you should prepare your page now. That way, you can meet the needs of the early adopters while continuing to optimize your page for the masses.
Here’s what you can do to get ready:
Sign up for the waiting list
As mentioned, Graph Search is still in beta and Facebook is rolling it out gradually. They are requiring everyone to sign up for the waiting list, and they will alert you when you can start using the feature (usually takes a few days or less).
Essentially, Facebook is behaving like a search engine, and as with any search engine, keywords play a pivotal part. Searchers will use them to find what they’re looking for, and you need to ensure the right words appear on your page so Facebook and searchers know your page is a good match.
As always, use keywords which relate to your business and that people might use in a search query. Consider including these words and phrases in your description and about sections, sprinkled in your content, in your tags, comments, and more. Just don’t go overboard or your page will look spammy.
Check your category
When you first signed up for your business page, you were asked to choose a category for your business. You may not have thought too much of it at the time, but now it’s more important than ever to label your brand correctly. You’ll have a hard time connecting with your target audience if you’re hiding out under a non-specific category. So, go back and look at the category options and choose the one that best fits your business.
Update your location
While checking your category, make sure your location information is also up-to-date, as you may have moved since you first set up your page, or you may have overlooked this step altogether. It’s vital your location is accurate if you plan on implementing any check-in services, and because Facebook is more likely to recommend businesses in a searcher’s proximity.
Totally complete your “About” section
There’s perhaps no bigger Facebook faux pas for a business than not filling out your “About” section. This is your spot to tell potential customers exactly what you’re about, complete with a description, business hours, and a link to your website. Don’t let people click here and find nothing — if newcomers can’t immediately determine who you are, they may click away and never come back.
Grow your connections
Business have always used acquiring followers and “likes” as a marketing strategy, but Graph Search makes it even more important to not just amass followers but relevant followers. In other words, if search listings are based on the interactions of people’s friends, you’ll want to attract users who actually appreciate your brand and will engage with your page, as this shows they really do enjoy your products or services. Gone are the days (if they were ever in) of collecting tons of random followers who never actually visit your page; you need folks who will “like” your content, check-in at your location, make comments, upload pictures, and more.
Of course, if you want people to interact with your page, you have to engage them. This means, having interesting or entertaining content and getting them involved with contests, surveys, questions, and any other ways you can think of to encourage visitor participation.
Optimize your photos
A photo can make your listing stand out from others and a great photo can convince consumers to click on your page. With that in mind, go back and review the images on your fan page. Are they labeled? Do they show your business in the best light? If not, modify the pictures or upload some new ones.
The good news is, if you were already concentrating on attracting targeted fans and providing quality, engaging content, you won’t need to do much extra work. Simply double check that all your set up information is complete, add some keywords, and you are done. On the other hand, if your business page is lacking, use the launch of Graph Search as motivation to bring it to its full potential. You definitely won’t want to miss out on the greater exposure this new feature could bring your brand.