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Facebook Gets "Graphic"

FB Graph Search

The importance of a Facebook “Like” or “Check-In” has grown with a new feature rolling out over the next few weeks, Facebook’s Graph Search.

Marketers arguing over the importance of a large Facebook fanbase for their client’s brands is nothing new, but the feature is just another pro on the list of why businesses should consider Facebook a valuable marketing platform.

One important feature of the new search tool is the weight your friend’s influence carries on your search results. Taking into account the fact that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from their friends (Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 2011), Graph Search will take into account your friends’ preferences when serving up your results.

Some important things to remember for businesses is that in order to even be included in the Graph Search results, you need to be at the party, and we aren’t just talking about setting up a business page and you are done.

Consistently coming up with interesting and shareable social media content will be more important now than ever.

Interactions on your page will be another factor to keep your business relevant and at the top of the search results. “Likes” will also be another important piece of the Facebook SEO puzzle, as they are one of the things Graph Search indexes.

Similar to keywords on Google, Facebook “likes” and “check-ins” will hold a value when determining where your page shows up in a Graph Search. Over time, these will influence where your page shows up on search. So now it is more important than ever to make sure your content is something fans will be up to “liking” and “sharing” with their friends.

For us, creating relevant social media content is something we have always done for our clients. So, making this transition toward Graph Search is a super-easy transition for the brands we represent.

But, unlike us, many businesses will have to step up their game to stay relevant on Facebook.

While all these changes seem positive for users that know what they are doing, the tool is still in “Beta” testing right now, and that is something to keep in mind when using it on the site. It can sometimes be slow to pull up suggestions, and it doesn’t always pull up the pages or people you are looking for on the first try.

There have also been privacy issues that have popped up recently, since Graph Search allows you to search through your friends by what they like and of what they are currently fans.

So for example, those high school spring break photos may come back to haunt you if you haven’t changed your privacy settings on your photos in a while.

Just make sure you sift through your “Activity Log” on your Timeline to see what settings you have for all your photos and posts.

You can also revert all of your previous posts to a selected privacy setting by changing the settings under “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” under your “Privacy Settings.”