Knowing Nodes: A Marketer's Look at Facebook's New Graph Search

Brace yourselves: According to an article from Search Engine Journal, Facebook’s Graph Search will someday change the search marketing and SEO game, even outside the realm of Facebook.

The major factor separating Graph Search from current search functions is that Graph Search is object-oriented, rather than keyword-oriented. In other words, it sifts through the Facebook Graph, returning nodes (pages, places, events, applications etc.) based both on the user’s search criteria and the connection (established by liking, commenting, tagging, checking in, and/or whether friends have interacted with it in any of those ways) the user has with those nodes, placing the greater priority on those connections.

Because of this emphasis on nodes that are connected to a user, either directly (the user liked or otherwise interacted with the node) or indirectly (the user’s friends have interacted with it), it will soon be more important than ever for brands to capture and consistently engage a Facebook audience through as many different nodes as possible. The more users engaging with a brand’s Facebook assets, the more users who may see that brand turn up in their Graph Search results.

Although currently only available to a small subsection of users, Graph Search continues to evolve. Soon, users will be able to narrow their search using the “and” operator to, for example, entities in their area that have been liked by their friends.

To get ahead of the game now, brands should:

  1. Establish a presence on Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor, and encourage users to share good experiences in order to obtain a high star rating (Facebook assigns them based on a business’s reviews) in Graph Search results that will help encourage clicks.
  2. Offer incentives for users to interact with them on Facebook in order to create more connections, and thus a greater likelihood of showing up in Graph Search results.
  3. Promote their Facebook pages through all marketing channels both on- and offline.

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