On Tuesday, Facebook announced their new Graph Search engine. I’m with Brian Reilly: it’s a game changer. This is the first genuine competitor Google have had in search. And that means that your company needs to take Facebook Graph Search Optimisation as seriously as you take your Google SEO.
Here are 5 things you can do to prepare for the full launch.
1) Get all your physical locations onto Facebook
If there is just one page for your multinational digital agency, or your chain of Indian restaurants, and you have given it the address of your head office in London, then your other branches are invisible.
Users search for ‘Indian Restaurants in Birmingham Liked by my friends’ and ‘Digital agencies in Rio de Janeiro Liked by Marketing Experts’. Your Facebook presence must match your physical presence – or you won’t show up. (If you work in locations where you don’t have an office, a virtual office might be useful for this).
2) Tell your employees to clean up their profiles
If you thought your employees were oversharing on Twitter, you should see the crap they’re putting on the Facebook profiles they think are private. Customers and journalists will search for ‘People who work for <your company>’. Get the bad stuff off there before they see it.
3) Start thinking hard about who is liking your page
Graph Search is all about connections: ‘a pub Liked by people who Like Manchester United’ or a ‘Cookbook Liked by my Friends who Like Nigella Lawson’. It’s more important than ever before that the people who like your brand are people who like other relevant stuff.
Log in to Facebook, switch to ‘Use Facebook as <your company page>’, then go and look at your recommended pages. These are the other things that your current lot of fans actually like. Reckon that people looking for your brand will be searching for these terms? Didn’t think so. Sort it out.
4) Don’t spend any more money on Facebook chasing Likes
Graph Search will be Facebook’s most profitable advertising channel – it can do what Facebook has never done before and deliver adverts to people when they are at the moment of purchasing decision.
But it stands and falls on the accuracy of its results.
In order to make search more accurate, they’re going to need to distinguish between authentic, heartfelt Likes, and the ones that come about because you have offered someone the chance to win an iPad in exchange for liking your page. Just as Google periodically changes its algorithm to hammer illegitimate SEO, Facebook is going to do the same with insincere Likes (and that includes the ones you paid Facebook to deliver to you).
5) Get Facebook into your staff social media training programmes
The people who can really deliver that authentic network of Likes are your employees. They’re in the right place, they know the brand, they have lots of friends. They should all be liking your page, and linking to your products, your blogs and your updates. (If they’re reluctant to spam their friends’ timelines, then show them how to create Facebook lists -that means they can modify their settings so that all this Liking and Commenting shows up in search, but is invisible to their friends).
Anything I’ve missed? Stick it in the comments below