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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Facebook’s New Search Tool is a Game-changer

    Posted by Michael Dooley

    How to Prep Your Profile for Graph Search

    Facebook has introduced its newest feature, Graph Search, which revolutionizes the way content and information can be found on the site. The new search engine allows for more complex and compound queries, with extensive filtering options for results. The engine focuses more around interests and connections between people on Facebook, with seemingly endless combinations of searches. The feature’s greatest function is its ability to discover new information and content that you otherwise would not have found organically on Facebook.

    The power and functionality of Graph Search has some Facebook users very excited and others very nervous. From a business and marketing standpoint, this new feature is a gift, opening up many new ways to cultivate and share information. For users with personal Facebook accounts, the tool appears as a threat to their privacy because of the “stalker” potential associated with such an in-depth search. Profile categories such as photos, interests, places, groups, and likes all are available to search and combine together in a graph search. Whether your Facebook is a personal or business account, your profile will need some serious revamping to get what you want out of graph search.


    Personal Pages

    Build Your Fences Back Up

    When Facebook introduced its “timeline” feature, users had the option to go back through their entire Facebook history and “hide” any posts or photos they wanted from the timeline. People generally did this to hide an older content that they didn’t remember or didn’t want to be public, like an embarrassing photo or status post. This helped build a wall between the private Facebook content meant for your own eyes and the content that you wanted to share with everyone else.

    The issue with Graph Search for these personal accounts is the wall has been broken down completely, with all of that “hidden” content being included in the search results. Any pictures that you removed from your timeline will show up in searches with your name, unless you are untagged or the picture is deleted. Both actions can be done by clicking the “report/flag” button within “options” on the specific photo. Other sections of your profile require a quick review also, such as likes, groups, and interests.


    Privacy Settings Checklist

    If the Graph Search causes concern about what content is public, you are going to need to adjust your privacy settings. There a few key sections of your Facebook account settings to focus on.

    Privacy: In this tab, you have the option to limit or customize who can see your future posts, being able to exclude specific individuals or groups. There is also an option to limit the audience for your past posts, making any old public post viewable by friends only. The last key setting on this tab is the “use activity log”, which allows you to review all of your posted content and delete anything old you wish.


    Timeline and Tagging

    Since the majority of content users want to hide comes from being tagged by others, you may want to adjust how you will be tagged in the future. This tab has an option to block tag suggestions, which helps prevent your being tagged by others in a photo you don’t want to be tagged in. When allowed, tag suggestions will show photos that look like you on your friends’ timelines and ask them if they want to tag you. There are also options to restrict who can see what you and others post on your timeline. The most useful tool out of this section is “View As”, which allows you to view your own profile as if you were one of your Facebook friends. This gives you the ability to test out how your adjusted privacy settings work and see how your public profile appears.


    Business Pages

    Optimize Instead of Hide

    Business accounts need to review their profiles for Graph Search as well, not to hide content, but to make sure they can be found as easy as possible. The “about” section needs to be filled in with as much detail as possible to optimize the page for Graph Search. The company description should be detailed and complete, with industry-based language. If your business has been reviewed on Yelp!, you can connect that information to your profile and allow the ratings to show up in the search. The correct and full business location is a must-have as well, appealing to location based searches. The last step to complete optimization is to check the category of industry your business is listed under.


    Reaching Out With Graph Search

    The real benefit of the Graph Search for businesses is the ability to continually learn about your target demographics. Businesses can use the search to explore their demographic’s interests, habits, and personas, in easier and more in-depth ways than ever before. The filtering options for search results will allow businesses to conduct and segment market research into categories as specific or broad as they want. Having a better understanding of their demographic’s social behavior and what content they enjoy allows businesses to create appealing content in the future tailored for their demographic.

    At this point, Facebook users still have to choose to opt-in so they can start using Graph Search, but it will eventually be the standard for all users. So before Graph Search goes into full swing, it’s a good idea to review your profile. Whether you are operating a business page or a personal profile, you will want to ask yourself a few questions before adjusting your account. Does my profile reflect how I want the public to perceive me? Am I tagged in anything I don’t want others to see? And finally, when I search my name on Facebook Graph Search, am I happy with what I find in the results?

    Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/sheelamohan


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    Topics: Social Media