Social media is particularly important for bloggers because it is such a good way to create buzz around a piece of content. While I would never advocate the idea that social media doesn’t matter for other types of businesses, there is no denying that because blogging is all about content and promotion, social is particularly crucial. The new Facebook Graph has finally hit the majority of its 168 million U.S. users, so naturally everyone is scrambling to decide how it can benefit their company and how they can take full advantage of all the new features. If blogging is your company—this article is for you.
The Facebook Graph Search Basics
If you haven’t heard about the new Facebook Graph Search you’re not alone. Although it was announced just a few months ago (February to be exact), it has not been made available to the public until now. The way it works is this: You type a question into the Facebook search bar and then Facebook will pull results that directly related to the interests and opinions of your friends. Take the following screenshot example:
As you can see from the screenshot above, I typed in a question about my friends in California. If my friends have ever checked-in to a restaurant or “liked” a particular restaurant in California, they are listed in my search results. This is a great way to find recommendations for different places based upon people that I trust. There are also filters on the right hand side of the search that would allow me to get even more specific results if I desire.
The Benefits of Facebook Graph Search and How Bloggers Can Take Advantage
Suddenly, optimization for Facebook has become even more important than ever before. While the past may have left businesses just trying to rank well using a few keywords, new aspects have now come into play. A few of the benefits of these changes include:
- Likes Matter. The whole idea behind the new search graph is that a business can no longer just create a business page. The search results are going to depend upon the engagement of that page (number of likes, people checking-in, people commenting, location-based searching, etc.).How Bloggers Are Affected: Every time that someone guest posts or comments on your blog, prompt them to “like” your Facebook page. In my personal opinion, this will soon be even more important than asking people to follow you on Twitter.
- Local Information. The new Graph search takes advantage of the local information that Facebook has. In the past businesses could use this for ad targeting, but now users can use this for their own targeting.How Bloggers Are Affected: Make sure that you have everything filled out on your Facebook page in terms of location. If you are strictly a blog that offers advice and no services, this might not be as relevant as a blogger who also offers say, SEO services.
- Understand Competitors: You can now easily do a search for your competitors in relation to your specific audience. If you type in a search and see that one of your competitor’s shows up, you can see exactly which of your fans/followers have engaged with that company in the past. It will also help give you an idea of just how many people might be seeing that result.How Bloggers Are Affected: Bloggers typically work with the competition by offering guest content. As a blogger, this is a great way to find new people who might be interested in reading your blog. After all, if they like the competition, you’ve got a pretty good lead.
- Individual Connection Importance. If you’re a company with a lot of “likes” from other companies, you might want to re-think your strategy. Facebook users are going to care the most about what their friends have to say, so you’re going to want followers who have a good number of friends.How Bloggers Are Affected: This is where bloggers have a leg up. Those who read blogs typically really enjoy social media as individuals.
Are you a blogger that has used Facebook Graph search? What did you do to make the new feature work for you? Do you predict this will be successful and/or make a difference for bloggers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.