Facebook is gearing up to release its new Graph Search
technology. Currently in beta for English speaking users, this
will help people find just about anything on Facebook in a unique
way. Here are some ways to optimize your presence on Facebook so
you and your business can be discovered by more people (if you
choose, of course).
Include the things you want to be discovered for in your profile.
Do you want someone to discover your Facebook profile because you are an entrepreneur in Florida? Then make sure you update your profile to include your current hometown and note that you are an entrepreneur, preferably in the Work and Education section.
Facebook Graph Search will let people query things like Entrepreneurs in Florida to find new people to connect with. Who knows, it may become the next way that investors find new opportunities to take part in.
For local businesses, it’s all about location.
If your business is local such as a restaurant, retail store, service provider, etc., then you need to make sure your business is set up as a local page. If you didn’t do this to start with, you can usually change your Facebook Page’s category by going to Edit Page > Update Info.
Once you do have a local page, make sure to add your address, phone number, and business hours to it. This way, people using Facebook Graph Search to find a Chinese Restaurant in Daytona Beach can find your business quickly.
Start increasing your fan base.
Another interesting functionality about Facebook Graph Search will be the ability to search for stores my friends like, restaurants my friends like, books my friends like, etc. What does this mean for your business or product? Not only does it mean you need a Facebook Page, but you need fans. Not just any fans- relevant ones, which are fans in your region as well as fans with similar interests.
So how do you build up this fan base? Firstly, you can’t buy fans. Period. If you’re not having luck through organic means like adding a like box for your Facebook Page on your website and encouraging others to like your page using business cards and other offline marketing materials, then your next best bet is through Facebook Advertising. If you already have a lot of fans, then you can use the Sponsored Stories to create ads that will allow friends of fans of your page to like your page as well.
If you don’t have a lot of fans just yet, you can use the general advertising options to target Facebook users with specific demographics and interests to see your Facebook Page ad.
Make the right friends on Facebook.
Facebook Graph Search will allow people to find connections based on common denominators. If an entrepreneur is looking for other entrepreneurs to connect with, they might look at who they are already friends with first and search for people who are friends with those friends to find more. For example, they would search for people who are friends with John Smith, Jane Smith, and Joe Smith.
Hence, if you want to be discovered in that type of search, you’re going to have to make some friends. Some great ways to do this is by interacting with the right people on other platforms first, such as their startup blog or Twitter account. Then, once you know that those people would recognize you, connect with them on Facebook.
Another way to find people to connect with with similar interests and ventures is through Facebook groups.
Find groups for entrepreneurs, startup owners, and small business owners. Join them and participate in them. Then start connecting with individual members.
These are just a few ways to prepare for Facebook Graph Search. What other ways are you preparing? Please share in the comments!