In a crowded press conference that took place yesterday at the Facebook headquarters Mark Zuckerberg made a big an announcement that yet again could change the way we use the internet. In the conference Zuckerberg officially released Facebook’s new search feature called Facebook Graph Search.
The new search feature allows users to search within Facebook’s enormous collection of user data, or as they call it, the social graph. The way Facebook Graph Search works is much different from traditional web search. Facebook’s search feature uses Likes, Check-ins, and other connections to provide relevant results to its users.
Here is an example of how this might be used if someone is searching for a lawyer. A user is logged into Facebook and types in the search box “DUI Lawyers my friends like”. This would bring you a list of relevant DUI lawyers based on the likes of your friends. Also, you could search “DUI Lawyers who my friends in New York like”. This would show you a list of relevant DUI lawyers whom only your friends in New York have liked. Another possibility would be to search “DUI Lawyers near me”. This would show you a list of relevant DUI Lawyers based on your current location and would rank them based on the number of likes, check-ins and other relevancy factors.
The actual search results themselves will also be much different from traditional web search. The results for Facebook Graph Search will consist of Facebook places pages and business pages. Each result will display the page name, the amount of Likes, related pages people like, and which of your friends like the page. Below is an example of a typical search result you might see in the graph search.
So, how will all of this affect how potential clients find your law firm on the internet? I highly doubt that the Facebook Graph Search will be a Google killer. The vast majority of people will probably continue to use Google to find and research lawyers. However, Facebook Graph Search has only been released in beta so it is only available to a very small amount of users. This means that we will not know the real effects this new feature will have on the search industry until they release it to all of their users.
With that being said I do not want to underestimate the 1 billion user giant that is Facebook. Although, I do not think this will have a tremendous effect on how people search for lawyers I do believe that people will use it. This means that there will be an opportunity for early adapters to get the competitive edge.
Facebook has released a few tips on how you can improve the likely hood your business will show up in the Graph Search which can be found below:
The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.
Any good internet marketer out there knows that an effective internet marketing strategy does not rely on just one thing. It is all about having a well rounded and balanced approached across many different online platforms. Facebook has been one of those platforms that I have included in my internet marketing approach for a long time and I think Facebook Search Optimization (FSO) will become a regular practice and will be included in any future well rounded internet marketing strategy. Below I have listed some action steps to get ahead of the competition with your Facebook Search Optimization.
1. If you haven’t already, set up a Facebook Page for your business.
2. If your business occupies a physical location make sure you set up a location page.
3. Add photos and fill out all information fields on your business page.
4. Add a Facebook fanbox to your website/blog.
5. Add Facebook “Like” buttons to your website/blog.
6. Update your Facebook Business Page on a regular basis.
7. Encourage current customers/clients to like and check-in at your business.
8. If you have the budget for it, try using Facebook ads. I have had great success gaining “Likes” and increasing interactions using for law firms pages using Facebook ads. You can set budgets for as little as $5 or less a day.
I will keep you updated on any new information that surfaces regarding Facebook Graph Search. You should also expect some more posts on setting up a Facebook page and growing your Facebook following.
What are your thoughts on the Facebook Graph Search? How do you think it will affect how people find lawyers or any other business?