Optimize for Facebook’s Graph Search

You may have heard the buzz about Facebook’s big announcement at their press conference last week: Graph Search. Simply said, Graph Search takes all of the information that is publicly on Facebook and curates it for you in real-time search.

So every word, “like”, picture, post, comment, milestone, etc. that you and your friends (and their friends, and so on…) have done in the Facebook environment is all there for you to dive into. Facebook said, “It is now about connections between people versus connections with a computer.”

Let’s pretend you are looking for single women under the age of 50 who like football, wine, going to the beach in tropical locales, and shoe shopping, who also happen to live in San Diego, CA. You can search for her! (Oh, wait...)

Ahem, more importantly, maybe you want to find “Plastic Surgery places that have been liked by my friends”. Up pops up (immediately!) all the results. You can further narrow down by region, etc.

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Why is this important for you?

Well, just think about the importance of recommendations in our culture (especially on the internet nowadays). We TRUST our friends and who they recommend. Graph Search perfectly ties what you are looking for with results tied to people you know (or their friends).

We believe this is HUGE for physicians and getting potential new patients.

Advice:

  1. Go sign up for Graph Search so you can start playing with it as it rolls out. This is the only way to truly feel the power and potential of this tool and begin to plan for how you show up in results.
  2. OPTIMIZE your profile (if you want to be found, that is) and your page’s About sections. We’ve always advocated that you load up these sections with keywords and good information to be found – but the advent of Graph Search makes this all the more important.
  3. Make sure your page’s age restrictions are turned off. If you have age restrictions on your page, you won’t show up in search results (this has always been the case). PLUS most apps don’t work with the restrictions on anyway – so put “anyone 13+” as your setting. Note: If you have nude or semi-nude before and after photos, we believe it’s best to remove them from Facebook and direct patients to your website instead. Facebook is a social site, so do what would be in good taste here. Think of it as similar to going to a party: You might give out your business card but you would never ask your date to disrobe and show off her new flat tummy. It’s not the time or place for that. Social is no different.
  4. Make sure you update your page regularly and interact with your fans. We think, based on Facebook’s typical operating style, that companies whose pages have high engagement rates will be rewarded with higher search rankings. (Again, that’s just a hunch – we’ll wait and see.) But even if Facebook doesn’t rank the results, don’t you want to impress your potential new fans and patients with an amazingly close-knit community on your fan page? This is a major PLUS for most prospective patients.
  5. Re-check your personal information – this new search puts everything that’s marked PUBLIC into the hopper – so if you won’t want something found, better lock it down. It’s also a good time to re-visit your own personal “likes”, as well as those for your page. For instance, if you said you “like” XYZ Autobody Repair, that’s a form of endorsement, and will show up on search. If you would rather not have that show up for whatever reason, then make sure to “unlike” that particular page.
We’ll bring you more about Graph Search as it gets refined, but for now, we think it’s a powerful tool. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!