Facebook’s search function has never really been anything to shout about and definitely not something Google ever had to look over the shoulder for. Now however, with over 1 billion registered users, Facebook look like they’re ready to take on the search engine elite and change the way people search.
With Graph Search you will be able to explore a seemingly limitless amount of data and then cross reference it as much as you like to narrow down the options. For example if you were looking to spend your night watching a /wp-content/uploads/film but couldn’t decide which one then you could search “Films that my friends like.” If you’re really popular (luckily I don’t have that problem) and wanted to narrow down the list a little you could bring in a another variable, something like “Films that my friends from university like”
With the aftermath of Instagram’s recent privacy issues it wouldn’t be surprising to see a backlash about the possible intrusion of privacy. This seems to be something that Facebook have taken into account though and they will not show any information that users have set to private.
How can Businesses be Seen?
This all means that it is now more important than ever for a company to have an active and vibrant Facebook page. If you want your page to be found you will need to make sure that all of your information is completed with relevant information (and not set to private). This should be considered the bare minimum. If you really want to increase your chances of being seen then it is also important to put in as many pictures as possible, because Facebook users will also be able to search for the site for images (it may even be worth tagging your company in the photos so that people can click straight through). It is still unclear as to whether or not Graph Search will feature posts and statuses or not but most people believe it will, even if it is not included in the initial launch. If this is true you need to make sure you are posting statuses on a regular basis; statuses that encourage people to like them. Luckily (or not, depending on the state of your current posts) this is something that most people should have been aiming for all along. But what’s the best way to get people to like your status? Surely a “Like this post for a free …” would work a treat? You could try that but then you’d be breaking Facebook law and run the risk of having your page taken down (see E. iii. of Facebook Page Terms). This means, like all other search engines, content will be king. You need to be posting statuses that people genuinely enjoy and want to like. These can either be short and brilliantly witty statuses or links to some great onsite content. Either way you need to create something unique and genuinely enjoyable.