Facebook Graph Search is here, and it’s here to stay. Since the feature was announced in January 2013, early adapters have been testing its functionality while Facebook fine tune’s its algorithms. Although it will take years to finalize, Graph Search is transitioning Facebook from a social network to a social search engine.
Facebook Graph Search returns results based on a user’s social connections and a page’s level of engagement.
Web search results are also shown and are powered by Bing. Take advantage of the developing social search engine by optimizing your blog’s Facebook Page with these three tips.
1. Start Using Threaded Comments
If your page is eligible (if it isn’t, the feature will be rolled out to all pages in July), you can opt-in to the new threaded comments and replies feature through your admin panel. Facebook launched this new feature at the end of March. Both small and large brands and companies are using threaded replies to increase their page’s social engagement.
Threaded replies and conversations facilitate more personal interactions between page owners and page fans. According to Facebook’s Journalism Program Manager, Vadim Lavrusik, these comments give “you and your readers [the] ability to reply directly to comments left on your Page content and start conversation threads, which will make it easier for you to interact directly with individual readers and keep relevant conversations connected.”
Since social interaction is the glue behind Facebook Graph Search, implementing these threaded replies (with close moderation, especially at the beginning) should be a no-brainer. They will help you increase engagement and build real relationships with your readers which will in turn increase your Facebook Graph Search rankings for both your Facebook page and blog.
2. Make Sure You’re Asking Questions
This tip is more of an extension of the first tip about threaded comments, but I think it deserves its own section.
When sharing your blog posts with your Facebook page members, make sure you’re adding personalized commentary. The best way to this and increase engagement is to ask questions. Social media users always love to talk about their feelings, opinions and ideas. Instead of simply copying and pasting the URL to your latest post or using an integrated sync feature between your blogging platform and Facebook, share your posts and ask users what they think.
Developing quality conversations will help you use the threaded comments feature, build relationships with your users, improve your Facebook Graph Search ranking and drive traffic to your blog.
3. Find Out What People Are Searching For
This is an advanced tip and focused on your blog rather than your Facebook page, but well worth it for further insight into your audience and Graph Search activity.
When Facebook users deploy searches on Facebook Graph Search, Facebook is likely to return relevant, internal page results. However, if a user is searching for a longer, more specific phrase, Facebook will show web results powered by Bing.
This is where your blog will appear, especially if you’ve taken extra steps to optimize your blog for SEO purposes. To monitor traffic coming from Graph Search using Google Analytics, follow these step-by-step instructions created by Glenn Gabe on The Internet Marketing Driver blog.
Analyzing these results will help you discover what people are searching for on Facebook related to your blog. With this information, you can refine your Facebook page to target more specific keywords and topics.
And if you’re lucky, the data might even help you generate ideas for future posts!