Our ears perked up when Facebook announced the launch of Graph Search
The new tool, which Facebook is still rolling out, allows users to get search results based on information from their friends' profiles.
For example, are you looking for a good yoga studio in San Francisco? You can now see what your Facebook friends think by searching "yoga studios my friends in San Francisco like."
The marketing potential is obvious: The greater your Facebook following, the better able you are to reap the rewards of high rankings in Graph Search.
Here are eight tips for getting the most out of the new feature:
1. Focus on likes again.
Graph Search places a new emphasis on getting likes, reviews and check-ins because people will search for things like, "restaurants in St. Louis my friends have been to." Consider encouraging customers to check in and leave reviews. The interaction may just help you appear at the top of someone's Graph Search.
"Engagement will continue to be important for a number of reasons, but the page 'like' will be back in play as a primary Facebook marketing metric," says Social Media Today.
2. Create photo albums.
Currently, most brands upload photos to status updates as opposed to albums. But only photos uploaded to brand albums and user photos that tag brands will show up in search results. Brands will need to shift their focus.
3. Optimize for local search.
Graph Search will consider a number of factors, including check ins and likes, when ordering results. That means if people aren't liking or talking about your business in status updates, it will likely not appear, or will appear low, in search results. Use Graph Search to your advantage by optimizing for local search.
4. Create word-of-mouth buzz.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools—if not the most powerful tool—marketers can use to their advantage. As Graph Search evolves, it could prove to be essential in giving marketers the opportunity to take advantage of what people say about their brands on social media.
5. Optimize for Bing.
Graph Search digs through your friends' profiles to find the information you need, but what if nobody has information that matches "salons my friends like"? Instead of a "results not found" message, Graph Search turns to Bing. This makes it even more important for you to optimize your website for Bing.
6. Keep it personal.
If you have good social media marketing habits, this shouldn't be much of a change. Keep creating personalized content regularly for your fan base.
7. Wash your face.
Ensuring your news feed, posts and likes are clear of embarrassing content is a no-brainer before you use Graph Search. Don't let your business appear in scandalous searches. Consider using FaceWash, an app designed to scrub unsavory content from your profile.
8. Assess Facebook's value to your business.
Graph Search can help you decide whether Facebook is a good fit for your brand by determining how big of a presence your target audience has on the platform. This insight can help you allocate your social media time, resources and money more effectively.
Brian Conlin also contributed to this piece. A version of this article originally appeared on the Vocus blog.