Welcome to my weekly series:
Here you will find tips on a variety of topics that will provide you with the tools you need in your everyday life and small business.
Today’s topic is on Facebook search graph and how to have fun with it!
You might be amazed at all the neat things you can do with this new Facebook tool. There are endless possibilities, so I’m going to give you just a few examples of my own.
You’re going on a trip and want to know what are some good restaurants in the area that your Facebook friends recommend and have eaten at, or maybe you just want to check out local restaurants you friends/family like. Since the last trip I went on was to the Disney On The Road conference in Seattle, Washington, I thought Seattle would be a perfect example!
Go to the search bar in Facebook and click on it until a drop down list of options appears. Click on “Restaurants nearby”
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On the far right in the center of the next page you will see a list of drop down items to choose from. Each of these items will allow you to narrow your search. Let’s say you want to know which restaurants in Seattle, Washington your friends not only have ‘liked’ the page of, but have visited there as well. This is a good indication that they enjoyed their meal and would be a good choice of restaurants for that area. If you don’t see the city you wish to search for listed, click on ‘other’ in the “Places Near” category.
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*Note that if you scroll to the end of the results page you will see more options to choose. (click image below)
Perhaps you wish to find WAHM’s to network with that might be in your line of work or reside in your local area.
Go to the search bar in Facebook and click on it until a drop down list of options appears. Click on “People I may know” (click image below)
Narrow your search by choosing from the categories that will best help refine your search. In this example I choose “Female, Married, Self Employed” than “My friends of friends” and “Not My Friends” to assist me in finding WAHMs that I may want to connect with. You will then see a list of people who fit that search criteria. (click image below)
Example 3: Using Hashtags!
If I want to find status updates on a particular subject I would just enter the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the topic I want to search in the search bar. (click images below)
Just to be clear these are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do with Facebooks new graph search. A big concern with this tool has been security and privacy. If this is a concern than all you need to do is check your privacy settings. Odds are you’ve all ready set your status updates to only be seen by those you are friends with. In my case I have all my updates set to public because I never post anything personal on my own timeline. My family has their own Facebook group so anything family related can be announced there and it’s not for the public eye to see. I also belong to several different business related Facebook Groups and nothing with hashtags can be seen by those not members of the group.
So why on earth would YOU use hashtags? The biggest reason is to be seen and found easier for business and/or marketing purposes. Those who have business fan pages have really suffered a loss of engagement by their own readers due to what they call “Facebook Edgerank” or “Algorithm”. This has been going on for some time and it’s getting harder to reach our own fan base. It’s a complicated and confusing topic so I won’t get into it, but suffice it to say, if we don’t pay to promote or sponsor our posts, then most fan pages will only have 1/3 of their readers see their posts in the newsfeeds. This is why I believe so strongly in hashtags. If more people not only utilize the placement of hashtags, but the searching for them as well, than our posts will have a better chance of being seen by a larger audience and more small businesses will thrive this way. If you are not a WAHM or do not own a business that needs promoting, than using hashtags in your Facebook posts is really more for entertainment than anything. Those who have used Twitter will have a better grasp of its purpose and find interesting ways to implement it.
FYI: Hashtags are only searchable in a status update NOT in comments. Of course being Facebook that could change at any given time….
[pullquote]Has this post about Facebooks search graph helped you understand it better? Tell me what you think of this new tool in a comment below and be sure to share this post with your friends so they too can benefit![/pullquote]
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