6 Things Nonprofits Need to Know About Facebook's Graph Search

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01.23.2013By

Facebook is rolling out enhanced search features to Facebook users called “Graph Search”.

Graph Search is very different from Google search. With Graph Search, you combine a keyword search with friends who’ve shared content on Facebook related to that search. For example, you can search for friends in Boston who like volunteering for animal shelters.

What this means is that there will be many more ways for people to discover your organization on Facebook!

Here are just six ways graph search will impact your nonprofit’s presence on Facebook:

1) Your Page is key.

Graph Search indexes the keywords in your Page’s about section, the category and sub-categories you’ve selected for your Page, your Page username, and more. Inbound links to your Page will also help influence how your Page shows up in searches.

2) Nodes will be key.

Graph search will show people the prevalence of friend connections with your organization. Deepening engagement with your top fans will help expand friend networks (nodes), as more and more of their friends are sucked into your vortex of awesome!

3) Friend-gating will be key.

One powerful way to strengthen the nodes mentioned above is through friend gating (AKA refer-a-friend) contests. The way this works is pretty simple. You work with a partner to give away something really amazing in exchange for a fan referring a specific number of friends to Like your Page. Check out Shortstack for more on this type of functionality.

4) Events will be key.

Facebook events will be a primary result that appears in Graph searches. It’s important to pay attention to how you describe and title your event, and how well you promote that event to your fans.

5) Photos will matter more.

Graph search will boost the value (engagement) of photos posted to your Page, simply because they will be a primary content type displayed in Graph Search results.

6) Likes will matter (again).

Over the past few months there have been many discussions about of whether Page Likes are more important than reach and engagement. Now, with Graph Search Liking a page does matters–even if most of your fans don’t see your content. (Caveat: the affinity between a fan and a Page will most likely be factored into the Graph Search algorithm, if it hasn’t already.)

These are just a few things to consider as Facebook rolls out Graph Search. Learn more about it and join the beta here. What do you think about Graph Search?