February 07, 2013

Hotels on Facebook Graph Search - first impressions and tips

There’s still plenty that needs refinement about Facebook Graph Search And businesses will need to start optimizing their Facebook pages to ensure they tap into the power of social search. Here is a review of what's available today and how to optimize your hotel's Facebook page to take advantage.

Just as Google has been trying hard to put a ‘social’ twist to all things search, Facebook has now put a ‘search’ twist to the social experience. From the standpoint of a local business like a hotel or restaurant, the most irritating thing about social platforms is that they do not offer referrals with any longevity… i.e. it’s not very easy to dig up the best Italian restaurants your friends have been to (or like) in the past few months, without racking your brains and doing some serious timeline stalking (doubt if anyone has the time or patience either). Most social platforms have been trying hard to fix this problem…FourSquare’s interface changes are a great example, with a renewed focus on local discovery and highlighting businesses and specials near you.

Facebook’s graph search aims to transform the social network into a discovery and local recommendation engine. With the use of simple phrases, it is very easy to discover places, people, photos, videos and things on the network. Just as Google uses links to webpages and websites as votes of confidence and authority, so too does Facebook use likes, check-ins, comments and shares as measures of endorsement.

While there are bound to be plenty of social media gurus and snakeoil salesmen touting their Facebook “SEO” capabilities in the future, it appears that simple, common sense tweaks are all that are needed to optimize pages for Facebook Graph Search (at least for now). Examples:

- Ensure your Hotel or Restaurant Facebook Page is correctly set up in terms of location, contact details, geo coordinates and categories
- Claim and merge your Facebook Page and places, eliminating any duplicate places
- Encourage guests and fans to like, share, comment and check-in
- Focus on creating high quality, shareable content that reflects your brand persona and engages your audience

Get the full story at The Hotel Internet Marketing Blog