Will the New Facebook Search Engine Deliver for Legal Marketers?
Facebook announced January 15, 2013 that it is unveiling a new search engine called Graph Search that will allow us to search our social circles for things we want to know about.
It’s not a Google-type search engine; it doesn’t scour the entire Web for results. It only returns the results that are popular within your circle of friends on Facebook. And that can be pretty compelling, since we tend to care more about what our friends think or recommend than strangers.
For example, you can search for how many of your friends like to play tennis if you’re looking for a new partner, or eat sushi if you’re looking for a great sushi restaurant. Basically, the new search engine takes all the information you have shared or that has been shared with you, and makes it searchable.
So is this a big deal for law firm marketing?
It could be, if people use it to search for legal services. As I’ve noted before, I’m not sure many people ask for attorney recommendations on Facebook for sensitive issues like divorce or if they’ve been charged with a crime. But they probably do ask for recommendations from friends for other specialties – creating a will, drawing a contract and so on.
Graph Search, which is powered by Bing, focuses on four areas: people, photos, places and interests. This also includes shared content, so if you post free reports and articles on your Facebook Business Page that are being shared, you will more likely turn up in the new Graph Search.
While we wait to see if “the dogs eat the dog food” (Graph Search is in beta now and you have to sign up for it), you should go ahead and take a leap of faith by ensuring your firm not only has a robust Facebook Business Page, but that it is full of great content that you are actively marketing to your connections.
If you need help setting up your Facebook Business Page, here is a step-by-step video guide courtesy of HubSpot: