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A lot was said during last week’s Facebook Q4 earnings call. From soaring usage stats to the development of new standalone apps, the social network shared several key pieces of information that impact marketers. One thing that we didn’t cover in our previous article was the expansion of Graph Search.

Although Mark Zuckerberg didn’t go into details during the call, he hinted that the functionality was in development for mobile. Until now, Graph Search has only been available for U.S. members on the web. But over the weekend, some members began seeing the option on their mobile devices.

A Facebook representative later confirmed that the company is testing Graph Search on mobile with a small group of members. The change isn’t very noticeable until you tap on the search bar. Those with Graph Search now see a drop-down menu that suggests several new categories for searches, including people, posts, and photos.

Immediate details about the test aren’t available, and Facebook didn’t reveal when a wider audience will have access to mobile Graph Search, but it’s coming. If you’re still unsure about what you can do with Graph Search, here are a few examples of how the feature can help your brand.

Local Businesses

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There’s a lot of potential for Graph Search on mobile, especially for local businesses like restaurants, entertainment venues, retailers, and so on. During the earnings call Zuckerberg acknowledged that mobile expansion is an important step because “most of the usage of Facebook overall is on mobile, so we expect that that’s where engagement will really start to come from on Graph Search over time.”

So how can you capture the attention of Facebook’s 556 million daily active users? Make sure that your business is visible even if consumers don’t know that they’re looking for you. This is especially true for businesses located near popular venues (like a museum) that get a lot of visitors. You’ll want to make sure that your business appears when someone searches for businesses near those locations.

To increase your chances, make sure that your Page’s About section is filled out completely, and that your addresses is correct and up to date. If your Place Page doesn’t show up, the Social Media Examiner suggests running a Facebook Ad that mentions the landmark or offering a check-in deal that will appeal to nearby visitors.

Recruitment

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As a recruiter, you’re tasked with finding talented people to bring into a company. Although there are platforms designed specifically for this purpose, you’ll find that a mix of different approaches can help offer new perspectives as well as help you to cover more ground.

Graph Search can be used for recruitment as well as general information for job seekers around a particular company, including company culture, location, and past and current employees. For example, you can search for people who worked at X Company and went to Y School. You can get even more specific by searching for mentions of a particular title or position.

Your success as a recruiter on Facebook depends heavily on the information provided by its members. However, assuming that everyone lists their education and work histories, you’ve got a pretty big pool of candidates to choose from. You can also use Graph Search for networking purposes if you’re looking to partner with other businesses or just want to expand your reach within a particular industry.

Market Research

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Perhaps the most valuable takeaway of Graph Search for marketers is the ability to learn more about your customers without having to ask. For example, if you find that a majority of your fans also have another interest in common — such as traveling — you can use that information to integrate related content into your content strategy.

Information about consumers interests can also be used to create relevant and better target ads. You can even use it to select a contest prize that will appeal to your audience and help boost engagement for your promotion. You can search for books or movies liked by people who Like your Page and get a better sense of who they are and what motivates them based on their interests.

Graph Search can even help marketers with corporate espionage. Use Graph Search to find out which other restaurants in Chicago are visited by people who Like your Page, or which employees of a specific business Like products that are similar to yours. All of this data can be used to help refine your social strategy and give you a leg up on your competitors.

While mobile support likely won’t have a huge impact on how Graph Search is used for market research and recruitment, it will be a major stepping stone for local businesses on the social network. Even if you only have access to the web version, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the tool because this is the future of Facebook search.

[Via: Mashable, The Verge, Image credit: gerlos, bradhoc, buddawiggi, Tadson Bussey]