How many of you were aware that you can search on Facebook? Not your friends name or can literally search People who liked a page, hashtags, pages and much more to help you get a better understanding of your competitors work, search potential clients and seek pages you find interesting. Even though Twitter has a specifically set, advance Search bar, Facebook does not offer anything other than the “Search Facebook” bar in the top left hand corner. So can Facebook assist you in reaching  your social media marketing goals and if so, how ?

I personally extensively use the Facebook search and was also a keen user of the “Facebook Graph” or “Graph Search” as I used to call it which was rolled out a few years back by Facebook and launched in the US. I specifically remember reading a variety of very interesting articles on its potential use and was quite excited on how it would eventually look once finalised and rolled out also in the UK. However, this never happened and Facebook Graph never really took off.

Instead, Facebook realised the importance and use a Search function could have (As well as keeping users even longer on the platform) and spent heavily on R&D to develop new available features to the search.

So let’s have a look at 3 ways you can use Facebook search to benefit your business in a variety of different ways.

1. Market research

You can still use natural language strings to find people who like certain pages. For example, your research has indicated that 60% of your fans or client base, also tend to “Like” HubSpot.

Using Facebook's natural language search string

You can then go ahead and try a search string similar to the one above (People who like Hubspot) to identify and target some of those people as well as take note of other potential interests they may have that could also be in line with your brand. Facebook will show you the results in tiers, starting with your friends who like Hubspot, friends of friends who like Hubspot and finally ending with effectively “strangers” who have also liked the page.

This can be very useful to marketers for a number of research exercises and other reasons such as:

  • Keeping an Eye on Competitors You can make use of the results of your searches to identify your competitors’ interests and actions and use them in your advantage to find new audiences
  • Building up your ideal client profile Search the interests you are aware your clients have and find out what else they are into. This is really useful for building up customised or targeted Facebook campaigns.

2. Competitive analysis

Some call it “Spying on your Competition”, which I am not necessarily that comfortable with as a term. I see it more as a way to keep yourself and company updated and in line with what competitor agencies are also doing to always make sure you are ahead of the game. Such a feature is the “Pages to Watch”  option which is available if you click on your insights tab and scroll down. You can there study your competitors posts, content and overall style and also identify users as well as the engagement they are attracting.However, the Facebook search can allow you to enter new domains of “spying”

Just type in the name your competitor along with a term you are interested in learning more about and the search results will bring posts from the brand, from fans mentioning the brand in a public place as well as posts and articles about it giving you a much deeper insight than scrolling through their page. On top of that, you can search posts by year and study how their strategy has evolved!

3. Hashtag research

Although some argue that hashtags on Facebook do not really work, the truth is they are not just for Twitter and Instagram. You can use Facebook to check out who is using specific hashtags, how they use them and how audiences respond to them.

If you indeed search our custome hashtag which is#CreativeFearlessMarketing, you will (pleasantly for us) see a surprising number of publicly available posts as well as posts from our page and posts that have been shared by other users.

Start with your current list of hashtags or some of your favorites from other platforms and see how they are doing on Facebook. This can be a great way get exposure for more of your posts and give your Facebook page a little boost.

Conclusively, it is quite evident, Facebook has built its new search  feature with an emphasis on ease of access and to make it simple and fast for users to find old posts or photos. Nonetheless, having spent some time on this, I can most definitely confirm that it also gives marketers the opportunity (with a bit of know-how and pre-studying) to use the search function to get to know their ideal clients even better and run stronger campaigns.

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