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How Facebook’s New Graph Search Features Can Simplify Your Strategy

On Monday, Facebook announced that posts and status updates will now be a part of their Graph Search results. This update to the search platform – being rolled out slowly – will allow users to search content including photo captions, checkins and comments.

While this feature only allows users to search content visible to them – including posts from friends and publicly shared content –  the ability for Facebook marketers to plan campaigns and ad spend based on relevant conversations is now much simpler.

What does this mean for marketers?

As a social media manager, there’s an abundance of data for you to dig through. Even just on Facebook, Insights can overwhelm with data, ads manager is complex, and identifying conversations and topics that your audience is talking about can be daunting, unless those conversations directly involve your brand.

The problem is that these users are already talking about your brand. While you want to keep them engaged, happy, and purchasing, you still have a need to reach new users.

There are several ways the new Graph Search functionality can help you do this. While it’s no replacement for a solid reporting tool to handle your Facebook Insights, these new Graph Search features can help make the social marketer’s life much easier.

1. Search for key terms:

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By searching “Posts about The Voice” for example, NBC would be able to see all public posts and conversations about their show. This is something they haven’t been able to do in the past, and can give brand and social media managers some great insight into the way their fans are talking about their show, even when they aren’t mentioning the actual page.

They could also search each of the celebrity coaches from the show, gathering info about who resonates with fans, giving them insight into decisions for their next season.

This opportunity isn’t just for giant national broadcasters. As a small or medium sized business, you can identify conversations within your particular industry as well. If you sell tools, you can search for “Posts about bandsaws” and find out which competitors, features, and projects people are talking about in relation to bandsaws.

And yes…I added the part about bandsaws to regain some street cred after talking too knowledgeably about The Voice.

2. Search by location:

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If you have a brick and mortar store front, you’re bound to be more interested in local traffic than you are in Facebook fans from across the country. With the new Graph Search functionality, you can search by location.

“Posts Written in Seattle, Washington” could get me some insight into what people are talking about in my city (hint: the answer is “Seahawks”). If I wanted to narrow it even further, I could look at “Posts written at Kevin’s Fake Storefront” to find out what my fictional customers are saying about their experience.

3. Search by time:

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Search posts from a specific timeframe. Say I had a sale at Kevin’s Fake Storefront (which would be a great name for a hipster band) last month. I could search “Posts written at Kevin’s Fake Storefront from last month” and filter out everything else.

4. Search your own content:

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Looking to follow up with conversations you were involved in and may have missed a response? Now you can search “posts I commented on” or “my posts from last year” to identify the places you engaged with fans.

Once you’re able to identify the conversations to target, you can track success, allocate ad spend and use your analytics to form future strategies. To learn more about how Simply Measured can ease your reporting overload, check out our full suite of Facebook analytics:


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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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