Are you looking for creative ways to discover what your readers’ interests are?
Imagine having access to a search engine that tells you exactly what your readers want to learn more about.
In this article, I’ll show you four ways you can use Facebook Graph Search to create content that your audience truly wants.
Before we begin, here’s a quick overview on what Facebook Graph Search is…
What is Facebook Graph Search?
When Facebook Graph Search Beta launched last year, it allowed users to explore content their friends shared on Facebook in an entirely new way. Users could enter a phrase such as “My friends that live in San Diego that like pilates” and Facebook would return results that fit that specific criteria.
Unlike Google or Bing which provide users results from all across the Web, Facebook Graph Search returned results from content shared only on Facebook. These results were limited to three categories: likes, interests and activities.
Facebook’s search engine provided brands an opportunity to maximize their visibility and as a result, inspired Page Admins to invest time in Facebook Graph Search Page Optimization.
Now, Facebook allows you to search for old posts you made on your account, posts your friends shared with you and on public Pages. When I heard the announcement last month, that’s when a light bulb went off in my head!
Listening to Your Audience to Generate New Content Ideas
I have always stressed that if you listen to your audience, you will get a better understanding of their needs. With Facebook’s latest update, you have an amazing opportunity to see what your customers want you to write about.
Here are four search queries you can use to fuel your content strategy:
- Posts about [TOPIC]
- Posts about [TOPIC] by [PAGE]
- Posts about [TOPIC] in [GROUP]
- Posts about [TOPIC] that my friends like
As you start scrolling through the results, start analyzing posts for content themes. Here are a few questions you should ask when looking at the results:
- Is there a common question that keeps popping up that you can elaborate on?
- Which post had a lively comment thread and why?
- What type of content was shared (e.g., article, ebook, infographic, video)?
Posts about [TOPIC]
When you search for posts about a specific topic, results will include posts made by your friends, Pages you follow and Groups that you participate in.
For example, if you offer personal finance advice and are looking for content ideas that your target audience may be interested in, you may want to do a search about 401K as a topic.
To make the results easier for you to digest, I recommend narrowing your search results by Page, Group and what your friends posted.
Posts about [TOPIC] by [PAGE]
When you run this search query, you want to focus on Pages that your target audience are most likely a fan of.
Using the example above, now let’s look for content ideas that your target audience may be interested in such as Money Magazine on Facebook.
After you like Money Magazine’s Page, do a search for “posts about 401K by Money Magazine.”
Posts about [TOPIC] in [GROUP]
You can even leverage Facebook Groups to narrow your search results. For example, the Facebook group, Personal Finance and Frugal Tips/Advice/Support, would be a great place to start.
After you’ve joined the group, run the search “posts about 401K in Personal Finance and Frugal/Tips/Advice/Support.”
Posts about [TOPIC] that my friends like
And lastly, check out what type of content your friends are engaging with.
Enter the phrase “posts about 401K that my friends like” into the search bar to check out what kind of results you get.
Now it’s your turn…
So there you have it folks—four ways you can use Facebook Graph Search to jumpstart your content strategy.
What do you think? I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the above suggestions. Has your research provided you with surprising results? Share your experience in the comments box below.
Here’s a video that breaks this blog post down in five minutes:
Stephanie, this is brilliant! A friend of mine and I were just talking about ways we can more intimately address the needs our communities have, and this tool is a great one to add to the toolkit!
I’m glad you found the article helpful Sabrina! I look forward to hearing what new content ideas you uncovered by using Facebook Graph Search.
This is also a great tool to mine data from the communities of other people that have your right people in it. Thanks for the tip!
Very true! Once you find the community or Facebook Group that has your ideal customer avatar, you can jump in and go through the conversations to hone in on common pain points.
Stephanie, this is such a noob question but I’m not sure where to do the searches. When I google ‘facebook graph search’ it brings me to http://search.fb.com/. When I click on ‘Try a search’ it brings me back to my FB news feed. I tried some searches and they all yielded in pages, apps and groups, no content. What am I doing wrong? I really want to try this. Thanks in advance 🙂
Hey Puja, you actually do the search within Facebook. Normally you would type your friend’s name to see their Facebook profile in the search box. Instead of typing the friend’s name, that’s where you’ll plug in your search query. Give it a shot and let me know if you’re still having trouble.
This is amazing, I just tried it. I didn’t realize we can do this. So helpful, will be searching more about travel soon.
Yay Brenda – I’m sure it’ll come handy when you’re searching for restaurants when you’re traveling!
I’ve been hearing a lot about Facebook graph search, but I haven’t really tried it yet except a couple of quick attempts as I watched a video about it. Definitely going to give it a shot.