Facebook introduced social search in January 2013. Still not using this tool in marketing? Then this article is for you.
What is social search and how to use it
Graph Search or Facebook Social Search is a search engine that performs searches based on social connections and user preferences. The social graph searches for people, photos, places, interests. The search engine indexes notes, comments and photo captions.
Social search is available to people using the Facebook site in English. To use Graph Search, go to settings and select American English.
After that place the cursor in the search field. If you’ve done everything right, a social search should offer you clues.
What tasks can be solved with the help of social search
Graph Search Facebook helps marketers solve the following tasks:
- Audience research.
- Search and study of authorities.
- Optimization for social search.
More on these tasks below.
Social search allows you to explore the interests of a particular audience, for example, subscribers of your brand or community. For example, you can find out which pages your subscribers like. To do this, enter in the search box the query "pages liked by people who like *", where * is the name of the selected brand or group.
You can find out what brand or community subscribers are interested in. To do this, use the query "favorite interests of people who like *".
You can explore the interests of users who like your brand and the brand of a competitor. To do this, use the query "favorite interests of people who like * and **", where ** is the name of a competing brand.
Search and study of authorities
With the help of social search, you can find and study users, pages and groups, which are the authoritative source of information for the audience. For example, you can start research from the blogosphere and find influential bloggers who like your brand. To do this, use the query "Bloggers who like *".
Bloggers who like your brand will surely agree to participate in a marketing campaign.
You can find bloggers you follow. To do this, use the query "Bloggers who are followed by my friends". A more sophisticated query, "Bloggers who are followed by my friends who like *" allows you to find bloggers who are subscribed to by your friends who like the brand *
Here are some useful queries that you can use to find reputable users and sources of information:
- Current * employees - allows you to find employees of the brand *.
- Journalists who like * - so you will find journalists who like the brand *.
- C.E.O.s who are followed by people who like * - this way you can find top managers who are signed up by users who like the brand.
Using social search, you can determine the interests and preferences of specific users. Use these queries for this:
- Pages * likes, where * is the username. So you are looking for pages that people like.
- Places visited by * - find places the user has visited.
- Favorite interests of * - find out what interests a person with authority of your audience.
Social Search Optimization
The popularity of Facebook should make farsighted marketers think about optimizing for social search or GSO (Graph Search Optimization). Facebook engineers do not disclose information about the Graph Search search algorithms. However, it can be assumed that for successful optimization knowledge of the algorithms will not be required.
The following factors will most certainly influence the position in issuing a social search:
- Number of friends and followers of a person, brand followers.
- The number of "likes" of the page.
- The number of subscribers to users who like the page.
- Social signals: likes, shareings, comments.
- The frequency of page updates, the availability of useful information.
This means that to get high positions in the issuance of Graph Search page should be as interesting and useful to people. Authoritative users should subscribe to it, make reposts, comment on content and put likes.
Social graph can be used to increase the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook. In particular, search results can be used to reduce the cost of a click.
Imagine that you are advertising the services of a bank that competes with Sberbank. You can show ads to users who have subscribed to the Sberbank page on Facebook. However, the cost of a click in a commercial field is high. To reduce it, you can expand the reach and reduce the specificity of the audience. For this, the query "favorite interests of people who like Sberbank".
In the issue, select some of the most popular non-commercial interests.
Create ad campaigns for each of them. The illustration below shows that the audience for displaying ads is quite specific.
Increasing the reach at the expense of tea lovers, you reduce the specificity of the audience, as well as reduce the cost of a click.
Please note that this tactic will be successful if you create at least 8-10 campaigns for the main non-commercial interests of the audience.
What is useful for Graph Search: ideas
With the social search for Facebook, you can:
- Learn the interests and preferences of your own audience.
- Determine the interests and preferences of the audience of competitors.
- Find potential partners and customers.
- Learn the interests and preferences of your own employees and competitors.
- Increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
- Find colleagues, people with similar interests.
- Identify Facebook groups whose members are interested in your product or business (Request "Groups of people who like *").
- Find a general audience ("Fans of * and **").
- Identify competitors ("Restaurants in London").
- Find people who may be useful for your advertising campaign.
- Find employees.
Social search: useful insights and practical benefits
The Facebook social graph is primarily a tool for finding answers to questions. It helps to study the interests of users of the largest social network in the world in your chosen context. Also, Graph Search can be used to increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Finally, social search can be used to study current trends in your field of activity: the popularity of products, the credibility of information sources and the relevance of business to the audience.