How To Use Facebook Graph Search To Grow Your Business

3 May 2016
Do you use Facebook to reach customers or as a way to grow your online reach? If you are, then you’ll want to make the most of Facebook Graph Search. Even though there is talk of phasing it out, this is still a powerful tool for you to use. Tip: Graph Search works best when your language is set to English (US).

What is Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook Graph Search is a semantic search engine on Facebook.
Hmm okay, but what is a semantic search engine?
In a nutshell, it’s a way to use keywords to find content. Typically search engines decide for themselves which content to serve based on more than 200 factors. Graph Search refers directly to the keywords searched and returns the results in a unique newsfeed. To use Facebook Graph search you simply enter a phrase into the search bar and it returns the most relevant content: picture 1 How can you use Graph Search to get ahead?

Spy on competitors

Searching for competitors, their brand slogans, product names or even your own business will reveal content on what users are taking about on Facebook. For example, just running the word Tesco through Graph Search shows me their most commented posts from 2015 and more recent posts for last month: picture 2 I can read the comments to see what customers are saying and gain access to all their updates. This is pretty useful because you’ll be able to spot contests and offers your competitors running and keep tabs on them, and keep up-to-date with consumer sentiment.

Learn more about your customers

Facebook Graph Search allows you to find interests of people who like specific pages. For example, if you type “Posts by people who like [insert page]” in Graph Search, Facebook will show you public posts by users who like a particular Page. In the example below I selected Nike Running UK and I can now access a newsfeed of updates of their fans: picture 3 Who would have thought runners loved eating healthy food? Knowing what your fans are sharing and linking to allows you to better construct adverts and create marketing campaigns to address their needs more. You can learn even more by searching for pages like by people who like Mike Tyson which shows us sporting heroes like Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao: picture 4 You can take this one step further by segmenting demographics by searching for clauses like women from London who like running and Adidas and Facebook will return the most relevant content.

3. Hashtag research

Hashtags aren’t just limited to Twitter and Instagram and is one of the better ways to search for content on Facebook. If you want to create a social community I highly suggest creating a unique hashtag and encouraging your followers to use it when talking about your business or industry. You’ll also be able to research your competitors’ hashtag strategies.


Facebook Graph Search is just a fancy term for Facebook’s very own search engine. I always say that to run the best online marketing campaigns you need data to work with. Facebook Graph Search is a great research tool not only for Facebook, but for blog post ideas, email marketing and how to plan your strategies on other social media networks too. Many small businesses don’t know about the power of Facebook Graph Search, but it’s a super powerful free tool that will reveal a lot about your business, competitors and market.

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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