Do you remember when Facebook made its most recent change to their overall layout? I’m sure you noticed the new top bar with larger icons and an expanded search bar. What you may not have noticed is that Facebook wasn’t just changing the appearance of the most popular social network in the world; they were providing us with an amazing marketing tool!
Learn about your audience
Facebook Graph Search is a semantic search engine that allows you to search their expansive database using natural, conversational language. This not only provides a less robotic experience but allows you to put your search into real, human context. As a business owner or marketing professional this gives you great insight into your customers and their interests. Everybody can choose keywords based on industry buzzwords and synonyms but what if you actually marketed to your customers as people (they are people aren’t they)?
For the rest of this article, let’s assume we are promoting a local business that creates custom pieces for the home, we’ll call it Buffalo Crafts (creative, I know). Buffalo Crafts has been having trouble breaking through to their audience, they are getting drowned out by all of the major players in the industry and by competitors who are posting similar content to their own. The product line they are offering has been most successful with home decorators in the area. Graph Search can teach us a lot about these people.
This example shows some additional interests that our customers may have. By learning a bit more about our target audience, we can create a more personal connection. Our competition is probably already targeting home decorating enthusiasts but they probably didn’t consider targeting nurses. For the purpose of this study we also localized the data to Buffalo, NY. Without that localization you could gather information about a broader audience. As a crafting company, Buffalo Crafts often sells one of a kind products on the popular site Etsy. This can also be a great piece of information to leverage as Etsy already has a very large following.
The same approach was taken with this search; figure out what fans of Etsy take interest in. These are all subjects that should be used when attracting new business. For example, instead of directly promoting a new coffee table or book shelf, Buffalo Crafts could ask where their fans like to display their favorite books. When engaging fans it is often effective to take this approach even further and allow fans to interact, ask them what their favorite book is or what they are currently reading!
Leverage your competition
Every industry has leaders, the best of the best. We all want to get there so why not pay attention to their customer base. Figure out who they have managed to reach and find something you can offer them. With Graph Search we are able to see actual pages and businesses that users are following.
These pages are a bit more of a direct approach than interest based searches. It gives us a look into where users are shopping and what businesses they like and trust. Part of being a business owner is having confidence in your offerings and finding ways to position yourself in front of your competition. With Graph Search we are able to see exactly who that is.
Facebook Graph Search as an advertising tool
Now that Buffalo Crafts has gathered real, personal information about it’s target market, it is time to act. These interest topics and competitor pages give us a great way to create and market quality content that will grab the attention of our desired audience.
By adding the example interest from our first two Graph Searches, the published content that Buffalo Crafts promotes will reach an audience that is likely ready to shop. By properly targeting ads there is an increased chance that users will click, like, share and consume content which leads to a much lower cost per action (a topic I will cover soon). By targeting the right audience and spending less money on our campaign, the chance for a greater ROI rises quickly. We can also target fans of the competitors that were discovered in the last search.
You’ll notice that the pages were included without a hash tag (#), this will include people that like the relevant page or have mentioned elsewhere in their profile. For both the interests, and pages I would suggest that you scale the included terms to reach a greater audience. But hey, I can’t do all of the research for you!
Update – Some New Goodies
Looking for more queries to expand your personal analysis? Check out the guide that Michael King tweeted below:
— MyCool King (@iPullRank) July 15, 2014