4 Ways Brands Can Use Facebook’s Expanded Graph Search
When I use Facebook for personal use it's usually to look at pictures, keep in touch with friends and scroll mindlessly through my News Feed. Twitter is where I head for that World Series game, so I can mourn with the world that the Braves will not be continuing on in the Series. With the recent expansion of Facebook Graph Search, that distinction between the two may winnow down. The expansion will allow users to search status updates, comments and photo captions. As a result, Facebook may become a bigger competitor for Twitter in regard to real-time conversation.
Because of the way individuals' habits may change on Facebook, brands need to monitor and be ready to take advantage the expanded Graph Search. Below are four-ways brands can use expanded Graph Search, once Facebook grants you access:
Conversations will be easier for community managers to monitor and participate in real-time. Brands will be able to see who is talking and what they are saying. This change will provide brands with opportunities to engage with their audiences in real-time and gather information from yet another source very quickly. By searching for things like "posts about [your brand here] by my friends" and "status updates about [brand]," you'll see who's talking about your brand and find opportunities to jump in the conversation. It's unclear whether brands will be able to search "by fans."
Identifying Brand Advocates
Beyond likes and posts on their Pages, marketers will now be able to see what fans are saying about the brands through posts on users' pages. Because of the expansion, brands can simply search for posts about themselves, but results may vary depending on users' privacy settings. Using this, brands will have an opportunity to better identify brand advocates they might not have reached before based on their levels of engagement and what these people are saying about the brand.
Monitor Public Mentions from Users
In addition to fans, brands can see what people said in posts they've made public. If someone doesn't like a brand, he or she probably won't like a brand Page. This expansion will make it easier for brands to find both positive and negative posts, regardless of whether or not someone likes a brand's Page.
Prior to the latest expansion, monitoring the competition on Facebook was limited to seeing which other brands your fans like. The updates to Facebook's Graph Search enables marketers to more easily see what their fans are actually saying about their brand's competition, providing us with much more context and insight to help inform strategy.
Tracking Public Opinion Over Time
With this expansion, users can search for posts from a certain time period. The above ways brands can leverage the expansion should result in a more comprehensive idea of public opinion of the brand over time. Tracking these conversations taking place away from the brand's Facebook page will yield more well-rounded information, as opposed to just gathering positive and negative feedback solely from those who have liked the Page.
The ways brands can use the expanded Facebook Graph Search will grow as more people get it, but in true Facebook fashion, it will slowly roll out. Many predict that Facebook will eventually monetize search. Although the posts marketers will be able to search will depend on users' privacy settings, this expansion is something brands should be excited about and ready to take advantage of.
And if you can't wait to log in to Facebook to check out these new features, be aware that it may not yet be available to you. A quick and easy way to find out is to try searching one of the terms included in the expansion and if you see an image like what's below, you're out of luck for now.
What other ways do you think Facebook's expanded Graph Search will provide for brands?
Tell us about yourself and sign up for our weekly newsletter, Social You Should Know. You'll receive the latest social media news and insights from Jim Tobin and the Ignite Social Media team.