Thanks to the latest evolution of Facebook Graph Search, users will soon be able to search for content including status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments.
For example, you could search “Breaking Bad” to see any public posts about the show, or “Posts about Breaking Bad by my friends” to see what your friends are saying about the TV show. The Graph Search update also adds location and time-based search, so you can see “Posts written by my friends from the last week” or “Posts written at Navy Pier.” The feature is currently available to a select group of users and will eventually be rolled out to all users.
This presents a new, non-linear way for users and brands to browse content on Facebook. Rather than seeing posts exclusively in the Newsfeed or on a Timeline, we can now sift through content by topic or location. The functionality has a few excellent implications for brand marketers and content creators.
What Graph Search for Posts Means for Brands
Research and competitive analysis is easier
If you’ve ever had to comb Facebook to find an old piece of content for reporting or competitive analysis purposes, you know what a headache it can be. Say, for example, we’re planning our social strategy for next year’s Techweek Conference and I need to go back and find the types of Techweek content we posted on Facebook in 2012 and 2013. Before Graph Search for Posts, I would have to scroll through lonelybrand’s entire Timeline to find that content. Now I can simply search “Posts about Techweek 2012 from lonelybrand,” and I’ll find what I’m looking for.
Gauge reactions to a brand or event
It’s always been fairly easy to search Twitter to see what people are saying about a given topic. Now, thanks to Graph Search for Posts, that’s also a possibility on Facebook. For example:
- For an event, search “Posts written at SES Chicago”
- For a news story relevant to your brand, search “Posts about Affordable Care Act”
- For posts about your new product line, search “Posts about iPhone 5S”
Keep in mind that many Facebook posts will remain invisible thanks to user privacy settings.
Identify relevant topics for content
Facebook Graph Search for Posts could also be useful as you construct your brand’s editorial calendar. These semantic searches might look something like:
- Posts written by people who like Intelligentsia
- Posts written by people who checked in at Yellowstone National Park
- Photos liked by people who work at Google