Facebook is famous for providing a wealth of data about your friends and your fans. But did you know you can also use it for competitive social media market research? The insights you can glean from the following tips and tricks can be applied both on and off Facebook for maximum exposure and engagement.
1. Facebook Graph Search
Facebook’s proprietary search engine is immensely powerful and packed tight with rich insights into user behavior. Perhaps one of the most pertinent uses of Facebook Graph Search in social media market research is plugging in the query, “Favorite interest of people who like [your page or a competitor’s page]”
This will return a list of broad interests (can include things like hiking, cooking, reading, etc.) to help you formulate a target audience both on and off Facebook.
You can also perform this search in the reverse, by plugging in, “Pages liked by people interested in X.”
But it doesn’t end there – Facebook Graph Search can slice and dice social media market research data in dozens of different ways, including by age, location, gender and employment. Check out this PDF guide to the different uses of Facebook Graph Search by Zazzle Media.
2. Facebook ads estimate audience sizes
You can use Facebook ads for audience research without actually running an ad – you just have to set one up then abandon before you hit “publish.”
For example, say I want to know how many female small business owners between the ages of 25-50 are on Facebook who are also interested in social media.
I just set up that audience on a Facebook ad, and in the process it will adjust the counter before I even have to enter my bid or billing information.
3. Find out the demographics of people engaging with your competitors
While you can use Facebook Insights to find out tons of demographic information about who’s engaging with your Facebook page, there’s a simple, little-known way to find out some basic demographic information about who’s engaging with your competitor’s Facebook page.
Just click on the arrow next to “People” on the top of your competitor’s page and you’ll be able to see a week’s worth of Page Like growth, number People Talking About This (PTAT) and the age and location of the most engaged fans.
4. Set up Pages to Watch in Facebook Insights
Once you have at least 100 Likes, you can add “Pages to Watch” in Facebook Insights, for which you designate competitor pages to keep tabs on over time. By doing so, you’ll be able to see Like growth and engagement on a week-by-week basis.
5. Find hidden analytics on your own posts in one click
This is another one of those easy-to-use, yet little-known features. When you’re an admin of a page, beneath each post you can see the number of people reached. What you may not have realized is that you can actually click on this number and receive detailed analytics into that post that aren’t available anywhere else on Facebook Insights.
It won’t just show you the number of Likes, Comments and Shares on your post – it will also show you how many Likes, Comments and Shares your post received when it was shared with others.
How do you use Facebook for social media market research? Tell us in the comments below!