5 Ways to Boost Your Facebook Marketing Strategy with Search (2024 Update)

As a marketer, you know the importance of meeting your target audience where they already spend time online. And with over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook remains one of the best platforms for reaching potential customers.

One powerful but often overlooked Facebook marketing tactic is optimizing your organic content for visibility in search results. Many marketers used to rely on Facebook Graph Search for this purpose. Launched in 2013, Graph Search allowed users to discover content with specific natural language queries like "restaurants in Chicago my friends have been to."

However, Facebook removed Graph Search features in 2019 due to privacy concerns. But don‘t worry – you can still take advantage of Facebook‘s search capabilities to get your brand content in front of the right people at the right time.

In this post, I‘ll share five strategies to improve your content‘s discoverability in Facebook search and reach your target audience organically. I‘ll also touch on how paid Facebook Ads can complement your search efforts. Let‘s get started!

1. Understand How Your Audience Uses Facebook Search

The first step to any effective marketing strategy is understanding your target audience. So before you start optimizing content for Facebook search, it‘s important to know how your ideal customers actually use search on the platform.

Some key questions to research:

  • What kind of content does my audience typically engage with on Facebook?
  • What pages/groups related to my niche are they active in?
  • How do they tend to phrase searches related to my product or service?

One great resource for this research is Facebook Audience Insights. This free tool from Facebook provides detailed demographic and psychographic data about people connected to your page or people in a Custom Audience you create. You can see useful information like:

  • Age and gender breakdown
  • Job titles
  • Relationship statuses
  • Education levels
  • Top pages they like related to different categories

All of this data can help you make informed decisions about what kind of content to create and how to optimize it for search.

Another effective way to learn about your audience‘s search habits is to simply ask them! Send out a survey to your email list or interview some customers one-on-one. Ask how they use Facebook search when researching products/services in your industry.

Take all of your research and compile it into customer personas. Give each persona a name, demographic details, interests, pain points, and the types of searches they conduct on Facebook. Keep these personas handy to reference when planning and optimizing content.

2. Optimize Content for Discoverability in Facebook Search

Now that you know what kinds of searches your audience conducts on Facebook, it‘s time to ensure your content shows up in those search results! Here are some on-page optimization tips:

Include keywords in strategic locations

Make sure your business/product keywords appear in:

  • Page name
  • Page username (@username)
  • "About" section
  • Post headlines/text
  • Video titles/descriptions

But avoid stuffing or overusing keywords, as this can actually hurt your content‘s ranking in search. Use keywords naturally and sparingly.

Write compelling meta descriptions

The short page/post description that appears in search results is pulled from your meta description. Write unique, engaging descriptions for each post that include relevant keywords and entice searchers to click.

Use hashtags to increase visibility

When you include hashtags in a post, that post becomes discoverable to anyone who searches for that hashtag on Facebook (as long as your post‘s privacy settings are set to "Public"). Research popular hashtags used in your industry and strategically include them in posts.

Publish diverse, high-quality content

The more engaging your content is, the more likely people are to interact with it. And Facebook‘s algorithm prioritizes content that sparks engagement in search results. So publish compelling:

  • Short text posts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Blog posts

Avoid being too promotional – educate, entertain, and inform with your content more than you hard sell.

Post consistently

Aim to publish new content on your Facebook page at least 3-5 times per week. Consistent posting signals to Facebook that your page is active and engaging. This can improve your content‘s visibility in search results over time.

3. Leverage Facebook Groups for Search Visibility

Facebook groups have exploded in popularity in recent years – and for good reason! These communities allow like-minded people to connect and discuss specific topics. For marketers, participating in relevant Facebook groups (or creating your own) can be a great way to expand your organic reach in searches.

A few tips for maximizing your visibility in groups:

Join groups where your target audience is active

Do some digging to find groups that are highly relevant to your niche and where your ideal customers participate regularly. You can find groups to join by:

  • Entering relevant keywords into Facebook‘s search bar
  • Checking the "Groups" section of popular pages in your industry
  • Asking your current followers what groups they are in

Provide value to the group

Once you join a group, focus on offering helpful, relevant content rather than being overly promotional. Respond to questions that group members ask with in-depth, thoughtful answers. Share your brand‘s content only when it clearly provides value and fits the group‘s rules/tone.

Search for niche questions to answer

Use the search feature within groups to find conversations related to your product or service. You can leave public comments offering advice/resources (and subtly mentioning your offering, if relevant). Or you can send a private message to the asker letting them know you can help.

Create your own group

Establish thought leadership in your niche by creating a Facebook group focused on a specific theme related to your industry. For example, a fitness coaching business could start a group with daily workout challenges and nutrition tips.

Moderate the group to keep discussions on track and abusive posts at bay. Aim to provide so much value that your group becomes the go-to resource for your niche on Facebook! Your group‘s name will start to pop up in relevant searches.

4. Run Facebook Ads to Amplify Organic Search Visibility

Organic Facebook marketing should be the foundation of your strategy, but investing in paid Facebook Ads can help you get even more visibility in searches. Here are a few ideas:

"Boost" high-performing posts

When you notice an organic post generating good engagement, allocate some paid ad budget to "boosting" that post. Boosting will show the post to even more people, increasing its views, likes, and shares. This positive engagement signals to Facebook that the post is high-quality and may increase its ranking in relevant searches.

Target competitor keywords in ads

If you know your competitors‘ customers are searching for their brand name on Facebook, you can actually target those keywords with your ads! Your ad content should focus on what differentiates your product and why it‘s better than the competition.

Remarket to engaged users

Facebook remarketing ads allow you to show ads to people who have already engaged with your brand on Facebook. You can target people who have:

  • Visited your website
  • Engaged with your page/posts
  • Watched your videos
  • Filled out a lead form

Seeing your familiar brand in search results can encourage these engaged users to click and hopefully convert.

Test different ad formats

Facebook offers a variety of ad formats, each with unique advantages. Experiment with different ad types to see what your audience responds best to and what drives the most traffic and conversions. Some format options include:

  • Single image/video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Instant Experience (fullscreen) ads
  • Collection ads
  • Stories ads

5. Measure and Optimize Your Facebook Search Strategy

As with any aspect of marketing, tracking relevant metrics and adjusting your strategy is key to getting the best possible results from your Facebook search optimization efforts.

Track Facebook-referred traffic

Use Google Analytics (or your preferred web analytics tool) to track how much traffic your website receives from Facebook. To dive deeper, you can create custom URLs with UTM parameters for links you share on Facebook. UTM parameters allow you to specify the source, medium, and campaign name for a link so you know exactly which Facebook post or ad drove a website visit.

Set up conversion tracking

In addition to measuring traffic, it‘s important to track conversions from your Facebook activity. Conversions to track might include:

  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Purchases
  • Contact form submissions

To track these actions, set up the Facebook Pixel on your website. You can then use Facebook Events Manager to define which web page actions should be tracked as conversions.

A/B test post elements

Once you have ample data on your Facebook posts‘ performance, start running experiments to see how small tweaks impact a post‘s search ranking and engagement. Some variables to test:

  • Headline
  • Post text
  • Image/video
  • Link description
  • Hashtags
  • Post type (link, image, video, etc.)
  • Time/day of posting

Change just one element at a time (e.g. the headline) and see how the post performs over 1-2 weeks compared to the original version. Double down on the version that gets more engagement and clicks!

Update your strategy based on data

Let your Facebook analytics data guide your search strategy. Dig into Facebook Insights to see:

  • Your posts‘ reach and engagement over time
  • When your audience is online
  • Audience demographics
  • Top-performing posts

Look for patterns and let the numbers inform your content planning and optimization moving forward.

Start Strengthening Your Facebook Search Strategy Today

There you have it – five actionable strategies to improve your content‘s visibility in Facebook search results:

  1. Understand your audience‘s search behavior
  2. Optimize content for search
  3. Participate in relevant Facebook groups
  4. Incorporate paid Facebook ads
  5. Measure, test, and adjust your approach

A strong Facebook search strategy is well worth the time and resources required. It can help you:

  • Reach new potential customers organically
  • Drive more website traffic and conversions
  • Build brand awareness and trust with your target audience

Don‘t let the deprecation of Facebook Graph Search stop you from getting your content discovered on the platform! Implement these tips to adapt your strategy for the current Facebook search algorithm and grow your business. The people who need your solution are searching for you on Facebook – make sure they can find you.