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How to do a Search in Social Media

Conducting Searches in Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

At the close of 2013, most marketers are aware of the significant impact that proper search engine optimization techniques can have on a company’s online presence. But did you know that some of the same SEO concepts can also be applied to social media searches?

Why Are Social Media Searches Important?

Performing a search in social media search engines can help your team listen to conversations that are related to your business and industry. For example, say that your company is in the technology industry. If you’re looking to connect with clients, customers, and leads in the technology industry, you would do a search for words and topics that are related to technology. Results will show sites and posts related to your search query.

After you have found sites, posts and keywords that your target community is using, your company can begin to join in on the conversation and share insights. Social media is all about engaging and nurturing your community of clients and leads. Think of social media as an extension of your brand.

Why use keywords?

Each social media network has a unique system in place to do a search. If you include keywords in a post, users who search with those exact words will have a higher chance of finding your post.

But beware, social media users are quick to sniff out content that is unauthentic and will not appreciate efforts used to manipulate the social media system.

There are so many social media networks how do I know if my business is on the right one?

Your audience will often be fragmented across different social media channels. So before you commit to a major campaign on one social media channel, you might want to do a search to see if your target audience is active on that channel.

• What comes up when you do a search for your company’s name?
• What topics or ideas are being shared on these platforms related to what you do?

Some of your target audience members may be blogging, others engaging with connections on LinkedIn or some Tweeting about industry related news. Therefore, placing all of your resources into one social network is usually not the best strategy. We know firsthand that many companies are apprehensive when trying a new social network. But fear not- we have may resources to help you get started – check out our social media blog posts here.

Before you’re ready to commit fully to one social media network, listen to what others are talking about. You’ll listen better by doing a search first.

Facebook Search

Facebook’s search engine is powered by Bing, and allows Facebook users to type in search questions that are relevant to their unique network.

For example, a user can type in something like: “People I may know that like web design”

You can also localize your searches by adding a second search term:

“People who I may know who like Web design and live in Naperville”

searching on facebook knowledge graph












For businesses, performing a Facebook search is great when mining for comments about a company or industry.

You can type “Status updates for _______” or “posts about ______”

The picture below shows a search for “posts about technology.”

Facebook search for technology












You can filter search results by hometown, workplace and also customize your own filters.

Facebook search results filter








#hashtags work in Facebook searches too. Clicking on a hashtag will generate posts and articles that have been tagged with that exact word. The example below shows a search for #technology. An article from Wall Street Journal popped up along with other posts from users who have used #technology in their posts.

Picture shows hashtag in Facebook search results






Twitter Search

Click on a #hashtag in Twitter and a stream of posts with that exact word will show up. Hashtags are great for joining conversations in real-time. You can even start your own conversation that is tracked by using a customized #hashtag.

Usually companies use real-time chats with hashtags as a part of a larger social media strategy.

search by hashtag in Twitter

stream of hashtags in Twitter feed













Pinterest Search

Make sure you are writing descriptions for your pins that will help them come up in a search. If you don’t, your reach is limited because you need to be able to label your pins with keywords so that a pin can come up easier in a Pinterest search.

Even in Pinterest, tagging photos with a hashtag can help your pins reach further.

Search for #design and a variety of posts related to design will come up. The example below is a good example of tagging a picture with a hashtag in Pinterest.
Starting with these tips can help you build a great strategy around mapping the flow of your content so that it will reach your target audience on social media.

pinterest search results