7 advanced Facebook search operators

Facebook may have started as a way to connect students, but today it's a full-fledged search engine, much like Google or Bing. The social media giant's rise to search engine status includes the addition of more advanced features like Facebook search operators.

What are Facebook Search Providers and Why Should You Care About Them?

Search operators are a powerful tool for filtering search results, but they also provide additional benefits for marketers and business owners.

Before we get into that, let's first talk about what search operators are and why they are important.

What are search operators?

Search operators are advanced search commands that make it easier to filter search results based on what you want (or don't want to see) in search results.

For example, if you've searched for chicken soup recipes but don't want to see results from Pinterest, you can use a search operator to remove Pinterest results by typing:

"Chicken Soup – Interest"

Facebook search operators - interesting example

Google uses a variety of these search features that make the search engine easier to use. This includes:

  • @: to browse social media sites
  • $: to look for a price
  • – –: omit a word
  • "Quotes": to search for an exact match
  • . . .: to search a range of numbers
  • OR: Combine searches
  • Page? ˅: to search a specific site
  • connected: to search for similar websites

You can also combine these commands if you feel like it. For example, you can use "@ neil patel OR kelsey jones" to find social accounts for Neil Patel and Kelsey Jones.

Search operators make it easy to find the exact dates you're looking for, but they are also useful for marketers.

4 reasons to use Facebook search operators

Facebook used to have a feature called Facebook Graph Search that allowed users to search for specific content on the platform using phrases rather than just keywords. You could also find out who liked a page or was visiting a particular city.

Facebook Graph was changed in 2019, which makes searching the platform much more difficult. However, search operators fill this void by allowing users to search for highly specific content.

How Can Facebook Search Providers Help Marketers? Here are a few ways you can use these advanced search features:

  1. Research your competitors: See what your competition is up to, including the types of content they're sharing and the topics they're talking about. You can also find new competitors in your geographic area.
  2. Find content to share: Search multiple topics or exact phrase matches to find content that your audience will connect to.
  3. Find User Generated Content (UGC): Search for your brand name (and common brand name misspellings) to find content that users shared about your brand, even if they didn't tag you.
  4. Research your audience: Knowing who your target audience is and what type of content they like can help you build a stronger relationship. Use Facebook search operators to find content on related topics or specific phrases.

7 Facebook Search Operators to Try (and How to Use Them)

Facebook search operators use Boolean operators, which are the foundation of database logic. In layman's terms, Boolean operators are terms that you can use to expand or refine the search results. For example, you can use AND to search for two search terms at the same time.

Below I'll explain how to do any type of Facebook search, what information will help you find it, and how to use the search operators to grow your business.

I know it may sound complicated, but I promise it is pretty simple and the results are worth the effort.

1. Basic Boolean Facebook Search

Boolean searches don't work with Facebook Search. Hence, you need to use Google to do all of the searches that we are going to cover.

Using the Site: Before a site name shows search results for that particular website only. This is how it works in practice. Enter the website: facebook then the search term you are looking for.

Example:

Page: facebook.com my favorite murder podcast

This will display the results of groups or posts on the My Favorite Murder podcast.

Facebook Search Operators to Try - Basic Boolean Facebook Search

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Use this option to find groups, pages, and users on a specific topic. For example, if your target audience is small business owners, you can search for groups and sites for small business owners.

Pro tip: This search works for all websites, not just Facebook. For example, let's say you want to find a post from your favorite digital marketing blog or from a specific author. Then you would do a search for "site: . ”

2. Boolean Facebook search for two terms that must be present

With the AND Boolean search function, you can search for two terms at the same time. For example, if you want to find information about digital marketing and small business, look for:

Website: facebook.com digital marketing AND small business

This will bring up search results related to both digital marketing and small business:

Facebook Search Operators to Try - Basic Facebook Boolean search for two terms that must be present

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Do competitive research for a specific niche or find groups on Facebook that your target audience belongs to.

3. Facebook Boolean search for one of two terms that must be present

Similar to the AND function, you can use this search operator to find results for one term or another. Unlike AND, which requires both terms to be present, the OR function allows you to find results that contain both terms.

For example, let's say you have a software company that caters to customers with SaaS (Software as a Service) or customers with a membership site. You would search:

Website: facebook.com SaaS OR member sites

The results show groups, pages, and posts related to SaaS or member pages.

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Research multiple competitors at once or find content related to your brand using both your official brand name and a misspelling or commonly used term.

Example: facebook.com Moz OR Hubspot would return terms related to both brand names.

4. Facebook Boolean search for terms that shouldn't be there

What if you want to search for a specific term but keep getting independent results? You can use the NOT Boolean function to remove unrelated search terms.

For example, let's say you want to hire a web developer, but you're still seeing results for designers. You would search:

Website: facebook.com Web developer NOT designer

The results include videos, pages, and profiles related to web developers but not web designers.

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Find employees or more specific content related to your industry by excluding certain terms. You can also use it to narrow down geographic areas with the same or similar names, e.g. B. Paris, Georgia, NOT France.

5. Facebook Boolean exact phrase search

The search capabilities of Google and Facebook have gotten smarter in the last few years, but sometimes they are still not quite right. If you find that your search results are slightly different, you can use the search operator for the exact phrase match.

This Boolean function tells search engines to only return matches that are an exact match for your search.

To use this feature, add quotation marks to the term you want to search for.

Example:

Page: facebook.com “Mexican Restaurant in Kansas City”

A list of Mexican restaurants Facebook pages is displayed in the SERPs as follows:

Facebook Search Operators to Try - Basic Facebook Boolean Search for Exact Phrases

Remember, this is an exact match search. The search engine will not return any results that vary even slightly. The search results for "Kansas City Mexican restaurants" and "Kansas City Mexican restaurants" can vary significantly.

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Find competitors in your area or search for groups or videos related to a specific key term. It can also help you find UGC if your brand name is very similar to another brand or phrase.

6. Facebook boolean search to fill in gaps

What if you don't know exactly what to look for? The function to fill in the blank can be useful. For example, if you're looking for a specific person but can't remember their name exactly, you can use an * (asterisk) to tell Google to fill in the blank.

Let's say you work for Hardrock Cafe and you're looking for UGC. Some users may type in Hard Rock Cafe while others use Hard Rock Cafe. The search operator to fill in the blank returns results for both.

How to use it:

Page: facebook.com hard * cafe

Note that this shows up more than just Hard Rock and HardRock. It will return all results that include Hard and Cafe, regardless of what is between them.

Facebook Search Operators to Try - Basic Boolean Facebook Search to fill in blanks

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Use the gap fill feature to find information about terms that are often misspelled, formatted differently, or when you cannot remember the exact spelling. This search operator is ideal when users may not remember the exact format of your brand name. It can also help with competitive research by expanding the search.

7. Facebook boolean search for local businesses

Facebook is a powerful tool for local SEO. In the US alone, more than 1.85 billion users are active every day. Using a local search operator can help marketers and business owners find local businesses.

For example, let's say you're considering opening a coffee shop in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. You could use this search:

Page: facebook.com Coffeeshop Rogers Park Chicago

This returns a list of all the coffee shops in that neighborhood.

How To Use This Facebook Search Operator To Grow Your Business

Local businesses can do competitive analysis or market research to find local businesses in their niche. It can also help you find brands for a cross-promotion strategy.

Conclusion

Search algorithms have come a long way in the past few years. However, they are not perfect.

Using Facebook search operators, you can filter and refine search results for competitive analysis, find content to share with your users, and even find groups your target audience is in.

If you want to improve your Facebook marketing strategy, search operators are another tool in your toolbelt.

Have you ever used Facebook search operators? Which is the most useful?

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