How to Use Facebook Search: The ins and outs
Facebook has over 2.38 billion users and 60 million pages that share an enormous amount of text posts, links, photos, videos and other forms of updates every single day. There are also numerous other sources of content and apps being shared on Facebook in features such as Events, Groups, Marketplace and Apps.
To make it easy to find what you are looking for (posts, photos, people, apps, etc.), Facebook has developed an easy to use search engine called Facebook Search to help you out. In this post I am going to show you how to use Facebook Search, and also share some ninja search tips to make your search efforts more efficient and fruitful.
How to find people and pages on Facebook
You can easily find people on Facebook (you aren’t already friends with) by typing in their name in the search field and choosing the ‘People’ tab. Facebook will show you a list of people with that name.
The people you are more likely to know (or are already friends with) are placed at the top. Facebook provides these results by looking at data like mutual friends you might have, your location, where you went to school, where your work, shared groups or events you are both attending.
Obviously, this will not always provide the results you want.
To help you further improve your results, you can use the filters provided at the left side of the search to choose things like the location of this person, the school or university they went to or where they work at.
To get the best results, be as detailed in the filters as you can. Once you find the person you are looking for, you can add them as a friend, send them a message (click on the three dots beside “Add Friend”) or click on their name to visit their profile to check them out, to be sure you found the correct person.
When you want to find pages that you are interested in, you can type in the name of the Facebook page you’re searching for and then click on the ‘Pages’ tab at the top of the page.
If the page you are looking for isn’t showing up in the top results, you can use the ‘Category’ filter on the left to refine your results.
How to find posts, photos and videos on Facebook
As well as knowing how to find people and pages on Facebook, it can be extremely handy to know how to find specific posts, photos and videos on Facebook.
It can be incredibly time saving to know how to search for posts on Facebook. This is a lot easier than going through yours or someone else’s profile to browse through all their posts to find something they posted recently or perhaps years ago.
You can also use Facebook’s post search to conduct research on a topic, to see what people had to say about it.
To find the post(s), just type in the search term. This will show you all the related posts on Facebook. This includes posts from you, all public posts from other users, posts from friends, posts from pages, events that you are part of, posts in the marketplace and posts from public groups or groups that you belong to.
Again, you can filter your search for posts by using the filters to your left. For example, if you chose ‘Your friends’ from the menu on the left, you will begin to see post from just your friends.
By default, the posts shown at the top will be, in fact, the “top” posts, which are the posts that have received the most likes and comments on Facebook. If you are looking for the most current posts, select the ‘Most recent’ posts filter.
If you are looking specifically for photo and video results, you can similarly use the tabs at the top to refine your search for these.
How to search for places on Facebook
You can also use Facebook to search for nearby places like restaurants, theatres, banks or any other business or place. For example, when I conducted the search for Theatres nearby, it showed me a list of some of the closest theatres to me.
You can further filter these results by using the options on the left.
If you look up ‘Restaurants nearby’, it will display close by restaurants, along with filters like cuisine and features.
When you click on a search result, you will be taken to the restaurant’s Facebook page where you can read reviews. In some cases, restaurants will even let you book tables directly on Facebook.
So, the next time you are looking for a restaurant or other place to visit, conduct a search on Facebook instead of always relying on Google. Google works great, but you might find Facebook’s suggestions more relevant.
And if you’re a business, you should optimize your Facebook page for people who are conducting these searches. This should include setting up a proper page and boosting social proof by gaining more likes and reviews. Here’s a great article on getting likes on your Facebook page to help you out.
You will generate more business from your Facebook page by creating a strong first impression and making it easy for potential customers to contact you right from your page.
How to search for events on Facebook
You can also search Facebook for events. Just type in the name of the event or type of event (music, play, dance, etc.) into Facebook search.
For example, when I searched the word ‘play’, it displayed all the local events that have ‘play’ in the title. Find more relevant results by using the filter to the left.
How to search for things to buy on Facebook’s Marketplace
If you are looking for things to buy, choose the Marketplace tab on Facebook and then filter results by location, category and price range.
If you search Facebook’s Marketplace for words like ‘for sale’ or even more specific ones like ‘cars for sale’ and then go into the posts tab, Facebook will show you all of the posts with those words. Easily refine your results to only see posts from your friends.
Finding what you want through a Facebook search
These are just a few ways you can use Facebook search. Facebook has many more tab search options like apps and groups. Each of these tabs have their own filter settings, which makes it easy to find the results you want.
So, experiment with different search terms, tabs and filters until you find what you are looking for.
Have you used Facebook search before? Did I forget to share anything important? Please leave your comments below.
Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing, where you can download 100 free social media background images.