How To Use Facebook Graph Search To Find Your Audience

It’s Monday so you know what that means, I’m back with a new Monday Marketing post.

We’ve all heard the advice that writers need to find their target audience. Those are the types of people who would most likely, enjoy our books.

Now while you truly may believe your book is for “everyone”, the likelihood of that is actually pretty slim.

Always, ALWAYS define your target audience before you start trying to market. The last thing you want to do is waste time trying to encourage people to read your work if it’s not something they would be into.

Banner how to use Facebook Graph Search to find your audience

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Where does your audience hang out?

Now I’ve seen advice stating “check out places your audience hangs out”. Wow, great advice.  Nice and vague.  So, where do I set up my crystal ball?

If your audience is very different from you, you might not know where they are congregating on the net.

Maybe it would help to know other things that your target audience might be into. It’s all about gathering data.

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Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search is a good place to start if you want to get an idea of what your target audience is into and the sort of people they might be.

It’s a way to do searches to find what Pages and Groups people, who would be your target audience, might be into.

For example, maybe you write horror but you’re not sure what sort of people enjoy horror books.

You can use the Graph Search, find pages and groups that people who love horror novels join and check them out.

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How to do a Graph Search

Firstly – you need to have your settings down as English US. My settings defaulted to the UK (obviously, since that’s where I am) but it doesn’t work unless you’re set up for the US.

Next, you go to the search bar and using this exact phrasing type (except for the last part):

Pages liked by people who like [insert topic/person etc]

Example: Say you write murder mysteries and you think people who like Agatha Christie-style mysteries might like yours too. You type in: Pages liked by people who like Agatha Christie.

From the below, you can see the people on Facebook who like Agatha Christie, many also like Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Conan Doyle. If you select the See All button there are more listed.

You can do this with a topic, author, or even an existing Facebook Page.

Image example of a Facebook Graph Search result

You can also do a search for interests.  Say you write sci-fi and you want to know the interests of people who like, for example, Isaac Asimov.

You would type in the exact wording:  Favorite interests of people who like Isaac Asimov

(PS: for non-US countries, remember spelling must be the US way)

Here we see that people who listed that they like Isaac Asimov also like Psychology. Again click the See All for more interests listed.

Image of Facebook Graph Search results

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What you can do with this information

This is great for building up an idea of what your target audience may be interested in.

Now, on Facebook especially, interacting with readers and people who might be interested in your books is not really done on a profile or even an author page. It’s done in groups.

This is where interactions happen. So you can use these searches to find useful groups and Pages that you can visit, join discussions and meet people.

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What you should NOT do with this information

These searches are about helping you define your target audience and helping you find new places to interact with people.

They should not be used to locate places where you can bombard people with your books, your sales.

If your sole mission is to visit these places and constantly put up posts saying, “Well if you love X book, you’ll love mine. Buy it here!” you are missing the point completely.

Marketing is not about grabbing people by the shirt and screaming, “Buy my stuff!  You’ll love it!” That, probably won’t get you anywhere.

Marketing is nowadays about building relationships and offering value. If you interact, take an interest, reach out and make connections with potential readers, they’ll be more likely to check out your books, your blog, your website etc.

Have you ever used the Graph Search on Facebook before? If so, did you find it useful or not?

Share your Thoughts image.

~ ☆ ~

Happy writing

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7 thoughts on “How To Use Facebook Graph Search To Find Your Audience

  1. Ari, this is really informative, thanks for doing it. It is difficult to find a target audience for your writing, people are so diverse, I love it.
    Learning about people through a webpage is brilliant because if you like what you’re writing about and others have the same interest it can really feel like you’re getting to know your readers. Your post are so helpful. Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for reading. Apologies for the delay in replying, I’ve fallen behind a little recently, so I’m just catching up with comments.

      So glad you found this article useful. It was a real game changer for me as it just takes away a lot of the work and makes it easier to connect with people and learn shared interests.

  2. Pingback: Why Personal Branding and Exposure are Important | Ari Meghlen – Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

  3. Interesting. So far, I’ve found Facebook to be one of the least “useful” social media platforms for my online presence (especially compared to Twitter and Instagram etc.), as most of the followers on my page are people who already knew me personally. I’m finally getting around to looking for ways to get more visibility–I might have to check this out.

    1. I agree, of the social media platforms I think for the time and energy put into it, Facebook doesn’t really help. I came to Facebook late and honestly I can’t see the hype.

      I am still torn between whether to keep it. I’ve made some great friends on there, as well as find authors and writers to stalk for guest posts 😀

      But I much prefer Instagram and (shockingly) Twitter and my own blog.

      There are some good groups on Facebook, which is good for interaction but I also get added to groups and pages without my permission so I feel I’m constantly removing myself from places I don’t want to be.

      thanks for the comment and I hope you get some interesting results from your Graph Search 🙂

  4. ktdaxon

    I had no idea that this existed!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I love how you said not to throw your book at people. Real connections happen outside of your book. I’m a firm believer of that. Great post. Off to share and then look into this further. Maybe I can begin to like facebook again if I can meet and talk with people who share the same interests as I do.

    1. Whenever I think about the phrase “throwing your book at people” I always get the visual of writers desperately running up to people and physically hurling their book towards them. Lol

      Glad you found this useful. I love sharing insights when I come across them because you just don’t know who hasn’t heard of it. I almost didn’t do this post because I thought “is this one of those really obvious things everyone knows and I am just unaware since I came to Facebook late?”

      But in the end I’d rather share it even if it only helps one person 🙂

      Oh yeah, I much prefer real connections. I have made some great writer friends and in turn I have been happy to look at their books. I’ve also met a LOT of writers who literally followed me or friend requested just to message me saying “want my book?”

      Are you in the Facebook group “Author like a boss”? It is one of the best ones I’ve found, full of great people and excellent support and tips. If not, I highly recommend it 🙂

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