How to Execute Advanced Search Queries on Facebook Platform

As a digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience working with social media platforms like Facebook, I have executed countless advanced search queries to find target audiences, analyze performance, and gain insights. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the steps to conduct advanced searches on Facebook and provide tips to refine your queries for better results.

Getting Access to Facebook Graph API

The first step is to gain access to Facebook’s Graph API, which allows you to execute search queries programmatically. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Create a Facebook Developer account
  • Register your app in the App Dashboard
  • Get an Access Token with the right permissions

I recommend getting a User Access Token with ads_management, ads_read, business_management, pages_show_list, instagram_basic permissions to have full access.

Using the Graph API Explorer

The easiest way to execute search queries is directly in the Graph API Explorer. Once you’ve authenticated with your User Access Token, you can start testing queries.

Constructing Advanced Search Queries

Now let’s look at how to construct more complex search queries with filters, parameters, and boolean operators.

Basic Query Structure

  • {object-type} is the object you want to search – page, adaccount, adset etc.
  • {fields} are the specific fields to return in the results
  • {filters} are conditions like date ranges, interests, age groups etc.

Filtering by Dates

To filter by date ranges, use filtering or time_range parameters:


This returns all ad sets with over 100 impressions between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

Filtering by Location

Use geo_locations parameter to filter by countries, cities, regions:


Filtering by Interests

To find audiences by interests:


This will return interests related to fitness.

Combining Multiple Filters

You can combine multiple filter parameters in one query:


This filters ad sets by the campaign ID, ad labels, and status.


To paginate results, use limit and after cursor parameters:


Analyzing Results in Facebook BI Tools

Once you have the query working in the Explorer, you can integrate it into Facebook’s BI tools like Marketing API or Insights API to analyze performance trends over time.

Some examples of what you can do:

  • Find most engaging posts over past 3 months
  • Analyze engagement rate by age group and gender
  • Compare video vs image performance for carousel ads
  • Identify best performing interests for your target audience

Tips for Better Search Results

Here are some tips to refine your queries:

  • Start broad and narrow down filters gradually
  • Test queries in Explorer before integrating into other tools
  • Use a User Access Token, not an App Token
  • Always include id field to uniquely identify objects
  • If hitting rate limits, restrict date ranges
  • Reference Facebook’s documentation for latest parameters