Is Your Social Media Content Keyword Optimized?

By Ben Castelli     |     March 08, 2011

We’re big fans of keyword research here at Room 214 because it’s at the core of many of the services we offer including business intelligence, search engine marketing and social media monitoring.

However keyword research isn’t just for optimizing websites or building out pay-per-click campaigns anymore. Utilizing keyword research for social media optimization has become an important tactic for improved online visibility. Why do you need to worry about including high quality keywords in your social content? By “high quality”, I am referring to those keyword phrases that are very relevant to your business, have significant search volume and in some cases have low competition.

1. For Greater Social Network Visibility
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google. Twitter search is widely used and incorporated into many 3rd party clients/tools. Facebook search… well Facebook search is awful but has to improve at some point. Optimizing social content with high quality keywords is important for improved visibility on each social network. Including keyword phrases in titles, post content, descriptions, tags, and image/video names are all important areas to focus on for optimization.

Greater visibility in social networks will help build your community, grow engagement and drive high quality traffic back to your website. The next time you are reviewing your site analytics, check out your website’s referral traffic stats. There is a good chance you are experiencing a steady increase in referral traffic from social network sites.  If you are using Google Analytics, here is a great tutorial on how to set up an advanced segment to track referral data from all social media sources together.

2. For Greater Search Engine Visibility
For well over a year, Google and Bing (which powers Yahoo) have been displaying traditional search results blended with content from social networks, such as branded profiles, publicly posted content and real-time updates. Authority and popularity of the content are certainly factors in determining what gets displayed in search results however search engines need a way to categorize all of this social content, which means… keyword phrases.

Putting it all together
This graph helps to illustrate how traditional search engine optimization and social media optimization increase visibility (a.k.a. awareness) and drive traffic from multiple channels (click to enlarge).

Social Media Optimization

Greater visibility in search engine and social network search results will lead to greater awareness, traffic, leads, revenue and brand advocates – the ultimate conversion in social media marketing. This reinforces the importance of having a well-managed social presence with a content strategy for converting visitors and achieving your ultimate business objectives for social media.

Getting Started
Go dig into some keyword research, compile a short list of high-priority keywords, print it out, laminate it and give it to every person in your company who creates content for social. Going forward, have a keyword focus when writing tweets, Facebook updates, YouTube video headlines/descriptions/tags, image names etc… Be cautious though, you don’t want to sound like a robot spewing nonsensical keyword phrases. The content has to be engaging and entice clicks.

Similar to traditional SEO, it is not enough to just optimize content with keywords. The content has to add value and you must work the popularity contest that is link building by sharing content everywhere.

Bottom line: If you are not utilizing keyword research for social media optimization, you are missing out on an opportunity for improved online visibility.

About Ben Castelli

At work, Ben is endearingly referred to as "The Captain." Beyond that he's addicted to cycling, good beer, cookies, and tea.

One Comment

  • The keywords that you are targeting should be implemented into every online strategy that you use. This includes social media. The key is to do it in a way that is natural. Don’t “stuff” your keywords, it provides a bad user experience.

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