As I mentioned yesterday, in 7 Social Media Monitoring Essentials, fortunately or unfortunately, keywords are a part of life on social media (and the Internet). Keywords are how search engines provide results and keywords are how we find what we’re looking for. On social networks like Twitter, where you’re limited by the length of the post, keywords are vital for targeting the right audience. So how do you go about finding the right keywords for your content (and to monitor)? Here are a few suggestions…
Listen to Your Audience
The difficulty with keywords is that sometimes the words that consumers use are different than what industry insiders or companies use. Make sure you’re using the right keywords for your audience so that your message and content match their needs.
First, find your target audience online. Start by doing some searches with Google and Google’s Blog search. Scan through any communities, blogs or forums that are targeted at your audience (or written by members of your audience) and make a list of the most popular ones. Look for what terms and phrases are used. Also, check out Twitter search and Facebook search to see what topics and keywords your audience is using.
Spy on Your Competition
Take a look at your competitors’ sites and look at the keywords and phrases they’re using. Their keywords may not be the right ones for your consumers, but you’ll get an idea of where to start. Take your list of blogs, discussion groups, communities and competitors’ sites and use a tool like SEOmoz term extractor to find the keywords that are being used to target search engines. Go to the sites and use SEOQuake’s browser plugin for viewing keyword density.
Check Your Own Data
Take a look at Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools for your own sites and blogs. Also run them (and your list of other sites) through Google AdWords Keyword Tool (which you can use without an AdWords account) to find possible keywords (their suggestions can be very useful). Google also has a Search-based Keywords Tool which can give you some great suggestions too.
Still not sure what your audience calls your products or the topics they’re interested in? Just ask them — either directly in person or online. Or post polls or posts on social media asking for feedback.
How do you find keywords for social media content and monitoring?
(photo by Bruce)