How to Utilize Keywords for Social Media Networks

How to Utilize Keywords for Social Media Networks

Although many businesses don’t know it, keywords are valuable for more than just Google results pages. The same logic that applies to the importance of Google keywords also applies to social networks such as YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. After all, these social networks have a search function in the same way Google has a search function. In other words, think of these social networks as simply a different Google—they work the same way in terms of ranking, but just on a slightly small scale. 

This idea works for both businesses and individuals looking to improve their personal brand. You need to think like the target audience using these social networks, and then think about words they would use to describe you or your company. Once you have the keywords you want to use, you’re set to go. You want to pop up as number one when these searches take place, so it’s important to make the keywords look natural, yet appear impactful on your social media sites. You can do this a few different ways:

  • Fill in captions of photos with keywords and use tags with keywords whenever possible.
  • Utilize keywords each time you change your status on Facebook or Twitter. 
  • Include keywords in your LinkedIn headline. They give you a lot of room, so take advantage. 
  • Place keywords in the summary sections of all your accounts. 

Although this may seem obvious, many businesses get nervous about constantly using keywords on social media because social media is supposed to be trendy. The key, however, is to use these keywords as secretly as possible. You don’t want anyone to do a background check on your sites to see if you’re just plugging in keywords. Keep them hidden by making them look natural just as you would with the keywords you target for SEO purposes.

Social Media Keywords vs. SEO Keywords

Many aspects of social media keywords are similar to SEO keywords. You want to make them look natural; you want to think like your target audience; you want to target 2-3 at a time; the more specific the better, and so on. However, there are two vital differences that are important to understand if you’re going to begin targeting keywords for social media. 

  1. Different Inquiries – What users type into a Google search box and what they type into a social media search box can vary considerably. For example, if you own a guitar shop someone may search for “guitar venues” when looking in Google, but they may search for “guitar songs” on YouTube (searching for a guitar venue on YouTube wouldn’t get too many solid results). 
  1. Different Answers – Not only do users find different topics interesting on different sites, but they want different types of answers. If someone is typing a keyword into a social media search box, chances are they are looking to have a conversation and connect with a brand. For example, Google may want a very basic answer to a credit card processing question, but if they go the extra mile to find you on a social network, they are probably very interested in using your company and their credit card processing vendor. This would make a keyword such as “credit card vendors” very appropriate. 

Although Google and social media websites are quite different, you may find that some of your keywords overlap. As long as you consider the two points listed above, you should be able to go about targeting keywords just like you would if you were focusing on SEO for Google. The only difference—there is less competition with keywords for social media sites, so you will see results much, much faster.