Social media is probably not the first place you go for keyword research, but it could be an unexpected goldmine. Here are six tips and tricks to make marketing (and life) easier by using social media to find fresh and high-ranking keywords. 

1. Search social media to find relevant content. This may sound like a given. It’s so simple, but many marketers don’t think of using social media as a research tool. Search any term on one of your favorite platforms and see what posts, people, pages, and content show up. Discover what words are being used in your industry (especially in the content with the most views, likes, and shares), and decide if you should be using these keywords or similar ones. 

2. Study your target market where you post. Over 70% of the U.S. population spends time online and it’s where they share their personal lives, interests, goals, passions and values.  No surprise that a ton of valuable data is collected. 

Facebook may gather the most information about its users’ age, gender, career, education, spoken languages, relationship status, personal interests, political affiliation – even the movies and TV shows they enjoy. It makes sense for business owners to use Facebook’s targeting options and position it to your advantage. People let down their guard and are the most personal and honest about their interests on social media, which is exactly the insight you’re looking for. 

3. Don’t ignore suggested and trending topics. You’re probably familiar with Google Trends as an SEO and marketing research tool. But social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, also alert you of trending and suggested topics. Use this feature to discover what your customers and other businesses in your industry are interested in, then research what’s hot to find new related keywords. Social listening tools like Mention or Awario also help to uncover the most popular topics across social media channels. 

4. Search trending hashtags. Hashtags are used on almost all social media platforms, even professional networks like LinkedIn, to a lesser degree. Research hashtags related to your topic, industry, and don’t forget to check out your competitor’s. Then scroll to identify dozens of related hashtags. This is a great way to find fresh keywords that are trending.

5. Use autocomplete to get ideas. Anytime you type in the search bar on Google, you’re automatically given suggestions. If I type in “marketing,” for example, Google recommends “marketing plan,” “marketing strategy,” and more. Use these suggestions to discover new terms, long-tail phrases, and topics. YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms have autocomplete features, so try them out. Start a list and update it monthly.

6. Look for groups that resonate with your brand. Locate communities that align with your brand. That’s where you’ll find popular topics, ideas for content, most liked links, videos, infographics and articles. Facebook, LinkedIn, Nextdoor, Alignable and other social networks use this feature to determine what content is the most crowd-pleasing for a particular audience. Add this keyword search strategy to your marketing toolbelt.

Stats show that most people spend about three hours on social media every day, and that they’re sharing personal data and information, freely. This makes social media ideal for researching your target market and generating top-trending topics, content, and keywords. 

Different platforms have different advantages. 

Facebook is the largest social media channel that gathers the most data about its users. Twitter is tops for hyper-current, up-to-date information, as its feed scrolls quickly, almost in real-time. Pinterest shows you content with the most popularity and engagement. And LinkedIn is the premier B2B platform to see what industry professionals are talking about.  BuzzSumo, one of my favorites, also tells you what content is trending, who’s sharing it, and also identifies industry influencers, which ultimately saves you time. 

Before you hire a SEO marketer, check out these marketing tips to get a basic understanding of keyword research. They’re low-cost or no-cost, depending if you outsource the task or DIY as part of your monthly marketing plan. 

Want to learn more?  Check out my article 5 SEO Marketing and Copywriting Tips to Rank Higher or listen to the Fast Marketing Minute episode, How to Improve your SEO Marketing with the EAT Strategy

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