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  • Kristen Wood

How to research keywords for social media marketing

What if we told you there was a way to find content ideas based on things that your customers really want to know? What if we told you that you no longer need to rely on your client, or stalking your competitors to find out the latest hot topics?

Well, you’re in luck.

Keyword research for social media marketing is where we can find data-backed, relevant terms, phrases and keywords that our users are searching for.

It can save us time, it can open up a whole new world of opportunities and it can help us stay ahead of the competition. What more could you want!?

So what is keyword research?

Keyword research is the stage of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) where we can identify what people are searching for and how they’re searching for it. For social media marketing, we can also get an idea of who is currently providing them this information (or in other words, who you’re competing with).

Where SEO used to focus on short-tail keywords (for example: “shoes”), there is now far more weight placed on long-tail keywords in content (for example: “shoes for flat feet”). These terms tend to be more niche and give us, as content managers, a better idea of the specific things people are searching for.

Not sure where to start?

Have a chat with your client or any key stakeholders to understand the key themes and topics that your customers might be searching for. Social listening is your friend too - it’s worth analysing the main conversations around your brand or similar brands, to understand where people’s frustrations or confusions lie, or any FAQs that come up time and time again.

How to identify keywords to target

Once you have an idea of the kind of themes or topics you need to look into, do a quick Google. What suggested terms are appearing? Are there any questions in the ‘People Also Ask’ box? These can be really helpful for highlighting any areas that could be answered with some social content.

Next, use a free keyword tool to expand your research and start to see how popular your terms are. For an SEO strategy, this is where you’d start to look at search volume (how many people search for your terms), Click Through Rates (the % of people who click to a website from search results) and the competitiveness of a term.

Keyword research for social media marketing should just look at the frequency that topics appear or at a push the volume of a certain keyword. After all, there’s no point creating content around a question that no one is asking.

Some of our favourite free tools that allow you to do this are…

So why does this all matter?

Keyword research allows us to find out specifically what our users want to know. It can help us define personas by understanding where frustrations lie, or help us create really helpful infographics, video content or even a longer social media series.

It even opens up the opportunity to attract new audiences who might decide to follow your brand specifically for its informed content. The user may not need to use the product or service, but they might find that your videos, graphics and other content is reason enough for them to give you a follow.

Ultimately, keyword research for social media marketing is just another way that we can stay ahead of our competitors.


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