>Social media can tell you what people like, what they don’t like, and what interests them …
… which makes your social media accounts an excellent source for keyword research and content ideas.
Have you ever heard of the term “scraping?” It’s basically digging down deep to find the data you need. And, it’s used on social media sites to help with keyword research and SEO.
Check out these four ways to use social media for keyword research and content development.
1. Gather keywords and information
Most social media research and listening tools allow you to obtain keyword capacity or frequency — how and how often keywords are being used.
While Google Analytics and Google’s free keyword research tool are fantastic (I use them all the time), the results are not in real time — social media is. Social media listening tools can tell you how people are using a given keyword. Google’s tools do not give you this information.
One example of a social media listening tool is Topsy. It lets you specify the language, time frame, and social media source you want to search.
For example, I searched the phrase “science fiction and fantasy” using the criteria of English as the language, a time frame of 30 days, and Twitter as the source. Here’s the results I received immediately. It also gave me the actual links this phrase is used in (very helpful):
Based on this information, you can develop a list of content ideas for your own blog and social media campaigns.
2. Know what the keyword search really means
Do you know exactly how people are using your keywords? Social media keyword research allows you to read how people are using your keywords. Google Analytics gives you a list of keywords sorted by global and local search volume. Their competition numbers are helpful, but they won’t tell you how people are using your specific keyword.
It’s not enough anymore to just find out how many people search for a given word or phrase. You need to know what a person means when they enter a keyword or phrase. This is called semantic keyword research, and has become a requirement in SEO.
Semantic search tries to determine what users mean when they type in a certain keyword.
For example, if someone searches for the word “dog,” are they looking for a particular breed of dog, a hot dog, or dog food? Fortunately, most people don’t use a single word when they search. They use a phrase.
A quick way to do this is at your favorite search engine search bar. Type in your search phrase, i.e., dog collars. Before you hit Enter, the instant search will automatically give you a list to choose from. These are the most common top phrases people have entered to get results. It will also give you options depending on where you’re located (i.e., dog collars Austin).
So, for a semantic search, you’re working to identify the right keywords based upon the user’s purpose … and then create content around those terms.
Knowing what a keyword search really means is critical, because if your website does not match the intent of a keyword, you will not rank for it.
You can also do Twitter hashtag searches to see how specific key phrases are being used in tweets (i.e., #dog collar).
Seeing how both searchers and others in your industry are using key phrases is invaluable. It gives you insights into how you might use those phrases in your content to best appeal to your readers.
3. Scrape social media for content
Remember, the whole point of keyword research is to define the best way to attract your target market. Social media shows you what users want. Tools like Social Mention, Ubersuggest, and even search operators can help you do this.
If you’re writing content for a site that specializes in dog collars, you can type that search phrase into Social Mention and get a list of recent tweets using the phrase. You can find questions and comments that could lead to content ideas.
You can also use social media review sites to add firsthand testimonials to your work. Try this site search: “dog collars” site:yelp.com. This will give you thousands of pages of user-generated content from people talking about, and describing, the best dog collars they’ve ever found. Take the time to read them, and then use these customers’ own words in your content. Be sure to give credit as to where you found the review.
4. Find people who are talking about your topic
To drive traffic to your site, you need to do more than just create good content. You need to take it a step further by making it sharable. One way to do this is to create content that is part of an already-existing conversation on social media. Tools like Followerwonk and GoFish will find people who are talking about your topic and who are also influential in your industry.
By creating content that links to what influencers are already saying, you can immediately generate more interest and more traffic for your site.
Followerwonk lets you analyze the author bios of followers for a specified user. You can take this information and use it to create content that targets people with precise interests.
Use Followerwonk in combination with GoFish. Once you have determined what your Twitter followers are interested in, type the keyword into GoFish to find people who are currently talking about it. Both of these tools will give you high-quality prospects that will show interest in the content you plan to write.
Using these ideas will help you be more successful in your keyword research by specifically targeting the readers you’re looking for.