Viewpoints on using keywords in social media marketing vary, but one thing remains constant: Keywords are the cornerstone of all Internet marketing. Businesses can benefit from employing keywords in their social media content strategy implementation.
Frequently, marketers think of using keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tactics such as Google AdWords advertising, which are customer acquisition tactics–they pull prospective customers into the wide mouth of the sales funnel. In Internet marketing, however, the term optimization is also used relevant to converting the leads acquired through such tactics. Advertisements are investments and are optimized to acquire leads; conversion points such as landing pages are optimized to turn leads into prospects; sales processes are optimized to convert prospects into paying customers. In other words, optimization also refers to the efficiency and effectiveness of the methods used to qualify leads and prospects and pull them through the funnel.
Due to the nature of the medium and the way consumers inherently use it, social media is, by and large, a retention marketing tactic. 80 to 90 percent of a business’s social media content is consumed by people who already have a relationship with that business. The goal for social media is, therefore, to prevent customer turnover and incentivize ongoing and increasing investment from the customer.
Social Media Optimization (SMO), then, is more focused on the second aspect of optimization. People consuming business content on social media have “opted in;” they are here by choice. They have been referred there by one or more acquisition tactics such as word of mouth referrals, electronic or traditional; click-through via company website, driven there by SEO or SEM; advertisements through print or electronic traditional media; email marketing, etc.
Keywords have a place in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. At a high level, the consistent use of keywords in text advertisements and on landing pages decreases cost per click while increasing click-throughs and conversions. Similarly, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm rewards content it deems relevant with appearances in news feeds. User behavior regarding keywords remains consistent between the channels in that keywords relevant to an interest or need generate greater engagement, which, in turn, presents the content to EdgeRank as more relevant to a Page’s followers, resulting in increased exposure…
These are the principal benefits of using keywords in social media. Appeal to the algorithm to broaden your reach, solidify your brand identity online and maximize opportunities with current customers.
Recent developments point to potential search engine benefit for using keywords in social media content. For example, while tweets are not (as of this writing) indexed by search engines off of Twitter, a service called Topsy has archived every single tweet ever made on its website…and that entire website has been indexed by Google and other search engines. Associating relevant keywords with your brand name, your domain name and your links provides ancillary SEO benefit. Webolutions® advises its clients to assume that, eventually, all Internet content will be indexed. However, this SEO-related outlook is secondary to immediate branding and conversion optimization concerns.
Keywords are also fundamental to effective social media monitoring.
How to Use This Information
When constructing your Content Marketing Plan and writing content for social media, look for opportunities to use keywords. Remember, however, that you are writing primarily for a human audience. This means that, just as with web page copy, if you succeed in appealing to the search algorithm but turn off human visitors, your efforts have failed. Especially given recent changes to the Google search algorithm, overuse of keywords or trying to fit them where they don’t naturally fall will work against you anyway.
Content marketing in social media marketing is retention marketing. Use keywords when appropriate and keep the end goal in mind. Focus on the forest and the trees will take care of themselves.
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