Keyword optimization for social media

Just as you should optimize your website for the right keywords to turn up in search results, you need to optimize your social media if you want customers to find your profiles and content. The following will help you optimize your social media accounts with relevant keywords.

YouTube

  • The best way to find popular keywords for this video-sharing platform is to simply begin typing your topic into YouTube’s search bar and see what common searches come up in the auto-fill. Then, match your keywords to those phrases.
  • Once you’ve chosen your keywords, include them in your video’s metadata:
    - Use a concise title that includes keywords and states what the video is about.
    - Write a description that incorporates keywords and explains what your viewer will see. Include your most important statement first so it appears above the fold and include a link to your website.
    - Include tags after your description. These should be relevant keywords including those that didn’t fit naturally into your video description.
  • Annotations are the text boxes that sometimes appear in YouTube videos. These can be a good place to include keywords, but only if they enhance the viewer’s experience.
    - A good example of annotations is a menu at the side of a video with links to additional installments in the series.
    - A bad example is speech bubbles that block the user’s view and aren’t related to what’s going on. If you annoy your viewer and they stop watching your video, what’s the point of optimizing it?
  • Group videos together into playlists with keyword-rich titles and descriptions. These help viewers find your videos and drive traffic from one video to another in your channel.
  • Videos within a playlist also appear in the suggested viewing sidebar, and YouTube automatically begins the next video in a playlist after the first is over which drives viewers to more of your content.

Twitter

  • There are plenty of ways to find out what topics and hashtags are hot on Twitter:
    - Twitter itself displays trending topics, and you can filter your trending feed by location.
    - Search within Twitter to see if people are talking about specific keywords and what they are saying.
    - Many sites track Twitter trends, such as Hashtags.org which lets you filter current hashtags by topic, popularity, recent conversations, and more.
  • Include keywords in your Twitter biography. Explain what kind of tweets followers can expect and include a link to your website.
  • Highlight keywords in tweets by using them as #hashtags. When someone clicks a hashtag, Twitter returns a chronological list of other tweets which include the same hashtag. Make sure your hashtags are targeted and relevant and don't use more than two or three in any one post.
  • When writing tweets, consider writing them ahead of time so you can edit to ensure they match your brand voice and include relevant keywords. Then, schedule tweets using a Social Media Management (SMM) tool like Hootsuite or copy and paste them into Twitter when you want to post them.
  • SMM tools also provide analytics that track which tweets are effective - the ones that are retweeted and replied to as well as links that are clicked on. Use that information to refine your strategy for future tweets.

Facebook

  • Include keywords in your Facebook page name (for example, ABC Bakery and Cupcake Shop instead of just ABC). You cannot change your page name once it’s registered, so put some thought into this before you sign up.
  • Once you register your page, generate a ‘vanity’ URL with the name of your page rather than using the auto-generated URL which is meaningless.
  • Your description in the ‘about’ section should include relevant keywords as well as your address and phone number for local search optimization.
  • Optimize status updates with keywords, keeping in mind that the first 18 characters of a Facebook post serve as its meta-description so that’s where you want to focus key terms.
  • Photos, videos, and links get better placement than plain text updates so include keywords in titles and descriptions of those. Unlike Twitter, don’t use shortened links on Facebook. Include full links and be sure the URLs contain keywords.
  • Once your page is up and running, use Facebook Insights to track the success of your content and adjust your strategy according to what performs and what doesn’t.
  • Search “posts by everyone” on Facebook to see what people are saying about particular words or phrases and incorporate those into your content.

LinkedIn

  • Your overview, description, products and services, promotions, and status update sections on your LinkedIn page should all include keywords.
  • Order the specialties in your description section beginning with the most important and add all your locations to optimize for local search.
  • Break out each of your products or service categories as its own tab and choose separate keywords that best apply to each.
  • Join LinkedIn groups and contribute to the conversations by posting valuable, relevant comments including appropriate keywords.
  • Make sure every outward-facing employee is active on LinkedIn and that they are connected to your company page. They should post status updates about the company and topics related to your business following these same guidelines.
  • To increase post engagement, posts can be targeted by company size, industry, function, seniority or geography.

No matter what platform you’re on, the following are some general best practices:

  • Always name and caption photos, videos, and other content using keywords
  • Include keywords in captions for pages and posts
  • Customize social media URLs with your company name
  • Don’t leave any sections blank, it makes your page or profile look unfinished and wastes an opportunity to include keyword-rich content
  • Don’t stuff descriptions and other elements with keywords, you want to be informative and sound natural to viewers
  • Don't rely on others for backlinks. Post keyword-rich backlinks to your social media on your blog, website, in forums and comments sections on other sites, and cross-promote among social platforms. Again, be sure it's relevant and natural - don't sound like a robot or spammer.

Above all, remember that the point of social media is to engage! No amount of optimization will help you if you just post advertising messages and don't engage in real interactions. Set up your accounts, send your messages, and then focus on communicating with your customers.