How to Do Keyword Research for Social Media in Five Steps

If you’ve been either following me or reading the literature you’ve heard by now about the critcal importance of keyword research.

Some of you are now probably asking yourselves how to do keyword research properly.

You’ve come to the right place!

Let’s talk about it!

Here’re the five steps that I use for myself and clients when doing keyword research:

1. Background Research

In this first step, you’re asking yourself what you’re about. What words would attract people to you online and improve where you are in search engine results. Think big at this point, the refinement comes next.

2. Refining Your Background Research

Using Google with your initial work from above, you search for specific words and phrases that best identify whom you are. You’re looking for specificity at this point. Develop a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords.

3. Determining Which Keywords Are Worth Using

Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner identify the search volume and traffic estimates for your keywords to determine which are worthwhile for you. (A word of caution here for anyone using this for a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. The more popular words will invariably be the most expensive! There are other strategies for keywords and SEO which are beyond the scope of this article.)

4. Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Strike a balance between your head terms and long-tail keywords. 50-50 should do it. Don’t be afraid to have some variance from that. As a rule of thumb, I recommend having six (6) primary keywords (head terms and long-tail keywords) and a dozen secondary keywords (Keywords which expand on the primaries).

5. Checkout Your Keywords!

Once you’ve determined what your key words will be check them out for yourself on the social media platforms that you’ll be using them on. Once upon a time, I was researching keywords for a technical social media community. I had one which was only two letters (This was back in the day of 140 characters on Twitter.) and thought I was pretty smart until I ran it and got all these tweets relating to a European football club! Needless to say, I did some more research.) Remember too, keyword research is not one and done. Consider an A/B testing program to periodically test your results.

Bonus: How to Determine How Your Competitors Are Using Keywords

Would you like to know how your competitors are using keywords? Then checkout SEMrush offers ten (10) free reports that you can use. Check them out!


Keywords are critical to being noticed and successful on social media.

Like anything else, keywords need to be approached methodically and regularly.

Also, the social media environment changes constantly. Make sure your keyword strategy keeps up with them.

Try my steps and see for yourself!

That’s it for now!

Please check-out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program to get some more ideas on how to use social media.

Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

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