Words are mightier than the sword – true, but some words are more powerful than others. Which ones? Keywords! But why are keywords more powerful than your average word? Keywords are powerful due to their popularity, usefulness, or the idea behind them.
Think about it… word choice is what makes a headline sore to the front page on a news website, word choice is the difference between a blog that receives hundreds of referrals from search engines or none. It is this reason why your social media strategy must have the right words to generate traffic.
How do I know which keywords to use for my specific segment or niche? One approach we use when helping business with their social media strategy is studying your target audience. Find out what words they use, what things they read and write, and what are their drivers. This way you can communicate using their words, their own language.
Keyword optimization and SEO are not the same thing! Keyword optimization is more broadly about knowing your audience. You must know, for your specific audience, which words will grab their attention and win their trust. Not just words, but style of writing and communicating… when do they use those words? With what connotation?
Keyword research will help you accomplish that. Estimate the number of times people search for different phrases. But keyword research more than just traffic – it’s about understanding your niche. You should ask yourself what you want your audience to do before choosing the words in your message. Do you want your audience to actively participate in your blog or discussion? Do you want them to just watch? Do you want them to take action? Are you using the right words for the right geographic location? Are you accounting for cultural distinctions? Are you using related words that will overlap with related audiences and markets? Are you looking to build a fan base, like celebrities, or a knowledge base?
Each set of keywords within a related set represent a different niche, a different market segment, a different audience and ultimately different results. If you do your segmentation correctly, you can craft a message that fits each of your target niches. So, once you’ve picked a popular niche, how do you get noticed?
Let’s look at some examples. If your niche is mountain bikes and keyword research tells you people search for “mountain bike types”, it’s a good bet that a blog comparing the pros and cons of different types of mountain bikes – hard tail or full suspension, downhill or trail, etc – will generate traffic. Similarly, a blog post that details the types of bikes ridden by famous riders would also be of interest. Posts about tire size, brake types, anything that may help your audience narrow down the type of bike they may be looking for will also help. Your keyword research will also tell you which words are related. So, something related to “mountain bikes” could be: BMX, bike race, mountain biking events, etc. Even though BMX bikes are different from mountain, there is enough overlap in the personality and type of person who chooses those bikes that you may be able to tap that market as well.
For instance, something you could write that would draw in both market segments would be: “Here’s Why BMX Racer Mike Spinner Likes to Mountain Bike on the Weekends”. You could write comparison articles on BMX vs Mountain, gear, racing styles, even pros and cons of each sport to get a dialogue going between you and your readers. Nothing will draw people out of the woodwork better than challenging them! For example: “Why BMX Riders are Afraid of Mountains”. If you were a BMX rider, wouldn’t you feel a bit defensive about being called “afraid”?
Now that you have done your homework and chosen the right keywords… is that it? Stay tuned for Part 2 of our social media strategy blog coming next week.
Feel free to comment/discuss/share. If I missed anything, Tweet to DrFranzC or leave a comment. Thanks for your feedback!