Any smart SEO professional will tell you that having a solid keyword strategy behind your social marketing campaigns is the key to achieving a high return on your digital investment. While short- and long-tail keywords each have their place within a tactical marketing plan, it’s important to know which will work best in regard to specific social media initiatives.
As a general rule of thumb, long-tail keywords rank better for conversion, while short-tail keywords are more useful for developing interest and driving general traffic. However, all things considered, web traffic that doesn’t generate conversions is only worth so much. Here are a few tips for building a winning digital keyword strategy that can be easily worked into your overall search and social media marketing approach.
Your Twitter keyword strategy must reflect and respect the fact that this platform operates in real-time. Focus on short-tail words and phrases that can be easily digested, indexed and found by an audience searching for related topics. Long-tail keywords are unlikely to produce a high ROI due to the very nature of Twitter – a constant stream of new information combined with an audience that embraces the 140 characters, less-is-more mentality.
Keep in mind that hash tags are keywords too. Use them frequently to engage with people who tweet and are searching for updates or following threaded conversations on a particular subject. Hash tags help bridge the gap between today’s immediate conversations and the yesterday’s relevant news. Also, never forget about your competitors – their company names can serve as keywords as well.
Facebook Social Ads
Facebook keyword strategy is somewhat different. Many organizations are finding extreme value in Facebook’s highly targeted advertising campaigns. Though these small side-bar ads only enable you to target a short-tail keyword or two at best, advertisers can drill down an extremely precise demographic – from specific location, age and sex, all the way to relationship interests, workplace and keywords. Use these to your advantage. Leveraging filters on the front end will help deliver your message to a much more qualified lead, yielding higher potential for conversions.
Outside the advertising sector, long-tail keywords can pull more weight on Facebook than their short-tail counterparts. Remember that everything you write on Facebook or any other social media platform is indexed by search engines (unless your privacy settings are set otherwise). Because Facebook allows for more substantial interaction through fan pages, groups, event pages and more, long-tail keywords can be effectively targeted in a number of ways. Facebook’s viral nature combined with substantial internal linking can mean higher rankings and conversions for your business. Keep this in mind when writing on a page or using the FMBL tool.
Measurement is an important part of evaluating any social campaign’s success and can be helpful in identifying key areas for improvement. If you’re using Filtrbox or another social media measuring/monitoring platform, don’t hesitate to explore your options and use more than one. Why? Because you can. The more you listen, participate and contribute to the conversation, the more successful your long-term efforts will be.
Using a tool like Filtrbox or Radian6 allows you to create even more unique search capabilities inside your metrics campaigns. These tools help create Boolean-based searches with your keywords, using operators such as “includes,” “must include” or “have at least one of” these types of keywords. This tool alone can allow you to search the entire internet in seconds and get a better understanding of how other content is being purposed.
For example, if you wanted to do a search on “home security systems Raleigh,” it may be more beneficial to search on “home security” with the “must include” operator, “Raleigh,” and the “have at least one of” operator, “system.” The Boolean evaluating conjunction (AND) allows you to see results of the first two parameters as true, and the disjunction (OR) evaluates the argument if either one of the parameters is true. This is extremely helpful in data mining your keyword results based on a specific segment or campaign.
Highly targeted PPC campaigns can also be a powerful way to turn qualified leads into customers. When developing a PPC campaign, always know your industry’s click-through rates to help quickly eliminate or validate specific keywords throughout the research process. Also keep in mind that geo-based optimization combined with a long-tail keyword strategy will always yield higher conversions.
Other Long-Tail Keyword Tips
- Are YouTube videos part of your overall marketing strategy? Make sure you’re optimizing the content that accompanies them with long-tail keywords. Remember, Google owns YouTube and continues to index new sites and material thousands of times of every day.
- Incorporating long-tail keywords into your local business listings in Google, Yahoo and Bing is an easy optimization opportunity that many companies miss out on, and one that can pay dividends if executed in coordination with other on-site SEO tactics. Because Google lists a few local results above the organic results when users search for geo-based information, there is a unique chance to overtake your competition in the rankings and steal their web traffic (and maybe even their business).
Which keyword strategies have you found effective in regard to social media marketing?
How does your organization incorporate keyword strategies into your social media marketing campaigns?
What successes have you had in using long-tail vs. short-tail keywords for social media marketing purposes?