It’s no secret that SEO is all about the keywords. Keywords, an integral aspect of your online marketing efforts, are one of the major ways a website can communicate with a search engine, so Webmasters spend a lot of time focusing on keyword density and installing SEO plugins to help determine where their keyword efforts are lacking.
However, what many people do not realize is that keywords are actually important when it comes time to optimize your social media accounts. Although this strategy is more successful when working with your website, social media is starting to pick up on the benefits of keywords.
Social networks are quickly becoming a premiere way to find candidates for open positions as well as search for information about a company. With the introduction of the new Facebook timeline layout for brands and Google+ growing in popularity, these networks are becoming mini search engines for many.
How to Utilize Keywords in Social Media
If you want your company to show up on a social media results page, it’s important that you optimize it with keywords. There are a few different steps you can take to make this happen:
1. Determine the keywords that work for each of your social accounts.
The first step deals with the actual keywords you want to use for each of your different social media accounts. These keywords may change based on the social media account you’re trying to optimize. For example, using professional language might be more appropriate when working with LinkedIn whereas using an abbreviation or shortened version of a word or phrase might work better for Facebook. You might also be more apt to use a specific product as your keyword on a Facebook page but use terms like “journalist” or “experienced manager” for your LinkedIn account.
You can determine the keywords that work for you the same way you would if you were optimizing a website—choose keywords that you want to be associated with, words that describe your company, and check your competition.
2. Use your keyword or keywords for your photos.
Many social networks feature photos and images. This makes images a huge opportunity for your company to utilize keywords. Make sure that you have a caption on all of your photos and utilize your keywords in those captions. This will help alert the social media bots that your page should show up first on a results page.
3. When linking to other webpages or updating a status, try to use your keywords.
This can certainly take some creativity, but incorporating your keywords into your status updates or links to other webpages will help you jump to the top of a social media results page. This is where optimizing for Twitter really comes into play. Use hashtags with your keywords and try and plug your keyword into your updates as much as possible. If someone is constantly talking about “social media consulting,” why wouldn’t Twitter give that person a good position on a results page? It’s a bit tougher to make it to the top of Twitter just because people are updating statuses so much and often following thousands of people, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
4. Don’t forget your headline!
This is the easiest way to utilize your keywords. Every social network has a spot for you to write something about your company, so take advantage. Headlines are probably the most important place for you to use your keywords because this is what search engines such as Google will see. Because social networks are great domains in the eyes of Google, these sites will often rank highly on a Google SERP; sometimes more so than a company’s website.
5. Use your keyword in your summary section.
Every social network also has a space for you to really get into depth about what your company can offer. This is a great opportunity for you to utilize your keywords. Remember, however, that the same rules should apply to social network optimization as website optimization—no keyword stuffing. Keep it natural.
The use of social networks is only expected to increase, so it’s a good idea to get started with keyword optimization now. Many companies are still slow to get started on this process, so there isn’t much competition at the moment. Good luck!
Photo Credit: colourbox.com
Adam Heitzman is the founder of Higher Visibility, an SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. With over 10 years of experience in online marketing, Adam offers small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. Connect with HigherVisibility on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!