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How to use social media for keyword research

How to use social media for keyword research

Need some new, hot, steamy keywords to target?

Yes me too.

If you’re like me and tired of using the same keywords as everyone else, it’s time to dig into social media.

I know that socially may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of keyword research — but it can be a great source of keywords with long tails and high traffic.

Here’s why:

The average person spends almost three hours of their day on social media, and social platforms steadily gather information about what we do, who we like, where we go, and what type of content makes us click.

Which makes it like walking into a room with puppies for keyword research.

Let’s look at eight ways you can leverage social media to uncover keywords to inspire content, target PPC ads, or for SEO.

Use the opportunities for advertising Facebook to look into audience behavior

Even if you know who your target audience is, there is a good chance that you do not know everything about them.


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But Facebook does.

The social platform is where most of us share details about our lives, our jobs, what shows we like, what topics we are interested in, and what products we buy.

Facebook collects all this data for ad targeting. However, it can also be used for keyword research and finding related topics.

Using Facebook targeting options, you can learn about your audience:

Location.Age.Gender.Interests.Relationship status.Language.Education level.Where they work.

Tip: Facebook groups are another good source of important terms. Search for “popular topics” in industry groups for keyword ideas:

2. Dive into Twitter’s search functionality

Ah, Twitter.


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Home with bite-sized content, breaking news and something weird too.

Unlike other platforms where content can stay fresh for hours (or even days), Twitter trends move in near real-time.

This makes Twitter ideal for finding timely keywords.

To find interesting topics, go to the “explore” section.

You will see several options – pay special attention to the topics under “for you” and “trend”. These are topics that people in your area and your industry are talking about.

The only downside to this strategy is that it is not as useful if you are not already active on Twitter.

If you are, however, Twitter is a treasure trove of topic ideas and long tail keywords you can use in SEO.

Search Instagram Hashtags to find relevant content

What started as a way to share photos of dogs and avocado toast is now a good search engine thanks in part to hashtags.

Go to Instagram and search for important terms you want to target, then look at the other hashtags that users add to posts.

Let’s say you want to write about SEO content. Search for #SEO, then look at hashtags the latest posts use.

The first few posts were spam, so I skipped them. A few posts in, I found one using these hashtags:

Jackpot! It’s raining tacos and burritos!


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Lots of long tail and related key terms I can use for content creation, SEO targeting, even paid ads. Searching for each of these hashtags will give me even more keywords.

You can also use the autocomplete feature for keyword research.

Let’s say I want to find content related to B2B marketing.

Instagram kindly shows me other topics users are interested in. I can use these hashtags in my Insta content to increase my reach — or add them to my long-tail key term list.

4. Use YouTube’s autocomplete feature

YouTube is not only about finding funny cat videos – it is actually the second most popular search engine (comes No. 2 behind Google.)


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To find related key phrases, enter the main term and see what YouTube provides:

It is a given that not all expressions are useful – e.g. [B2B gta glitch] is probably not what you are looking for if you search in B2B – but it is still a good source for topic ideas and SEO keywords.

Dig into search trends on Pinterest

Pinterest is home to more than just burrito recipes and travel bucket lists — it can also be useful for digging long-tail keywords that you might not have even thought of.


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Like other search engines, Pinterest returns results based on what content it thinks users are likely to interact with.

For example, searching [keyword research] returns lots of content on how to analyze keywords, use free tools and research specifically for organic traffic.

These are all long tail keywords I can target for use in SEO or content creation.

Pinterest AutoComplete provides even more ideas by suggesting search extensions for a keyword:

6. Listen to what influencers are saying on Linkedin

Linkedin is home to more than 722 million users and is experiencing record engagement.


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If you are into B2B, sales, marketing or targeting high level makers, Linkedin should become your new home.

There are a few ways to use Linkedin for keyword research, including following what influencers are talking about.

Search for a keyword, then select people to find influencers, then click View all activity on their profile. This shows you all the posts they have shared in the last 90 days.

Look for hashtags, content ideas and groups they interact with.


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Like YouTube and Instagram, you can also use LinkedIn’s autocomplete feature to find related terms:

7. Use BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a social media tool designed to help you find the most engaging topics, connect with influencers, and monitor popular topics.

It may now sound like the best place for keyword research, but it is.

Here’s why – Buzzsumo looks at the most engaging content across multiple social platforms, which means it listens almost everywhere.


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Here are the results for “b2b sales”:

Note that it shows the most engaging content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit.

Plus, you can use the filters to sort by location, content type, word count, and dominate response.

I also like the search tool “influencers”, which lets you search for the topics that the most influential people in the industry talk about.

8. Explore your social listening tool

If you already use a social listening tool, like Awario and Mention, they are another solid source of keywords.


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These tools make the leg for you by gathering all the major topics people are talking about in one place. This saves you time as you do not have to dig into multiple tools.

You can also filter the noise so you can focus on keywords that matter to your brand and your industry.

Use it to track your brand name, follow industry trends and find influencers.

Social and search go together like milk and cookies

Social and search are not as separate as you might think. Sure, social media is not a direct ranking factor, but they are complementary.

Social can help you better understand what topics your audience is interested in, what they post, and where they are most active.

Like milk and cookies, social and SEO are better together!

Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita

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