When targeting a specific demographic, utilizing keywords is crucial for success in social media marketing. Across all social media platforms, it is becoming increasingly easier to research what your customers are saying and searching for, giving businesses the upper hand when it comes to ensuring that their ads show up in the right place at the right time.
Consistent success in advertising from platform to platform takes understanding the differences of identifying keywords in search and social. Expecting success with the same approach across the entirety of the Internet is not going to work in this day and age. It would be like expecting to franchise an ice cream shop that sells vanilla as its only flavor. The helpful online marketing company Wordstream lays out some common mistakes that they see from companies online.
In an extensive blog titled The Experts' Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media, Wordstream points out three distinguishing factors that differentiate search and social with regards to keyword data.
Users tailor their searches to the social media platform that they’re on. Wordstream uses the example of a Google search and a YouTube search, stating that a user may search for “YouTube” on Google, but wouldn’t search for “YouTube” on YouTube. With that same idea in mind, there are obvious differences in the behavior exhibited by users across platforms.
A user could be really interested in searching on Google for insightful articles detailing why Denmark has one of the highest tax rates in the world, but could almost exclusively search for videos of cats on YouTube. It’s safe to assume that the platform being used will influence the search or the query. Following up on that example, there’s a major difference between keywords used in search and in conversation.
Social media allows users to share ideas and engage, and search engines help to answer questions and provide solutions. There’s no limit to the string of keywords that you can identify within your target audience, and adapting to all of the ways in which users interact across the various platforms will give you an advantage when targeting online.
It may seem intimidating to begin advertising online, but the main platforms embrace small businesses, and have made it incredibly easy to get started. Google AdWords is based around the pay-per-click model, meaning you’ll only be charged whenever there’s an interaction with your advertisement. The targeting is extensive and allows you to specifically find the users you’re looking for. Google AdWords is also where advertising on YouTube exists. If you have a video campaign, searches on YouTube can be extremely specific or extremely vague, so it’s important to maintain a wide range with regards keywords in video search.
Advertising on Facebook is similar to the AdWords platform, but instead of keywords, Facebook focuses on interests. Since the premise of Facebook is based on “likes”, you’ll be able to target users based on what kind of restaurants they like, what kind of music they listen to, what kind of hobbies they have, etc. Instagram is owned by Facebook and has begun integrating ads into customized feeds based on what users like and look at. Instead of targeting with keywords, Instagram targets hashtags, which are abundantly used to group posts together.
With a background in advertising, using multiple platforms to target users will be much easier, but like anything, it requires testing and learning. If willing to experiment and put up the money to test initial advertisements, then it’s easy to started right away. Without much flexibility, it’s better to ease into the process of targeting, and it would be smart to work with a company to create an ad campaign that makes sense for the resources and needs of the business.