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How to Choose Effective Keywords for Your Social Posts (In 3 Steps)

Scrabble letters spelling out "keywords".
  • Jul 01, 2019
  • 0
  • by A2 Marketing Team

It takes careful planning to write social media posts that are engaging and get a lot of views and likes. It’s also important that your posts attract the right audience. Social media is a very powerful marketing tool, but there are a lot of things to consider if you want to use it effectively.

One of the best ways to write better social posts is to use keywords. Keywords can help you meet your audience’s needs, and offer them relevant results in response to their searches. Plus, by using the right keywords you can attract more views and engagement for your posts.

In this article we’ll talk about what keywords are, why they matter, and how to use them effectively in your social media content. Let’s get started!

The Role of Keywords in Social Media Marketing

An effective social media campaign is about more than consistent posting and monitoring engagement. It also requires knowing your audience’s needs, and offering them value that will keep them coming back for more.

Keyword research can help you better define your audience, and create content that will interest them. For example, ‘hashtags’ represent a common form of keyword use on many social media sites. Hashtags enable your posts to be seen by anyone who searches for a particular topic. Without them, your posts will likely only be viewed by your existing audience, which won’t help you attract new followers.

Other platforms use their own forms of keywords to organize content. What’s more, all of the major social media networks have search options to filter posts. The most common way that new audience members will find your content is by stumbling across it during a search, either on the social platform directly or though an external engine such as Google.

In order to appear in relevant searches, your content will need to contain keywords that match the queries your audience members are already making. Therefore, researching high-quality keywords will help you make your content more visible. Plus, it can assist you in discovering the wants and needs of your social community, gauging market interest for your products or services, and finding relevant points of engagement.

How to Choose Effective Keywords for Your Social Posts (In 3 Steps)

The key to success on social media is to construct content that reflects what’s popular and is likely to garner engagement. In order to do that, you’ll need to conduct some research, select relevant keywords, and incorporate them effectively into your social posts. Let’s walk through how that process works in more detail.

Step 1: Research Your Target Audience

Before you can decide which keywords are best to use in your social posts, you need to know who your target audience is. The more you understand the people you’re trying to communicate with, the easier it will be to get their attention.

Start by looking at your customer base, and asking yourself why they might purchase your products or services. What problems do they have that you can solve? In addition, you’ll want to conduct research into their demographics, such as their typical age, gender, and income level. With all of that information in hand, you’ll be better placed to determine what they need and how you can help.

If you sell home insurance, for example, your customers are likely to be on the older side, and have a medium to high income level. Their needs might include having a safe home and peace of mind. The more clearly you understand who your target audience is and what they’re looking for, the better prepared you’ll be for the next step.

Step 2: Select Relevant Keywords

Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, it’s time to start researching keywords. Your goal is to uncover search phrases your audience is likely to use, which are also relevant to your business and/or niche.

There are a number of ways to perform this keyword research. One excellent option is Google Keyword Planner:

A search on Google Keyword Planner.

This tool enables you to search for keywords related to a specific word or phrase. You’ll also find information about how popular each keyword is, and how much competition is out there for it.

Another way to find keywords is to use the native search options on each social media site that you’re targeting. By entering terms related to your business and audience into the search bar, you can find keywords and hashtags that are popular on the platform:

Searching for keywords on Twitter.

No matter where you find them, it’s important to note that not just any keywords will do. The best ones will meet the following criteria:

  • Relevant to your business and audience
  • Between two and six words in length
  • High search volume
  • Low competition

In addition, you’ll want to select keywords that will be easy to use as a basis for social media content. This means phrases that pose a question (such as “how to choose keywords”) are particularly valuable, since you can provide an answer or solution.

Step 3: Incorporate Your Keywords into Your Social Posts

With a handful of quality keywords in hand, you can start using them in your social media posts. As we mentioned earlier, this will help your audience find you through searches they’re already conducting:

Searching for keywords on YouTube.

It’s a good idea to use keywords frequently, but at the same time you don’t want to go overboard. Keywords should be incorporated into your posts seamlessly and naturally, so that they don’t feel spammy to your audience.

There are several ways to do this. The simplest way to incorporate keywords is to use hashtags. On Twitter you have limited characters to post, so you’ll have to be selective. On other platforms like Instagram, however, it’s not uncommon to see a list of hashtags below a post.

On platforms that don’t use hashtags, you’ll need to incorporate your keywords directly into your content. For each social post, choose a relevant keyword and use it once within the post’s headline and its content. You can also use keywords when linking to and tagging web pages, and even in photo captions. Just remember that outside of hashtags, you should only add a keyword when it fits naturally into the existing content.


Keywords are an essential part of any successful social media campaign. By using them effectively, you can attract the right audience and answer the questions they’re already asking. Of course, this will only work if you’re targeting the right kinds of keywords.

To improve your social media posts via quality keywords, you’ll want to:

  1. Research your target audience.
  2. Select relevant keywords.
  3. Incorporate your keywords into your social posts.

Image credit: Pixabay.