Social SEO: 4 Practical Tips for Improving your Social Media Strategy in 2024

What is social SEO and how do you find keywords for your social media content? We have collected 4 valuable tips for your 2024 strategy.

You may have missed it, but an increasingly important trend has been developing in social media over the last several years. This trend relates to social SEO and the fact that more and more people are using the search function on social media when looking for information instead of using search engines such as Google. What does this mean for companies that are active on social media? And, perhaps more importantly, what should you do in terms of optimizing your social SEO?

We want to pull the curtain back on social media SEO and describe how you can optimize your social media content with a specific focus on the search functions of the individual platforms. In this article, we will explain what SEO on social media means as well as what impact it can have on your visibility and reach. We will also highlight our 4 tips for incorporating social SEO into your social media marketing strategy.

What is Social SEO?

You probably know what SEO is, and it may be comforting to hear that social SEO is based on the principles of traditional search engine optimization. Texts for blogs and websites are optimized with keywords (i.e. search terms) since these are what people are typing into the search field to find the content that they want. The key for those with social media profiles is to be listed as high up as possible on the search results so their content is found and consumed.

Due to the rise of social media networks, a general trend in search behavior has emerged which has seen social media users use the search function to look for content on a specific network rather than using search engines. As a result, social networks have continued to improve their search functions.  

With a good understanding of social SEO, you can optimize your posts so that they can be more easily found using the search function. The main focus should be on text-based elements, such as captions, alt texts or subtitles, in which you insert certain keywords in social media posts that make it easier for your target audience to find your content. The right social media keywords can be especially effective at helping users who are not familiar with your brand or company to discover your content. Ultimately, the goal of your social SEO efforts is to increase the visibility as well as engagement of your posts.

What Does Social SEO Mean for You in Practice?

Up to now, social media managers have optimized their posts with the aim of ensuring that platforms’ newsfeed algorithms prefer their posts and display them to their target audience in their feed. In other words, their content was designed to reach users who primarily scroll through their feed without using the search function. It is important to note that social SEO considers the fact that users are now also actively searching for content through the search functions of individual social media networks. Therefore, if your target audience is looking for specific information that your company has an answer to, you should optimize your content so they can more easily find it.

Keep in mind that it is still important that your posts are picked up by the algorithm, especially to continue to reach your existing followers with your posts. In fact, the social SEO optimization of your posts can also have a positive effect on your performance with a social network’s algorithm. By using keywords in social media posts, you can clearly show that you are providing content people want. These keywords can be integrated in your post’s captions, alt texts, and subtitles, all of which make it easier for social platforms to recognize what your post is about. This means that it is more likely that your posts will be displayed to users who have previously interacted with similar content. 

For these reasons, Social SEO has the potential to improve your visibility and reach on social media and demonstrates why it is important to take it seriously.

4 Tips to Optimize your Content for Social SEO

So, how can you optimize your social media content for social SEO? In the sections below, we will show you how you can adapt your 2024 social media strategy in just 4 steps so that users actively searching on social media can easily find your content. The steps include:

  1. Finding suitable keywords for your social SEO
  2. Updating your social media strategy with evergreen content
  3. Optimizing your content with your keywords
  4. Evaluating the results and adjusting your strategy if necessary
A man working on his computer to create new social media posts.

1 – Find suitable keywords for your social SEO

Let’s begin with a simple question: why are keywords important in social media marketing? The answer is that, similar to traditional SEO, they indicate what people are looking for. Along these lines, you need to know the search terms that your target group uses when looking for information which relates to your product or brand. 

The first step in the social SEO process is to carry out keyword research for various social media networks to see what people are looking for. This involves discovering the keywords used on these social media networks and the search volume associated with those keywords. As a best practice, you should be on the lookout for the top keywords on specific social media networks, which means they have a high search volume and are relevant for the content you produce. Luckily, there are various tools and strategies available to you that we will highlight.

Traditional SEO tools

On the one hand, you can use keyword research tools that are also used for classic search engine optimization, such as the Google Keyword Planner or Answer the Public. This allows you to find search terms with high search volumes in search engines such as Google or Bing and draw conclusions about search behavior in social media. 

However, your target audience may search for information differently on social media than with a search engine. One of the ways that you can cross-check for trending keywords is by entering the search terms into the search bar of the respective social media network as a test and see what other terms are suggested to you. Obviously, keyword tools from traditional SEO can give you an idea of what your target audience is interested in. With this being said, there may be better options available depending on what your needs are.

Keyword tools for social media

It would be helpful to first understand what keywords in social media are and why they may be a bit different from what you would find if you use traditional keyword research tools. Due to the differences in search behavior between search engines and social media, keyword research for social media is a bit unique. In reality, the topics that people search for on social media networks will be much more focused on the content that those networks offer, rather than finding websites that answer your question. That is why there are also tools specifically designed to research keywords on social networks. 

TikTok, for example, offers a tool called Keyword Insights, which displays the most important terms and phrases from the best-performing ads on the platform. You can filter the search results list by, for example, region or industry to see which keywords are relevant to your country and niche. Although TikTok only provides insights for paid ads with this tool, you can also use the search results to help plan your organic content. If you click on a search result from the list, you will be shown suitable hashtags that you can use for optimization.

Competitor research with social media tools

To research keywords for your social SEO optimized content, you can (and should) look at the most successful competitors within your industry or niche. In doing so, you should ask yourself which keywords you can identify in their content. Moreover, which words are used particularly frequently? 

A social media analysis tool makes it much easier for you to research social media keywords and can save you manual work. In illustrating how a social media tool can help you with this, we will use Fanpage Karma as an example. 

One function of Fanpage Karma that is particularly suitable for your social media keyword research is a chart that shows the top-performing keywords among the competitors you have chosen to track. This chart, as seen below, displays the words that appear most frequently in your competitors’ posts and which ones have the highest post interaction rates among them. You can see what this chart looks like when we examine the Instagram profiles of 15 major sports brands in the period from July-December 2023. The larger a word is shown, the more frequently it was used. The color coding shows you which word fans interacted with the most (the greener, the better).

Social media competitor analysis with Fanpage Karma

This means that Instagram users have interacted frequently with posts that contain the words “shoe” or “athlete,” for example. You can also click on each word and view the posts in which it appears. This is important, especially if you see many generic keywords. After all, you want to find out what users are interested in and which keywords they tend to search for on social media. 

Another chart that can help you with your social SEO keyword research is to analyze the “top 50 hashtags” of your competitors.

Social media competitor analysis for social SEO with Fanpage Karma

In the example above, you can see the top hashtags used by the 15 sports brands in our data set. The size of the hashtags shows how often they were used between July and December 2023. The greener the hashtags, the higher the interaction rate with these posts. By clicking on the hashtag, you can view all Instagram posts that contain the respective hashtag. 

Social listening

You can also use a social listening tool to find out which topics are being talked about in your industry. The discovery function of Fanpage Karma is useful for finding trends and relevant posts for your industry or niche, which you can use to identify keywords for your social SEO.

Create keyword clusters

The next step is to organize your keywords into keyword clusters. A keyword cluster is a group of search terms that cover a specific topic. The formation of clusters helps you find synonyms for search terms and, above all, to understand the intention behind certain search terms. Organizing these similar keywords together allows you to create content that is relevant to your target audience from the beginning, rather than using trial-and-error to see if your content is reaching the right audience.

2 – Update your Social Media Strategy with Evergreen Content

Once you have carried out keyword research for your social media accounts and combined your keywords into clusters, all you have to do is integrate your findings into your existing social media strategy and adapt it accordingly.

With social media SEO, as is the case with traditional search engine optimization, there is a particular focus on evergreen content. Evergreen posts are those which will not lose relevance in the future. In the past, the focus of social media content was often on individual campaigns and other content that was relevant to your brand at the time of posting. The downside was that this content lost relevance for your target group after a short time. Social SEO focuses on content that your target audience may still be interested in for a longer period of time while using a social network’s search function. 

To increase the engagement and reach of your evergreen content, you should make sure that your content can be shared by others. When creating your posts, always ask yourself the question: does the post contain enough value to encourage others to interact with it and, above all, to share your post?

A woman with a headset next to graphs with a CTA saying "Register Now".

3 – Optimize your Content with your Keywords

Even if you know why keywords are important in social media, you may not know how to use them to improve your performance. Once you have identified relevant search terms for your social SEO and generated content ideas for them, the next step is to incorporate the keywords into your posts. Using keywords in social media posts should be done carefully and with some real thought because they help identify what topics to write about, not what to write.

You should incorporate keywords as naturally as possible into the wording of your posts. So-called “keyword stuffing,” which occurs when you excessively insert a large number of keywords in a text, may even have a negative impact on your visibility and reach.

Moreover, some platforms, such as LinkedIn, penalize content creators who literally stuff their posts full of keywords without any real reason, with fewer users seeing their content as a result. It is therefore important that SEO-optimized social media content not only serves you and your brand, but that users benefit from it first and foremost. Using the right social media keywords enables your target audience to find your content, but this content needs to be helpful.

Include keywords in your posts

The trick to understanding how to use keywords in social media is to incorporate the search terms as naturally as possible into the content. You need to make sure that your keywords sound natural when used within sentences. 

Keep in mind that you can include the SEO keywords in your captions as well as in your graphics by inserting text into your images. If you produce video content, you should make sure to speak the keywords out loud and write them out in the subtitles. If your videos are not spoken, you can use banners or fade-ins with your keyword in text form. Be sure to show off your creativity because the last thing you want is for your content to appear unnatural or forced.

Don’t forget the alt texts

When thinking about integrating keywords for social media, you might only consider the text body as the place to optimize. However, one thing that receives less attention, but is by no means irrelevant, is the alt texts that are included with your media assets. These image descriptions may not be visible to users at first glance, but are an important part of accessibility. Therefore, these texts are read by screen readers and undoubtedly also by the social networks themselves, so it would be logical that they contribute to keyword rankings. For this reason, it is important to remember to include search terms in your alt texts to help increase the visibility of your posts.

Think about the hashtags you use

When it comes to content creation and creating your captions, there is another important area that we have not yet covered: Hashtags. Using hashtags has long been a fundamental part of social media content creation. You probably already use appropriate hashtags for each of your posts. In social SEO, it’s important to also use hashtags that cover the search intent of users. 

A hashtag generator can be a game changer that helps you find relevant hashtags with reach. With a hashtag generator, you can enter a relevant term for your post and the generator will then use AI and machine learning to show you other relevant hashtags.

Hashtag composer by Fanpage Karma

To help you choose the right hashtags, the Fanpage Karma hashtag generator organizes relevant hashtags visually for you. The display in the hashtag generator ranges from light gray to dark blue to show the reach per follower (the darker blue colors mean that a hashtag has a higher reach). The vertical lines behind the hashtags indicate the popularity of the hashtag. Ideally, you should find hashtags with the highest possible reach per follower and little competition.

Optimize your profile with SEO keywords

Now that we’ve covered all the areas where you can make SEO optimizations for your content, there’s one last area that we haven’t discussed in this article: optimizing your profile. You should include relevant keywords in the description of your company in your bio. As was the case above, you should integrate these keywords as naturally as possible because we don’t want to engage in keyword stuffing.

4 – Evaluate the Results and Adjust your Strategy if Necessary

Once you start implementing your social SEO strategy while optimizing your content with keywords, it is important to keep an eye on the success of your efforts. To do this, regularly check your results and evaluate whether you are achieving your strategic goals. The focus should always be on creating entertaining content with added value for your target group that is optimized for social SEO.

Just using keywords in social media posts is not enough. You need to keep your target group in focus for all your social media activities. Optimizing your content for social media SEO alone without paying attention to creating truly valuable content for your target audience will hardly help you gain more visibility or reach. Added value for your target group is always the top priority. Only if your content generates interactions and has share potential within your target group can your social media channels grow in the long term. 

To check whether your optimizations and content strategy are successful, you should consider using a social media tool with functions for benchmarking and analysis. This allows you to compare yourself with your competitors and other content creators. With Fanpage Karma, you can track as many of your own and other profiles as you like without paying more.

The Future of Social SEO

Social SEO is an area that is still in its infancy. So far, the focus has been very much on incorporating SEO keywords into your social media content. In this sense, keyword research for social media is only increasing in importance and you should not ignore it. 

The more people who use social networks like search engines, the more the focus will shift to long-term relevant content. FAQs about your product or brand, edited into social media content with added value, will most likely have a longer lifespan than videos that are only based on picking up trendy TikTok sounds. Nevertheless, your evergreen content must not bore users, and it ideally would entertain your target group and encourage interaction. 

If you want to integrate Social SEO into your social media strategy and carry out your content and competitor research with Fanpage Karma, you can now test the all-in-one tool free of charge for 14 days. Fanpage Karma also offers a free weekly webinar that shows you how to improve the overall quality of your social media results.

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