Ask the Expert

2/27/2013

Kristin Lesko, Content Strategist

Q: How do I optimize social media posts for a company or business page?

A: Before optimizing social media posts, it's important to first have a strategy behind how you choose topics to cover and keyphrases to target. While many of us immediately think of our website copy when we hear the words "online content," we often overlook the fact that all the other collateral we publish online - including social media posts - is content, too. So it's important to be intentional with the social media content you publish so it's not only well-optimized for search engines, but also relevant to the users we seek to reach, engage with and covert to customers.

Choosing Topics for Posts

To identify "content themes" that are important to your target audience, start by keeping a month over month record of how your content is performing in social media. Which of your Facebook posts received the most "Likes," comments or shares last month? What "tweet" was re-tweeted the most in Twitter? In Twitter specifically, look for trending keywords and hash tags, not just in the posts of your followers, but trending topics overall that can help you brainstorm new ideas. Also, utilize metrics offered by social media platforms, such as Google+ Ripples or Facebook Page Insights, which can help you assess your content reach. Seeing these points of engagement from a big-picture perspective can help you start to assess which topics matter most to your audience, so you can then produce more of it.

In addition, if you have an onsite blog and utilize a website analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, look to see which posts receive the most traffic. Keep a record of the "top-performing" blog posts and - at the end of each month - identify the trending "themes" across your blog and your social media pages.

Selecting Keywords

Once you start to regularly look at trending themes, brainstorm related keywords that could fall underneath each one. For example, if you work in the marketing department for a children's book publisher, you may notice that parents are very responsive to social media posts and blog posts that provide tips on teaching children to read. So the content "theme" might be child literacy, and the keyword to target in a social media post could be "teaching children how to read" or "reading with your child."

Start to group relevant keywords together into categories, and then keep an ongoing list of trending topics and keywords to pull from when writing posts.

Writing Keyword Optimized Posts

Once you've identified trending themes and valuable keyphrases, you're ready to write optimized posts. Based on the social media platform, the posts you write and the elements you optimize will differ slightly.

Facebook
If you're writing a post for Facebook, you'll want to make sure to integrate the keyword naturally throughout the Wall post, such as: "Teaching your child how to read? Start by choosing books that primarily consist of illustrations, and use them as a tool to help your child understand the meaning behind a word as you're reading with them."

If uploading a supplemental photo or video, captions and descriptions can also be optimized with keyphrases.

YouTube
In YouTube, if you were uploading a video on, "How to Teach Your Child to Read," make sure to integrate the keyphrase into key areas, including the:

  • File name (when relevant)
  • Video title
  • Video description
  • Video tags (when relevant)

Twitter
When optimizing a "tweet," hash tags can be used before keyphrases as a means to group together "like" content within Twitter. So, in the instance of the post about child literacy, you could write a post such as: When teaching your child to read, be consistent. Set aside a scheduled time every day to read together. #learntoread While these tips will help you get started, it's important to understand that social media content optimization is an ongoing process and your job is never "done." (Sorry, you might have to put that party hat back in the office supply closet). But having a strategy in place will help you become more successful at optimizing your posts for both search engines and users, which is an achievement worth celebrating in itself.

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