Social Media Search Engine Optimization Keyword Research

Meaning to write this post for a while but reminded by…..

@@jacobm yes, @webmetricsguru is the real SEO experts :) Whats your take on SEO and SMM?”

I don’t want to disappoint – so here’s a rather long post on this subject.  One or two Caveats –

  1. Keyword Research Tools such as WordTracker and Google AdWords Keyword Research Tools (there are a couple, now), along with all the rest out there, are unsuitable for Social Media Research because they don’t capture conversations.
  2. Existing Keyword Research Tools are built in order to find the most searched for or niche phrases in order to drive visits to a site; Social Media is not about visits to your site, it’s about Conversations and Relationships which may result in visits to your site, or may not – but do provide value, and may lead to conversions, but not necessarily right away.

I was trying to wrap my head around the concept of a conversation – what would I do with conversations around a subject or keyword, if I actually found them?   What point is there in knowing that a conversation took place (around your brand, or around something or someone you care about) if you can’t do anything about it, or, if your not part of it?

Then, I realized that maybe I was looking at Keyword Research for Social Media all wrong – the point wasn’t to drive traffic, it was to drive conversations – which might, then, lead to traffic and other things, like conversions and good will towards you and yours.   Ok, done – with that out of the way, I’m now free to tell you how I think Social Media Search Engine Optimization Keyword Research works:

1. Do conventional keyword research using –  but first, use Google Analytics (or whatever Analytics Platform you have monitoring your site) in order to figure out what keyword phrases are already driving traffic to the site (hint:Keyword Phrase referrals) – stick to broad terms, can use some branded terms as well.

For example, I’m looking at [btw, this approach, this approach is entirely my own creation] and the result I got was this (below):

At this point, I took some of the keywords above and plugged them into Radian6 (but it could have been SM2 or any other Social Media Monitoring platform)

Then I ran a “River of News” Widget and set it to track the last 2 weeks (or 30 days – the interval will depend on what is being measured) ……

……. then export the data into Excel as a .csv file for analysis and data extraction …

….in order to find parts of “conversations” in the headline and content columns ..

…. using Klepto or SnagIT to capture the “value” column in the Find function, above, and paste it into another worksheet .. (see below)

Keyword = Job Search
How to outsource your job search
Effective Resume Writing for Job Search
Online Job Search Advice
Use several resources in job search
Create a Network and Catapult Your Job Search
Always Be Available to Interview
Job Search BUDDY System
A Guide To Effective Job Search
Sales Job Outlook
Job Searching for Entry-Level Candidates
Add Job Search Widget to Career Sites
Job Searching for Security Cleared Career Opportunities
Help New Yorkers Jumpstart their careers
How to Make Your Job Search Fun
How Much Money Should You Have Going Into A Job Search?
Economy adds pressure to grads’ job search
Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search
Job Search and Success Skills
Applying the Law of Attraction to Your Job Search
today’s job search
job search outsourcing product
Secrets of the Job Hunt social network
jump-start their job search efforts
Does your Job search frustrate you?
new job search engine with a better social network
how to have a successful job search campaign online
many veterans are going back to school
Researching/strategizing a new resume
I have been looking for a full-time job
Getting a job is becoming more difficult than ever
How do you find jobs?
I have put together a list of interview questions
Job search thesis
Job Searches in a Challenging Time
great job-search strategy
take a career assessment
assist women in determining their career path
looking for our next job opportunity
which companies in the area hire people?
use job search to find a suitable job
building, maintaining, and using your professional network in a job search
Being unemployed gives me a large chunk of discretionary time
job search basics from The Ladders
unhappily surprised by the new lay offs this month
use search engine optimization techniques to help find job candidates
spent all morning on the job search
added a Job Search widget on career sites and recruitment micro-sites
more than two million jobs lost
continue my job search..
Take your job search beyond the internet
When I got laid off

Here’s the thing – the purpose of these “pharses” or parts of a conversation – are not to drive more visits to your site so you can sell more widgets or screwdrivers, or whatever your conversion is.    No – when I thought of it that way – I’d get all messed up because if I put any of these phrases back into Google – I’d get nothing much.    Why?

Easy – Google, Yahoo, Ask, and just about every other Search Engine, Semantic Analysis not withstanding, are NOT designed to search for Conversations (though others like TalkDigger, a few years back, might fall into that category, loosely) – Google Search is ….  a bunch of links to content that is ranked according to whatever criteria Google thinks is important today – using whatever other types of search (image, video, podcast, checkout … you fill in the rest) they think you should see when you search on a phrase or question.

That’s all Google is … you might be lucky if you entered “when I got laid off” as a lot of people are getting laid off thesedays  and are sure to write about it .. yet look what Google gives you when you do that…

  1. Laid Off Central — You are not alone……..

    If you have a story relating to being laid off then we want to hear from you! If you got laid off and have some useful information on how you made it – 27k – CachedSimilar pages

  2. Susan Mernit’s Blog: Search Results

    Basically, what meet up does is give you the ability to form a group, like I just got laid off in, and recruit members and have meetings.… – 58k – CachedSimilar pages

  3. Got Laid Off? What To Do When You Lose Your Job

    Maybe you just got laid off. What’s next? Here’s what to do when you lose your job. Job losses are across the board and piling up weekly. I’ve got a. – 64k – CachedSimilar pages

  4. “Just Got Laid Off, Now Looking to Get Laid“: 5 Types of Recession Sex

    Oct 7, 2008 Depression sex No not because you’re depressed mdash because the economy is As in the world is falling apart around. –

Where’s the Conversations?  There aren’t any, because Google is not designed to for searching for Conversations - Google is next to useless ….. but we can go back and use Radian6 or a similar tool, with our refined terms, now.   Reconfiguring the original profile I set up

… you can see just how different what I have now entered –  I’m looking for parts of conversations when someone wrote about “looking for the next opportunity” or “when I got laid off” or “continue my job search” – again – this is not something Google was designed to function well for – and even if you could jimmyrig Google, why bother …. just use a Buzz Monitoring tool designed to search for Conversations – which we’re doing now.

By the way, I tested each of the phrases I put in the profile above, it had to return at least one result in a quick search test, on Radian6, in this case (but SM2 could have done the same exact thing).

Look at the difference of what i get, now …. a bunch of “conversations” I can jump into – maybe to help them, maybe to share information, build Brand (we have a conversation to help, solve a problem, relate, not really to sell … that’s not going to work too well).

Here’s a couple of results I selected from the results out of Radian6:

Life News & Tune
Source:, Posted on: Jan 12, 2009 04:52 PM

… techniques. I will say it is helping me make cold-calls with confidence as I continue my job search. Oh, and the link at the top of this post leads you to…

Comment Count: 0 | Unique Commenters: 0 | Engagement: 0 | Vote Count: 0

Source:, Posted on: Jan 12, 2009 12:56 PM

Monday morning, I have to continue my job search and eat when morning routine is finished. Another long time friend has found me on Facebook

Following: 145 | Followers: 141 | Updates: 2384

RE: **** The Unemployed Bar**** – Page 9 – Corvette Forum
Source:, Posted on: Jan 09, 2009 05:19 PM

…is weekend. Still on unemployment since no work yet. Its been good actually…when I got laid off there was no thought of going back to work. I had too muc…

Forum Thread Size: 766 | Unique Commenters: 766 | Engagement: 7 | Vote Count: 0

Where can I find a list of potential employers for different graduate careers?
Source:, Posted on: Jan 12, 2009 03:10 PM

I am interested in finding out which companies in the area hire people with my degree. Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find a list of companies…

Comment Count: 0 | Unique Commenters: 0 | Engagement: 0 | Vote Count: 0

Nonprofit Industry Expert Lisa M. Dietlin Offers Advice to Job Seekers: Consider a Career in the Nonprofit Sector
Source:, Posted on: Jan 12, 2009 01:16 PM

With economists reporting more than two million jobs lost last year and the unemployment rate rising to a level unseen in a quarter century, nonprofit expe…

Comment Count: 0 | Unique Commenters: 0 | Engagement: 0 | Vote Count: 0

Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I can’t be pretty
Source:, Posted on: Jan 08, 2009 07:05 PM

…ng for a long time and been a mom my whole adult life, it seems. So last year when I got laid off I was left with a sense of I don’t know what to do with m…

Comment Count: 10 | Unique Commenters: 3 | Engagement: 4 | Vote Count: 0

Ok, you get the idea – in every case, you’d have to connect with these people, share, reach out – talk – because this is not about selling Widgets, it’s about building Relationships and Brand.

Results could be spectacular, but it will take time and work, daily – but that’s what Social Media is … and what Search, is not.

We Search, often, when you don’t know exactly  what you want and keep entering terms into the Search Engine  in order to coax it into supplying us with the information we think we want- and the Search Engine tries to figure out what you want and throw you a list …. Social Media is a different animal – that is why Google, Yahoo, Live … are next to useless.

Anyway – my post is just a beginning – once you have the list – you have to figure out what to say – how often to reach out, how much you’ll be permitted to interact (if your working for a Brand) and how quickly you can react (and supply information, if that’s the function) – that’s going to vary depending on what situation your in, where you work, what the attitude to Social Media is in your company, or for yourself – how much work your willing to put into this kind of outreach and conversation building.

However, while Search is not really the same thing as Social Media – it’s related to it – see…..

Caring about your reputation – Gary Vaynerchuk

What Gary Veynerchuk does is similar – though he uses Google Blog Search – which might be another way to do some of this – but i cited Gary because he cares, and he uses Search and Social Media to reach out to people and have conversations – and thereby influences the conversations about him and what he cares about  – which may, end up, selling a ton load more wine than if he didn’t – or get him tons of appearances all over the world which pay him handsomely, because he cares and is a good speaker.

To end this very, very long post, no one really knows for sure how to do Social Media – for all that’s said – this is still a very open process where each person has room to figure out how to do something that works for them, and the answer will be right, if it works.

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7 thoughts on “Social Media Search Engine Optimization Keyword Research”

  1. The old method of advertising is interactive marketing. The term is misleading. Most people think it means that there is some type of interaction on the part of the person advertised to, and there is. But, it is not conversational. Instead, the advertiser wants you to interact with their campaign in a specific set of steps. Following the call to action and visiting a website for instance. It’s the push to make you do something. Live this image. Buy this now.

    Social Media Marketing is just the opposite. It’s the pull of the tribe. The tribe already has your trust so the actions they take are ones you align with. On a larger scale, it’s the allure of belonging in the group as you take action together. “I am doing this so why don’t you do it with me?” On an individual level, the attraction is to behave the same way to get the same results that benefits your fellow tribeswoman or tribesman. “She looks hot! I want to look hot too. I want to go to her hairstylist” and you do. Social Media Marketing uses the power of attraction.

    While advertising tries to use the same tactic, with a billboard for instance, of a gorgeous woman telling you the benefits of the salon, it doesn’t have the same impact because it’s pushing you to go. It is not pulling you in as a trusted friend. Your friends have your best interests at heart and advertisers do not. Social Media Marketing is based on building trust and that foundation will make Social Media a dominant player in Marketing.

  2. Thanks for the post. There’s some really useful information in here.

    I agree that social media marketing is the way forward, but hopefully not in an intrusive and negative way. It is all about having a conversation and connecting customers and businesses, something smaller companies are possibly better placed to do without getting bogged down in the traditional idea of a marketing campaign.

  3. Hi Marshall:

    “…once you have the list – you have to figure out what to say – how often to reach out, how much you’ll be permitted to interact (if your working for a Brand) and how quickly you can react (and supply information, if that’s the function) – that’s going to vary depending on what situation your in, where you work, what the attitude to Social Media is in your company, or for yourself – how much work your willing to put into this kind of outreach and conversation building.”

    You really hit this on the head here. Community outreach and building relationships through social media is labor intensive and time consuming, but incredibly rewarding. It’s great that you pointed this part out because – while the information is valuable – it’s what you do with it once you find it that really counts.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of Radian6, too. We’re always glad to hear that the platform is helpful.

    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community | Radian6

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