B2B Marketers, stop guessing and start monitoring! Social Media, that is. By monitoring social communities, you can better understand where conversations are taking place, by whom, and the topics being discussed. Learn more about your customers’ needs, wants, issues and frustrations – then integrate these findings into your search marketing program. This can help strengthen your brand and improve overall online performance.
Here are 4 tips on how to start integrating social media monitoring into your search strategy:
1. Utilize social media monitoring tools
Social monitoring tools allow you to track conversations, authors, type of platforms (blogs, wikis, social networks, video sharing sites, etc.), demographics, geo-graphics, keyword tags, and more.
There are many different social monitoring tools that have various options and price ranges. To narrow the lengthy list, here are a few tools I recommend you explore further: Radian6, Techrigy, Trackur, and BuzzMetrics from Nielsen. At minimum, free tools like Google Reader or Google Alerts should be utilized to monitor basic mentions within news and blog sites.
2. Analyze social keyword tags
Understand the types of keyword tags people actually apply to social mentions, like blog posts or social bookmarks. This data will enhance your keyword targeting strategy for both SEO and PPC.
Search marketers have the ability to analyze search volume and searcher behavior through keyword research tools and web analytics. Now, with the integration of social media monitoring, keyword targeting can be even more fine-tuned.
I recommend that you analyze the specific words and phrases that your audience uses in social communities when discussing your products, services, solutions and issues. Then, integrate these words and phrases into your page titles, website content, PPC campaigns and ad copy.
3. Gain customer insights
Your customers and prospects are discussing their needs, wants, frustrations and problems. If you listen, you can learn a lot about how to improve your website and your search marketing program.
For example, are customers posting messages indicating that they can’t find product information? If so, maybe you need to enhance your website navigation, re-organize content, or create additional content to make product literature more accessible.
Are customers and prospects looking for tutorials or demos? It may be time to make your websites more interactive by including videos and interactive product demos.
Are prospects blogging about how you compare to the competitors? This could be an indication that you should add a comparison chart to your website, possibly promote through SEO and PPC keyword targeting.
You can also proactively respond to social conversations through search marketing channels.
- PPC ads and landing pages can be written to specifically address problems and concerns and can lead frustrated customers to your recommended solutions or actions.
- SEO programs can be modified to incorporate popular social language into page headings and copy/text.
- Marketers can create link bait content, discussing typical problems and frustrations. Post blogs as teasers to this content, then link to the full page on your site. Others will do the same if it’s relevant, useful content.
4. Better focus local and regional search programs
Some social media monitoring tools allow you to track where conversations and social mentions originate. This should be integrated with your Web Analytics data to improve search marketing targeting strategies.
Companies can use this geographic data to understand which regions are most active in social conversations. For instance, you may discover numerous blog posts related to your solutions coming from France. Does this align with your PPC targeting and budgeting strategy? Your SEO priorities?
By analyzing social media geographic data you can refine your search marketing targeting strategy. This can be accomplished at the country, state, metro, city, or even the neighborhood level.
Proactively integrate social insights into search marketing
As marketers continue to tap into social communities it’s essential to proactively integrate the gained insights into your search marketing strategy.
Specifically, to get started, you should take these four steps: 1) utilize social monitoring tools, 2) analyze keyword tags, 3) gain customer insights from market conversations, and 4) improve your local targeting and budget allocation process.
Listen and learn!
Capitalize on the benefits of social monitoring to improve the effectiveness of your search marketing program.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.