The Social Network: Unlock the Social Toolbox
Keywords are the "key" (pun intended) to a host of things regarding marketing because they provide clues to behavior and preferences. Identifying keywords traditionally becomes essential as businesses focus on search engine optimization for their websites or prior to an investment in pay-per-click advertising. But keywords are just as important when it comes to social media marketing, and their proper use should be a core strategy.
Social media puts the conversations people are having about the products you sell, the types of services your business provides and the brands you offer out in the open for you to find. It's right-here-right-now information in raw form, affording you the opportunity to learn about your audience so you can effectively target them. Beyond that, it's important to study how people's behavior varies across different social platforms so you can adapt your approach as well.
Where to begin?
Identify general terms associated with your business. You'll have an idea of what many of them are, as they're likely the expressions you use in your marketing materials. If you have a corporate website, take some time to examine your Google Analytics to see what words and phrases are directing people to your site. Become your own customer and conduct a search on Google for a product you sell or a service you provide. As you type in the search box, watch how the autocomplete feature anticipates your search term. Take note of the words or phrases that populate as options, as they've more than likely been searched before. Throughout this process, be careful not to automatically assume that how people search on Google is how they'd use social media to search for answers and service providers or communicate needs—but it's a good starting point.
Take those keywords and phrases to the social space.