27 Dec 2021 Business Insights

How to Use Keyword Research With Social Listening

Long gone are the days of posting a few tweets or Facebook posts and hoping something pops. Today, travel brands need to have a watertight social media strategy based on knowledge built from in-depth research about their audiences.

From meeting the customer’s needs to providing answers to their questions and monitoring engagement, social media marketing is woven into the fabric of the broader marketing landscape. And the best strategies focus on keywords to find and interact with the most relatable audiences.

Keywords will inform you about what to publish and how to maximise reach. Knowing what people will search for before they do it lets you stay one step ahead and build brand awareness while gaining more customers.

Why use keyword research for social media? ⌨️

You have probably come across keyword research before. It helps with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and using the right keywords can bring plenty of organic traffic your way — whether it’s for a blog post or trying to get your primary web pages featured on search engine results.

Yet many still don’t consider using keywords when they’re trying to build an audience on social media, even though the principles are the same as ranking for website content. People search on social media just as they do on Google, and, in an ideal world, your profile will show up in relevant results across social platforms.

As soon as someone types a search word into a social media platform, the algorithm looks for keywords to determine which profiles are displayed on the results page. Most social media platforms also remember searches and recommend content based on your previous queries.

For example, Instagram will keep showing you images based on your search results, along with pictures you have previously liked. So it’s vital that you perform social media keyword research and start ranking for relevant results.

How to research keywords for social media #️⃣

Finding keywords suitable to the travel industry is reasonably straightforward, even in the social media landscape, though it is pretty broad. Fortunately, several tools let you find and test words that match your brand so you can improve the chances of ranking on social media algorithms.

Google Analytics

The primary keyword research function, Google Analytics is the de-facto tool for sourcing keywords. However, some marketing teams are unaware of how to create bespoke reports focused on social media.

By going to the “source” tab in your Google Analytics dashboard, you can send specialised reports to your team that let them know how campaigns around keywords perform. You can also view past campaigns and analyse what has and hasn’t worked previously.


Moz is an in-depth SEO toolset with plenty of bells and whistles attached, including its keyword explore function. Using Moz can give you more insight into the type of keywords your brand should rank for, helping you build an effective strategy in the process.


SEMrush has grown in popularity over the years, offering an in-depth keyword analysis that lets you optimise your research. If, for example, you’re a travel brand specialising in safaris, you can see how all relevant keywords perform and what other brands are doing to win with their content. Consequently, you can start creating content to rival those brands and increase your chance of ranking higher in search engines.

Keyword types to look out for 🅿️

Keyword types to look out for

Using tools like social listening helps you determine the keywords people search. Keywords are typically associated with either one primary word or a max of three words. However, long-tail keywords have grown in popularity over the last few years and are now more routinely used to find the right keywords that can improve your rankings.

Where regular keyword searches place more of an emphasis on short-tail keywords, social listening tools monitor actual conversations. The result is language variations that reflect longer search terms, giving you a better idea of your audience’s needs.

Monitoring the competition 👀

All types of keyword research involve monitoring your competitors, but doing it on social media can really help give you an edge. These days, there is more access to social media data than in previous years. This allows you to analyse and discover the best-performing content in your travel niche.

Once you have an idea of the areas where your competitors perform well, you can aim to better their content by creating more in-depth and insightful posts. Using data to monitor competitors provides complete insight into trends, the performance of posts and content reach. As a result, you get an overview of the entire landscape.

Benefits of social media keywords

The aim is to keep track of emerging trends across the web and be part of meaningful conversations. Finding the right keywords is the first part of achieving better social results. But monitoring those keywords and knowing what your audience is talking about will also help you adapt. Being the first to respond to a conversation picking up steam could be the difference between your travel brand being seen as a thought leader or trying to hop on the tail of an emerging trend. The best brands are proactive rather than reactive. And researching social media keywords is a great way to shape the dialogue.