Real estate marketing coach Jason Pantana posted this week on the importance of keywords in social media posts—specifically platforms like Instagram and TikTok. 

To be clear, no one is suggesting you load up on keywords and hope the algorithm uses one or more of them to feed your content to the right audience. That’s called “keyword stuffing,” and, just like Google, Instagram doesn’t like it. 

Keyword stuffing is not a strategy. It’s a scattershot replacement for keyword research. And if you’ve been in real estate (or social media marketing) long enough, you know that approach doesn’t cut it. 

Take it from the experts we’ve rounded up for this post. There’s a right way to use keywords on social media. 

And while the rules can vary from one platform to another, some are more or less universal. 

Instagram SEO & Keywords

First, we’ve got Instagram growth coach Brock Johnson sharing his top tips for SEO and keywords on Instagram. He also explains how AI has impacted the algorithm’s ability to analyze images and captions, leading to its new rule restricting the use of hashtags. 

Here are Johnson’s four strategies for choosing the right keywords for your Instagram post:

  1. Leverage ChatGPT (using a prompt provided by Johnson) 
  2. Use AnswerThePublic.com
  3. Try KeywordTool.io
  4. Explore SEMRush.com 

He also covers how to use keywords to get the best results. Watch the full video for more. 

Brianna of Paige Social posted a carousel explaining why not to hide keywords inside your Instagram Reel. She explains what she means by that, how the Instagram algorithm reacts to “keyword stuffing,” and what to do instead to reach more of your audience with your content.  

During BAM Pro Bowl on February 7, Nashville Realtor and content creator Marie Lee gave a detailed presentation on how to optimize your Instagram profile—which, of course, involves keywords. 

The full Pro Bowl replay is available on BAMx

TikTok Keyword Strategy

We found a couple of videos specific to TikTok keyword strategy (and there are plenty more where those came from). And while there’s some overlap, the point here is to drive home what works, so you can save time and get more attention from the right audience. 

Marketer, entrepreneur, and NY Times bestselling author Neil Patel begins his overview of TikTok keyword strategy with a stat worth keeping in mind: 

“40% of Gen Z users prefer to use TikTok/Instagram over Google Search.” 

He then breaks down the following steps to make sure your TikTok presence is fully optimized for SEO:

  1. Understand your audience and their search intent.
  2. Select the right keywords for your video
  3. Define your hashtag strategy
  4. Review your performance

Watch the full breakdown for more (it’ll take less than five minutes): 

Jack from Kapwing prefaces his advice with a reminder that TikTok is more than a social media platform; it’s also a search engine. And since keyword tools like SEMRush aren’t yet able to scrap TikTok effectively for keywords, the best place to start looking for them is on TikTok itself. 

Here are a few steps you can take to identify the best keywords for your next TikTok video: 

  • Ask yourself, “What is this video actually about?” 
  • Answer that question with one word or a short phrase (your starting point)
  • Open up TikTok and type your primary keyword/phrase into the search field
  • Look through TikTok’s auto-generated list of suggestions and choose those that best fit your video. 
  • You can also click on one of those suggestions and scroll down to “Others searched for” to find other potential keywords for your post. 

Sure, you can probably think of some of these on your own, but this way you know what TikTok users are actually searching for. From there, Jack offers some tips on how to use the keywords you’ve chosen: 

  • Include them in your video (script and auto-captions)
  • Use keywords with the text feature
  • Use keywords in your post caption and hashtags
  • Use keywords in the comments

Watch the full video for more. 

Judging by the content included in this post, keywords still (very much) matter in 2024, and that isn’t likely to change. Algorithms on every platform still depend on them to categorize your social media content and push it to the right audience. 

It’s also worth noting that both Instagram and TikTok, as well as YouTube, are utilized as search engines. And a significant share of users prefer one or more of them to Google. 

To get a sense of just how big a role AI is playing in all this, check out the BAM Pro Bowl replay in BAMx to hear about some jaw-dropping innovations described by Neel Dhingra and Jason Pantana