How to Use SEMrush to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

How to Use SEMrush to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

By: Lexi
Updated: December 28, 2020

100+ Hours Using Semrush

40+ Websites Monitored

5 Tools Featured

20 Industry Experts Consulted

Think of the last time you've ever read a newspaper and thought of buying products in their printed ads—it's been a while, hasn't it? Gone are the days of centerfold advertisements plastered in magazines and newspapers. Digital marketing is the new kid on the block that will help your business grow.

Digital advertising is a marketing strategy that primarily uses digital media through the internet, social media platforms, and videos. Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising can let you track ads, interact with the community, personalize ads, and reach users globally. And the best medium for digital marketing? SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

Why businesses shouldn't overlook social media

Social media advertising provides quality traffic to your business, helping you sell more to your target market. Although social media platforms are beneficial to marketers, they aren't just a one-stop source for companies to market their content. Social media platforms are more than that. They're a virtual community for users willing to engage with one another.

The key benefits of social media advertising:

  • Access to quality traffic. Whether your company's primary medium of transactions is through your website or new retail, social media channels can help you gain traffic. Social media links to your site help a new audience discover your brand's website. It's important to note that backlinks from your social media pages are non-ranking backlinks.
  • Excellent source of user-generated content (UGC). More and more businesses nowadays use UGC for marketing. UGC's provide new and existing audiences a reason to remember and choose your brand. In turn, your company gets a new and unique free promotion from users. There are different types of UGC. They can be blog posts, product reviews, or pictures posted by users who use your product.
  • Increased brand awareness and community engagement through the use of influencers. Influencers are users that live and create content on social media. This content drives existing and new audiences to products used by influencers they follow. The best thing about influencer marketing is that influencers know who they're marketing to. Influencers know what posts their followers want, and from the audience's perspective, the content looks authentic and trustworthy.

The SEMrush Social Media Toolkit and Its Application

How SEMrush can benefit business owners

SEMrush is a software suite that provides marketing tools to improve site traffic and give business owners insights. This software helps users run digital marketing easier by using SEO tools like pay-per-click, keyword research, and competitive research. It also helps run campaigns by using content marketing, social media management, marketing insights, and campaign management. Listed below are the benefits a business owner can take advantage of to help market their business better.

Benefits of using SEMrush:

  • Marketing insights are available to your arsenal for your digital marketing campaign. SEMrush uses an advanced keyword research tool to help you choose the right keywords to get better organic search results. As we already know, ranking high in search results yields more traffic to your website.
  • Traffic analytics that monitors changes to both your and your competitors' website. Studying competitors and learning how they compete is a content marketing tactic that will give you vital insights about their success (or lack thereof) and help you trounce their traffic and redirect it to you.
  • SEMrush can audit your website so you can be aware of the issues that hinder your traffic. They prioritize pointing out technical mistakes with AMP implementation, loading speed, meta tags, crawlability, and more.
  • Backlink analysis will help you find relevant websites to use. SEMrush gives you access to tools that analyze a domain's page authority, organic and paid search traffic, monthly visits, and relevant keywords. Their backlink analysis tool also helps you audit your existing website for referring domains and a page's backlink toxicity score.

And that's just scratching the surface of the SEMrush tool's versatility. Not listed is one of the most important tools they have in their arsenal—their social media toolkit.

Here's how you can get started with the SEMrush Social Media Toolkit.

If you're already logged in to your SEMrush account, you can select Social Media on the left menu. The Toolkit will then appear. Click on the "Get Started" button. You then have to select the project (one of your websites) that you want to manage and track social profiles for.

For this example, I've chosen one of the newer brands I'm working with. They've got a long way to go in terms of social media, and this toolkit will be very helpful in giving their engagement the boost they need.

Once you've selected the project, you can then choose which social network to connect to. Each social network has different features available, as listed in the image below. For now, I'll only be connecting to the Facebook page. Make sure you already have a social media page set up before you do this!

You'll have to log into your Facebook account and allow SEMrush access.

You'll be able to check what SEMrush will have access to you on your chosen social media profile. I didn't opt to turn any of these off, as it may effect SEMrush's performance.

If the linking is successful, the two messages below will appear.

After clicking "Select pages to manage," I was then directed to the page below. At a glance you can see what the toolkit has to offer. We'll get into the details in the next section of this blog post.


A real-world use case of SEMrush Social Media Toolkit

If your business is having trouble engaging with its audience, SEMrush's social media toolkit will help and teach you how. Their social media toolkit is an all-in-one program that combines different tools used by successful content marketing strategies.

The social media toolkit SEMrush offers comes with three main tools embedded in their social media dashboard. These are:


Social Media Tracker

As the name suggests, Social Media Tracker helps you track your and your competitors' page growth and community engagement. By monitoring and analyzing your competitors' social media account, you can use the gathered data to incorporate marketing strategies to your audience.

This tool makes listening to your audience hassle-free by giving you suggestions on what tone of voice you should use on posts and what type of content your business might need. SEMrush also provides users with a UTM builder to know if your website traffic is coming from your social media marketing campaign, making it easier to understand when to schedule posts.

The social media toolkit also specifies trackers per platform.

  • For Facebook, the Social Media Toolkit provides analytics about your Facebook audience's age, gender, location demographics, and top activity time. Their analytics also present new followers, post reach, post engagement, and the total engagement rate.
  • For Twitter, they track twitter-exclusive analytics such as; mentioners, mentions, and retweets. With these insights, you can easily monitor your brand reputation and brand awareness.
  • For Instagram, they compare your Instagram Business page against competitors. They provide comparisons for: follower engagement, followers gained and lost, and hashtags your competitors use that you might benefit from.
  • For Pinterest, they analyze your individual pins' performance, your engagement rate, saves, and comments. They also provide insight into growth trends your business might delve into.

You can see Social Media Tracker underneath the Social Media Option.

Overview

The first thing you see after clicking it will be the Overview. In social channels, you can see all the social media platforms you are linked to, with the most important metrics. For top content, you get a glance of which posts are doing well on which platforms in terms of engagement. Comparison with competitors, on the other hand, will show you the metrics of your page compared with your competitors, IF you have any linked.

In case you haven't added any competitors yet, you just need to click the "Add competitors" button beneath the comparison with competitors section.

You will be taken to a different page where you can add at least 20 competitors. Click the blue "Add competitor" button (yes, more buttons to press).

Then all you need to do will be to add the companies and associated social profiles of your competitors, and you're done! It should look like below.

When you go back to the Social Media Tracker overview, it should look like this, depending on the number of competitors you've added.

Posts

Aside from the Overview, you can go through each social media channel you've linked to SEMrush. For this, only Facebook has data since it's the only one that's connected. Upon clicking the Facebook tab, I select the Posts option. This provides me with the top posts for my Facebook page ranked by engagement, engagement rate, reactions, shares and comments.

From this, I can see which Facebook posts are doing well, so I can make more of the similar type depending on what metric I'm after. I can also see which ones are a bit meh, so more research should be done on how those can be improved.

Aside from that, selecting my competitors from the Company dropdown will let me see THEIR posts. Thus, I can replicate the ones that are doing well on their page!

Audience

Next is the Audience option. This focuses on page likes, comparisons to previous date ranges, and how they've grown over time. You'll be able to assess specific dates where the likes and engagement have fluctuated, and what could be the possible cause. Another thing you can do is compare the page likes trend with your activity and see whether you need to be less or more active on your page.

Activity

Next up is the Activity option. The first thing you will see will be the most important metrics: how many posts you've made for this month compared to the previous month, how many are you doing per day, and how your posts have grown. These metrics are usually compared with page likes and engagement. 

Scroll down a bit and you will see my favorite section! You can see how published posts are performing, when they are published, and when people engage with them. From the numbers below, you can see that videos get the most engagement so the page should definitely post more. Next, you can see that most engagements happened on Friday, so the page would benefit from checking what was posted on that day, and how that can be done again.

Beneath that is publishing trend, and a comparison to competitors. There were less posts on the second half of December, compared to the competitor which still had a lot of posts during that time of the month. Looking into other metrics, you might be able to figure out if you missed on possible engagement, and set a plan to avoid that next time with a more balanced social media calendar.

Engagement

We then move on to the Engagement option. At the top are the most important metrics, which show how you are doing in terms of engagement and how it has grown over the past few months. You can also see what type of engagement you are getting and see which areas need improvement.

You can also see how your engagement trend is doing compared to competitors. From this, you can deduce that it was one post that drove the engagement, which means that you need to improve your social media plan to have more posts like that. You can also check what your competitor posted on the days they had the most engagement so you can replicate it.

Hashtags

The Hashtags option shows you the different hashtags you have used over time. This list comes with metrics on which hashtags typically get the most engagement, and in how many posts have you used them. Selecting your competitor from the Company dropdown will let you spy on what hashtags they have been benefiting from, and any opportunities you can take advantage of.

Insights

Lastly, we have the Insights option. This used to be built into the Social Media webpage, but now they have an entirely separate Analytics page which has more detailed information. Click "Go to the new Analytics."

Social Media Analytics shows you a very visual representation of the data you can get from your chosen social media channel's analytics. It simplifies the data so you can get what you need in just a few seconds. Below, you can see how it makes the job so much easier compared to having to go through rows of numbers. I actually prefer this over Facebook's built-in analytics.

And that's it for Social Media Tracker! It's just the first feature of the SEMrush Social Media Toolkit and we've already covered so much. Now, let's see what the other features are.


Social Media Poster

Even if you have the data on reaching your audience better, you might not know how to use it efficiently. With the Social Media Poster, you gain access to a content calendar that'll help you write and schedule your posts to Facebook business pages, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn in a single easy-to-use platform.

Their Social Media Poster specifies features per platform, which are:

  • For Facebook, they give out a variety of tools on a primarily post-based website. You can access various scheduling and publishing options to let you post multiple or single posts in one click. You can publish evergreen content regularly. The Poster also gives you the power to schedule videos, create drafts, queue posts, and preview posts. If that isn't enough for you, they also suggest the optimal time for scheduled posts and boost your most engaging post using Facebook's ad campaign.
  • For Instagram, their tool is limited to scheduling posts. The posts need to be published manually. The upside to this is that they conveniently email you the post contents and instructions. Other than that, the tool gives you the same plethora of options Facebook scheduling has.
  • For Twitter, they give you the same options listed above plus twitter-exclusive post options, such as an easy-to-use daft manager and a retweet scheduler.
  • For Pinterest, the tool lets you schedule and manage pins, access boards, organize scheduled pins, generate new ideas, and curate content for growing trends.

The first thing you will see on the Social Medial Poster will be the Calendar. At the top, you have buttons for individual posting and bulk posting. On the Calendar itself, you can see which days have posts and what those posts are.

Clicking the individual posting button will lead you to this web page. It's pretty much the same as what you can see on your Facebook page, with a few extras. You can add it to your queue of scheduled posts, wherein SEMrush will select a time for you. You can also see what time fans are usually online. A preview for desktop and mobile will appear on the right. Once you're done, you can immediately schedule another. I honestly find this a lot more convenient than Facebook's scheduler, considering all the changes they've made to the platform.

I personally like the bulk posting feature, as it lets me upload a CSV with all my planned posts on different channels. Your CSV file will contain columns for the content, date, time and channel, which is very convenient if you'll be posting the same content on different social media platforms. Unfortunately, this will only work for text posts as it does not support media like pictures or videos.

In the Queue section, you can see what is queued for the day. SEMrush will prepare time slots based on the times most of your audience is online. You can click each slot to schedule a post for each time. Another convenient thing about this is how you can drag and drop posts to other schedules, making rescheduling hassle free.

Under Posts, you will see what you have published, scheduled, boosted and drafted. You can also see any errors you need to address. You can even boost posts in this section,

Finally, we have content ideas, which is my favorite part of the Social Media Poster. You'll be able to generate ideas for your social media content from relevant blogs, feeds, and other resources you have chosen.

Clicking the "Add feed" button will let you add at least 5 websites or RSS feeds based on your provided URLs.

It will immediately collate a list of great content that gets a lot of traffic from the feeds you have added! You can then cook up posts to add on your social media calendar on different platforms,


Social Media Ads

The latest offering in their Social Media Toolkit is their Social Media Ads tool. Social Media Ads' primary use case is streamlining the creation of ad campaigns for Facebook and Instagram. This tool also helps you monitor your ads' performance, the strong points of your campaigns, and how to optimize ads better.

The tool also gives an option to use Dynamic UTMs to track ads better in Google Analytics. With their Dynamic UTM, you can analyze ads' overall success rates from Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.  Their quick UTM tool helps you automatically generate UTMs with all the data you've given them. With this, you can get insights on page bounce rate and the cost efficiency of purchased ads.

To get started with the tool, you'd have to connect SEMrush with your ad account. This is similar to what we did earlier.

Ad creation on native Facebook can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Although still in the beta stage, this feature of SEMrush simplifies how we create ads, which will be a huge help to anyone new to digital marketing. It even highlights ads that need improvement based on their own criteria.

You have the option of creating campaigns, reviewing and monitoring performance, and even setting up a funnel. The process is a bit more complicated compared to the other features we discussed, so this will require a separate blog post. Don't worry, because I'll be posting that one, soon!


Final Verdict: Should You Use SEMrush for your Social Media Plan?

Subscribing to SEMrush can be challenging for small businesses. Their monthly price could be too pricey and yield too little results when not used to its full potential. But thankfully, as of press time, their Social Media Toolkit is accessible to free users, albeit quite limited. Users with free subscriptions get restricted profiles for tracking, posting, and scheduled posts.

Most of SEMrush's tools can be found on different websites, though some have fewer data to work with. And the scheduling feature the toolkit boasts of can be done by using the platform's website instead. But if you value your time and have funds for marketing, it's recommended to use SEMrush as their toolkit is best in business for now.

The benefits of using SEMrush in your marketing strategy is too much to pass up. Even with a free subscription, you'll still get an edge from using it. You can always go for a paid account later on if you want to try more of what SEMrush has to offer on their higher plans. But remember, the tools above are just a helping hand for you to take advantage of. Using the best-in-class toolkit won't help you if you don't plan and strategize your marketing strategy. However, if used correctly, you can boost your reach and sales even with minimal investment.

Lexi
December 28, 2020
Lexi

Lexi helps scale e-commerce businesses through world-class content writing, digital marketing, and more. You can reach here through her LinkedIn.