Cool Social Media Tool for 2016: Answer the Public

After years of not using LinkedIn, 2015 was the year that charged into using the platform on a consistent basis. I followed thought leaders, read blog posts, congratulated colleagues and former students who received promotions and new jobs, and cleaned up my profile.

One of the people I follow on LinkedIn is my Twitter friend, James S. Walker. He’s one of the smartest people I know who is working in the PR digital and social space, and he never leads me to a wrong place. He is how I ended up at Answer the Public.

The genius of Answer the Public is the simple visualisations of keyword and search data that can prompt your content creation and can help you identify the needs, wants, motivations, and behaviors of your audiences.

The creators did some coding witchcraft / magic that produces “a one-pager that could be shared to prompt a conversation on how you could start answering your public better. By creating content that’s useful, funny or inspiring.”

It’s beyond simple. Type in a simple term and a region of the world in which you are interested, and the website churns out very simple, easy-to-read charts that display ideas related to the auto-complete terms search engines and people are using.

I gave it a whirl a few times. When I used the term “graduate school” within the US region, I received this preposition visualization:


As a former graduate director, I can imagine mining the graphic to create web content that would attract students who are thinking about graduate school, curious about the process, and scared of what graduate school entails.

As James noted in his LinkedIn post,

It’s not a cure all, but it can help you think of a different angle to take when generating content. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to dig into Twitter search,Google Keyword Planner and even Quora when you’re in search of content ideas.

May great ideas flow your way!

Try it and see what good things come your way.