How to use Google Alerts in your SMM Content Planning

How to Use Google Alerts in Your Social Media Content Planning

Social media management sounds very challenging when people who have zero knowledge about the job first hear it. And they are correct- it is indeed challenging in so many ways.

In social media management, you have to learn various aspects of how to gauge the social channels of a client to ultimately drive connections, increase social media presence, and most importantly to gain conversions.

But social media managers do not become social media managers overnight. They train for weeks, study trends in marketing strategies and social media, create content and even captions for posts.

But sometimes, the demands of the position can be draining. Social media managers also face problems in coming up with ideas about what to post, how they can create appealing content, and what kind of approach they should take to stay relevant to their target audience.

They also experience what writers call ‘writer’s block’ which is a condition where the author is finding it hard to produce or continue working on something due to creative slowdown. Social media managers also encounter a slowdown in their creative side.

The Tedious Task of Content Planning

Social Media Content Planning

A content plan is where a social media manager (SMM) crafts at least a month-worth of social and blog posts. It’s most likely in a calendar form, indicating the social media platforms, what kind of content to be posted (image, video, carousel image sets, blogs, quotes, etc), the date and time when to best publish them.

But there are at least 30 days in a month and generating content daily is a crazy task! Other clients provide resources for postings but most of them are business owners and their daily lives are always jam-packed with meetings, inventories, and other business management tasks.

generating content daily

Source: Urgemedia

Source: Business2Community

If an SMM has multiple clients, content planning can be even crazier. This is why finding all the possible ways to minimize content planning lifts a great burden from a social media manager.

One useful tool that is absolutely free has been in front of freelancers all along: Google Alerts!

How to Utilize Google Alerts in Social Media Content Planning

Google Alerts is a helpful feature from Google that is free- all you’ll need to have is a working Gmail and you can start receiving these useful alerts!

How does it work? Simple: Google will send you a set of related articles, news, and posts generated from the keyword of your selection.

All relevant content alerts related to the keywords you selected available in Google will then be sent to your Gmail. But before receiving those emails, here are the necessary things you need to prepare:

Determining a specific Gmail account to receive the alerts

It’s important to dedicate a specific Gmail for the alerts to ensure you will be able to monitor all of them accordingly. It will be difficult to assign the alerts to an email that receives most of your subscription alerts from various social media and shopping sites.

Identifying the keywords relevant for the client’s niche

By finding the correct keywords that are related to the niche of your client, generating content becomes easier. For example, if the client’s niche is about stocks investment or investing money in general, you can select the keywords:

  • Investing
  • Stocks Investment
  • Forex Trade
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds

Google is smart enough to generate great articles, news, tweets, posts, and updates available on the internet about these specific keywords. It’s very important to determine this to ensure the accuracy of the related sources the alerts will generate.

Finding the right keywords before setting up the Google alerts will also help filter irrelevant sources that will only become a nuisance during the scanning process of the results of the alert.

Choosing the target locations

The location or countries the client wants to target is important as well. It helps Google alerts in filtering the relevance of the contents from the keywords you chose.

The location will also minimize the list and make sure you are getting the correct news and articles relevant to the country where your target audiences are located.

For example, if the client wants to target people from Australia and New Zealand, then the alerts must be set up with these tier locations. This way, you can rest assured that the list of Google alert results is something audiences from these target locations can relate to.

Remember that the reason social media has become the most powerful communication and marketing platform is because of how it can relate to the majority of the population who are often busy and moving.

Selecting the Frequency of the Google Alerts

To be honest, Google alerts frequency may be minor but it’s important to understand its relevance. Setting up the alerts is supposed to help SMMs speed up their research process and forgetting to pay attention to how often you should receive the alerts can slow down the process.

There are three selections for the alert frequency:

three selections for the alert frequency

It’s highly encouraged to just select ‘At most once a week’ so all the good related sources from a whole week are already available for generation. It will also be easier for the SMMs to scan the emails they will receive from Google Alert. Sometimes job openings related to a keyword will appear and they are totally unrelated and are only nuisance results.

SMMs to scan the emails

Selecting ‘As-it-happens’ is going to flood your mailbox, making it harder to scan the results useful for your content plan.

Setting Up Your Google Alerts

It’s not complicated to set up your Google alerts! Once you’re done with the first 4 things to do, you’re now ready to set up your alerts.

  • Open your Chrome browser or open Google web on your browser (Safari, Firefox, Explorer). Log in your assigned Gmail where you’re expecting to receive the alerts weekly.
  • Input the keywords you’ve chosen. You can do it in two ways:
  1. Simply type the keyword inside the search box
keyword inside the search box
  1. You may also use ‘intitle:keyword’. This identifies the titles of articles and news better but the first one is already reliable
  • Select ‘At most once a week’ for the frequency and ‘Only the best results’ for the number of alerts to be sent. Do not change the sources so you can maximize everything relevant for the niche.
  • Select the target location where the audiences are located.
target location
  • You can create multiple alerts for the same keyword with different locations to ensure all the sources are available once the push notifications arrive. Google will also prompt you if the same alert already exists, in case you doubled the entry.
  • Finally, select the email address where you’ll receive the weekly alerts and click ‘Create Alert’ and you’re all set!

Incorporating the Alert Results in Your Content Plan

With the research for the latest updates, trends, and news about the business niche, it’s easier for social media managers to come up with possible content and article inspiration they’ll publish online.

Incorporating the Alert Results in Your Content Plan

This content post was successfully generated via Google alert

Reading or researching news about a topic related to the business that you must know and post about is time-consuming.

But with Google sending you all the resources you need, you can easily get access to them in just one click. No need to do manual research plus, it gives you the best results from trusted online sources.

Google sending you all the resources you need

There are also a lot of reports from various industries that will be available in the email Google sends you. This way, you can utilize them by either using them as references in your blogs, captions, and even image posts.

The emails are also organized and you can easily identify which ones to visit first:

emails are also organized

No More Creative Slowdown During Content Planning

No More Creative Slowdown During Content Planning

With the help of Google Alerts, the burden of research on the part of a social media manager is lessened. It is also a good practice to read and learn how to scan the headlines and titles inside a Google Alert Email.

Additionally, one can rest assured that these results are the best ones. Remember that these published online sources are also well-thought and researched. Getting inspiration for social media posts, articles, podcasts, or whatever you’re currently working from these alerts means they are relevant to the current trends and market demands.

It’s tedious work to come up with fresh content with modern aesthetics. Aside from that, posts also have to be something your audience can connect with once viewed online.

At the end of the day, catching people’s attention on social media and converting them to potential customers or retaining your previous customers’ loyalty is already very difficult online and relieving yourself from the time-consuming research activity.


Try to utilize Google Alerts so that the burden of creative or writer’s block can be lifted from your list of worries as a social media manager.

Do you have any tips for automating the process of content planning for social media managers and even content writers? Why not share that with Home Based Online Work for Pinoy’s Only (HOWPO) by commenting below?

You may also read HOWPO’s basic tips in building an Instagram professional profile for aspiring Social Media Managers. Happy freelancing!

Eunice Buenaventura

By passion and profession, Eunice is a content writer, ESL teacher, and social media manager.

Eunice worked in Accenture and Nestlé Business Services where she gained experience in content moderation, process training, customer service, and eContent asset management. Her passion for English and marketing landed her part-time writing jobs while working in a corporate office.

She discovered ESL Teaching that same year she started content writing and soon realized that it’s also something she wanted to pursue. She left her corporate job to become a freelance writer and ESL teacher.

Eunice has grown a network of clients in her content writing and ESL teaching career. Eunice consistently widens her expertise in marketing by learning new skills. She just started her career as a social media manager for clients abroad and in the Philippines.

You may check some of Eunice’s works on

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