Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of social media networks to manage and grow an organization’s message and online presence. As a digital marketing strategy, social media optimization can be used to increase awareness of new products and services, connect with customers, and ameliorate potential damaging news.
For several years, search engine optimization (SEO) was the standard for digital marketing efforts. While social media optimization and search engine optimization have similar goals–to generate web traffic and increase awareness for a company’s website–search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine, especially Google.
Social media optimization often directs the public from social media platforms to the company’s website, where more information can be provided. For example, a campaign to raise awareness about a new car on social media may direct the visitor to a company web page that provides information about where local dealerships are located and how to schedule a test drive.
Research has shown that about 50% of companies that struggle with SEO are also not integrating social media marketing. But ensuring that SEO and social work together is non-trivial. Teams need to work shoulder to shoulder with the understanding that search engine optimization and social media optimization techniques go hand-in-hand.
There’s no doubt that social media optimization is important, but how can you go about optimizing your presence on social so that you improve your reach? Here are a few SMO tips that might help.
Where do your prospects and customers hang out when they’re online? In their personal lives, they might take to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. However, when they’re using social media for work, they’re more likely to be found on sites like LinkedIn or Stack Exchange. You do need to choose the right platforms for your audience, then double down on your efforts and optimize your presence in those areas.
The next step is to perform a competitive analysis. You want to figure out how you fair against your competitors. How much social media engagement do you see vs. them? What types of social content are working (or not working) for your competitors or other industry leaders? To do this, you can utilize the Content Exploration Tool inside of your Alexa Advanced Account. Input the websites of competitors into the Content Exploration tool to see which of their articles get the highest engagement. You can also perform a content gap analysis on your social media sites to see which topics are not getting attention.
When you comprehend your audience, as well as gain some insight into the competition, it’s time to build a clearly defined strategy to help you reach your goals. A strategy is a keystone of social media optimization, also 50% of businesses have said that a lack of strategy is a top barrier from becoming a social business.
A strategy is nothing without implementation. A strategy is implemented by a team, and SEO leaders and content marketers need to work closely beside social media and community managers to make such vision a reality. Because social media optimization is so closely aligned with search engine optimization, these teams need to work together towards the same goal, and make sure the message is similar on every channel. When a brand posts on Instagram, they can direct followers to a blog post or an in-depth guide if they want more information.
Messages on social media platforms can be tailored so that they have a greater impact on specific groups of individuals. You can customize your content based on demographic and geographic profiles on social media. For example, a soft drink maker may post a message about how cold a beverage is to Internet users in hot climates. For their audience in cold climates, they might tell users that drinking their beverage will remind them of summer.