Social Media Optimization (SMO) has been a growing area of importance for business owners over the last several years. It is the process of using social media outlets to create greater publicity for and awareness of a particular brand, product or service.
With so many people constantly using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, SMO has become a cornerstone of successful digital marketing campaigns.
The goal is simple — create as much interesting content as possible that can be spread across social media networks to increase awareness. Examples of content could include well-written text posts or articles, eye-catching images, video clips and more. The content should be created specifically to drive as much engagement as possible in the forms of likes, shares, comments, retweets and other types of social engagement metrics.
Over the next several weeks, we will discuss some best practices for successful SMO. Today, however, we will take a closer look at what exactly SMO is and the role it should play in your digital marketing campaign.
A brief background of SMO
During the early parts of this decade, social media, which had already achieved widespread popularity among young people in various forms in the 2000s, became a hub of activity and conversation for people of all ages. No longer was it only young people and tech-savvy adults who populated these sites — people of all ages were enjoying using them, which made them attractive for marketers, as well.
As older audience started to familiarize themselves with the use of social media, younger audiences increased their use of and reliance on social media to the point where they began to distance themselves from other media sources. Social media overtook television as the primary source of news for younger people, for example, and news outlets responded by becoming more reliant on social media platforms to generate traffic to their websites.
With more and more marketers becoming wise to the changing ways the younger demographic was consuming media, it has become clear that brands would have to become smarter with the ways they used social media to create business. The result was a new field of marketing called social media optimization.
SMO’s relationship with search engine optimization
SMO can be described as something of a subcategory of search engine optimization (SEO), a process in which webmasters optimize their websites to achieve better search rankings. Since 2010, search engines have increasingly prioritized results from social media sites like Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and more.
With SEO, the general idea is that the more clicks a company is getting, the higher up it will rank in search engines. Therefore, companies work as hard as they can to employ tactics that lead to more clicks, such as better keyword targeting, backlinking, regular content creation and more.
The idea is generally the same with SMO. The more engagement a page’s content gets, the higher that page will rank in web searches. Therefore, companies focused on boosting their social media visibility work to create content they know will create engagement from their followers. The more followers a company has, the more engagement it can get.
Additionally, as it becomes harder and harder for companies to climb the rankings in search engines, these search sites are increasingly using social search results as a major factor in their rankings. So, for example, if a lot of people are searching for your company on Facebook, this could give a boost to your web search rankings.
SMO and viral marketing
SMO has also become an extremely important element of viral marketing. Before the explosion of social media sites in the mid-2000s, viral marketing was often conducted on specific landing pages or through email, with the occasional company having the smart idea to use early popular social media sites like MySpace.
These days, however, it’s almost impossible to create content that goes viral without the use of social media. Being able to build word of mouth advertising is an essential aspect of viral marketing, and social media makes that process go faster than ever.
Social media has forever changed the way companies market to their customers, and has forged opportunities for brands to build stronger and more personal relationships with them. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss some of the best ways for today’s brands to increase their social media visibility and engagement to help drive more sales through SMO.
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