What Is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of social media sites to manage and enhance 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 mitigate potentially damaging news.

Understanding Social Media Optimization (SMO)

For a lot of years, search engine optimization (SEO) was the predominant strategy for digital marketing. It involves increasing the quality and quantity of a website's traffic by increasing its visibility via a web search engine, especially Google Search.

More recently, social media marketing has come to the fore, coexisting with SEO as a way to strengthen a brand, conduct lead generation, increase a company's online visibility, and connect to an audience. Many social media platforms are used for digital marketing, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Social media optimization often directs the public from these social media platforms to the company's website, where more information can be found.

Strategies for Social Media Optimization

Companies using multiple social media platforms may use internet-based tools designed to improve the organization and delivery of their content. These tools allow an employee tasked with creating social media content to schedule content across multiple platforms at the same time, as well as respond to any engagements on the posts, including comments from the audience. Some popular social media management tools are Loomly, Agorapulse, PromoRepublic, Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social.

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Social media platforms allow users to share content on the internet almost instantaneously. Because of this, many companies like mine try to create content that users will pass along to their friends and connections. This strategy, called viral marketing, attempts to achieve a broader reach by getting engaged users of social media platforms to share content rather than relying on users to find the content on their own.

Why Is Social Media Optimization Important?

There are hundreds of millions of websites out there. How does anyone draw attention to one of them? Two primary strategies are currently in use:

  • Search engine optimization focuses on tweaking the content of a website in order to win a coveted high-level position in the results displayed by a search engine, particularly Google Search.
  • Social media optimization involves creating unique content for a social media site that attracts followers to the website for more information or to purchase.

What Is the Primary Purpose of Social Media Optimization?

Companies that use social media want to drive traffic to their websites or sell products directly on social media. Almost always, they're doing both.

Many companies create a presence on multiple sites to reach various demographics. Some social media sites, such as Pinterest, lend themselves to attractive product presentations. Others, notably Facebook, are used by the broadest range of people.

What Companies Have the Best Social Media Optimization Strategies?

There's a lot of competition there, but Nike is frequently mentioned for the immense reach it has developed on social media, with an estimated 231 million followers on various platforms. National Geographic has leveraged its stunning photography to reach an audience of 235 million on Instagram. The camera manufacturer GoPro built a considerable follower base by encouraging followers to post their own images and videos.

The Bottom Line

Social media optimization is a critical piece of any organization's internet strategy. Even the best-known real-world brands can't thrive online without alerting potential users of their presence. The smartest companies go further, creating an engaging presence on social media that builds follower numbers and burnishes brands.