The 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Do you think Social Media Optimization (SMO) is like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for social sites?

If you do, you’re not alone. I discovered this term after hanging out with Rohit Bhargava during a digital marketing conference in Miami.

No, we did not talk about social media optimization over drinks.

We talked about everything outside of digital marketing. It wasn’t until I returned home when I stumbled across an interesting blog post about the subject. I quickly discovered it was he who first introduced the idea of Social Media Optimization. Small world.

Originally, Rohit defined Social Media Optimization as:

A process of optimizing your site/blog to be more visible in social media searches and sites, and more frequently discussed online in blog posts and other social media.

Based on this definition, Social Media Optimization does have similar functionality as Search Engine Optimization. You may wonder how important this is to your business. That’s a valid concern as we do not understand if people actually use Social Media search when researching a product or service. In this case, SEO seems more effective based on the over 3 billion search queries on Google (I over heard a Google exec mention this number–shhh don’t tell).

However, social shopping is the game changer. Why? By virtue of engagement driven communications, brands will certainly provide deep incentives to encourage consumers to purchase products on social media.

This is a win-win for consumers and brands as relevant products will be available for purchase and that purchase can be shared within the consumer’s social network.

Why is Social Media Optimization important for your business? Well, the rules of online optimization have changed and now we must consider social media as a viable e-commerce platform like we do for Search Engine Optimization. As business leaders we must abide by these rules.

Here are the 5 rules of Social Media Optimization

 

1. Create Shareable Content


Creating shareable content is synonymous with creating content worth talking about. This is a fundamental practice within Social Media communications and is the main reason why this medium is “social”.

Naturally, you will increase the odds of your content shares if you make it easy for the consumer to do so.

hand-clicking-share

2. Make Sharing Easy


If you’re an avid blog reader you’ll notice social share buttons on every article you read. It has become commonplace for most blogs and websites. Ultimately, sharing becomes easier once you have the right tools in place. Similar to this blog, utilize share widgets to increase shares and encourage sharing by asking consumers to share your content.

Tools: AddThis, ShareThis, and ShareButtons

sharing-is-caring

 

3. Reward Engagement


Rewarding consumers for social media engagement is easy. The difficult part is rewarding them with an incentive that provides deeper engagement that simultaneously connects consumers with the brand and increases the reach of your social content.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes fan appreciation social media contest is a nice case study. Their social media rewards contest allowed users to earn points toward game day experiences and merchandise by interacting with the team on its social media accounts.

 

4. Proactively Share Content


This involves sharing more than just your owned content. This can include content syndication of articles, videos, and images on your owned media (i.e. your blog) as well as other social media platforms.

Alltop-fi

If you’re looking for content to share, here are a few content aggregation sites: AllTop, Blogengage, BizSugar

 

5. Encourage The “Mashup”


Encouraging users to remix your content can be an effective strategy.

PBS is a great example as they encouraged their audience to celebrate the Sept. 30th PBS Independent Lens premiere of Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey.

dsb-banner

Using either Vine or Instagram, they wanted contestants to record a cover of their classic song, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Tag it using the hashtag #DontStopBelievin and you could receive a signed poster from the band!

 

Final Thoughts


Do you think SMO is like SEO? The most important distinction is that with SMO, your presence can be in multiple places without being harmful to your SEO efforts. Particularly, it’s good advice to have one single website that you point to instead of having multiple sites.

Naturally, that brings more traffic to your owned outlets (i.g. your blog or website). With SMO, however, you have multiple places in which to direct traffic and it is still valuable because it’s your social media profiles that’s posting and housing content. All this is done under your brand umbrella.

Here’s a question for you: Do you think your SEO efforts should match your SMO efforts? Respond in the comments section. I’m looking forward to reading your responses.


  • Mario Pintar

    Great read Juntae! Well, it makes sense and sounds good – Social Media Optimization (SMO). I recently shared one of my Tip of the week: “Optimize your blog post with social media tags for Facebook” and that’s it. Today, I know the right term for that – SMO. Thanks! 😉

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Mario. I always appreciate your engagements.

  • Good question. I believe they are both equally important, maybe SMO is becoming more important that SEO. The landscape for online marketing is changing now toward engagement and interaction which bolds well for Social.

    • Indeed. I think the importance will continue to increase as social commerce becomes widely adopted. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Thomas L. Clark Jr.

    Juntae, it seems to me that what you are calling SMO is a combination of both SMO and SEO, with SMO being more relationship oriented, and driving engagement from activities like ebooks, Blogs etc,and SEO being used more to find the most highly ranked, and or similar product and or service to suspect, prospects, persons search desires.

    • Essentially, I’m referencing how SMO, as it was previously defined by Rohit, will become more valuable when social shopping kicks-off. Once implemented users will naturally search for deals via social media like they would via search engines. What makes SMO beneficial to brands is that it can keep consumer’s attention by incorporating social activity into the purchasing process without the need for 3 part apps or APIs. Thanks for reading and commenting Thomas!

  • Thomas L. Clark Jr.

    Juntae, it seems to me that what you are calling SMO is a combination of both SMO and SEO, with SMO being more relationship oriented, and driving engagement from activities like ebooks, Blogs etc,and SEO being used more to find the most highly ranked, and or similar product and or service to suspect, prospects, persons search desires.

  • Urmila Muthiah

    Thank you so much JUNTAE DeLane!Great info & valuable to all SMO/SEO users.
    Finally read your inputs this morning before changing hats being a medico.will f/u shortly heading out for a long but eventful day in GTA – PAN AM games ! proud to be a Canadian,COME JOIN US in Toronto@Rogers centre.

  • Tarun Jagwani

    Great article, had a question, would you still focus on rewarding for engagement if you don’t have any product to sell?

    • Absolutely, since at some point you will want to move your social audience to action when you have that product or service to sell. Thanks for commenting!

  • Sonni Quick

    I have spent a lot of time learning all of this from scratch. I have a blog with a specific field of research Our prison system http://mynameisjamie.net and thought of how bi needed to do this to get the word out, learning about SEO. Using the social media sites, sharing other’s content. Now I’m writing a book. Everything has to reach these areas long before it’s done. Sometimes I spend more time on the “business” end than I do writing. Condensing my efforts for it to be efficient isn’t easy. I see so many blogs who’s authors who don’t have a clue what they are doing.

  • Great insight! The reality is more and more people are using social media as a feed for real-time news. Hashtags are also important as the main vehicle of search.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Taryne! I look forward to future engagements.

  • Great insight! The reality is more and more people are using social media as a feed for real-time news. Hashtags are also important as the main vehicle of search.

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  • Excellent post! Thanks for sharing this!

  • A very informative post. It is always important to have a shareable post ─ in that way, people will be able to spread your topic and may gain leads. The content of your post must also be relatable to your targeted customers. Thank you so much for this great post Juntae! These rules are a big help to the marketers, especially to the ones who are new on blogging their business or putting/ advertising their business on social media.

  • A very informative post. It is always important to have a shareable post ─ in that way, people will be able to spread your topic and may gain leads. The content of your post must also be relatable to your targeted customers. Thank you so much for this great post Juntae! These rules are a big help to the marketers, especially to the ones who are new on blogging their business or putting/ advertising their business on social media.

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  • Neha Goswami

    Very useful and factful post. All the points and techniques are efficiently work to improve and spread your name. In this fast changing world of technology, having just a website is just not enough if you are looking for more visibility on internet. Search Engine optimization is a technique by which the visibility or rank of the website can be improved on internet, which in turn helps you gain more profit in your respective business. But website needs more. Social media optimization is the process of influencing people for creating perceptions in customer’s minds. It delivers presence on social media platforms like facebook, you tube, twitter, instagram etc. and do magic in steering customer customer perceptions in the direction you want.

    YNG Media is the top-notched SMO marketing solutions in UK that provides affordable and effective SEO services. Plenty of agencies out there in UK that provides SMO service marketing services which are tailor made according to your business needs. So when you think about SMO companies in UK to increase the visibility of your website on internet, talk to YNG Media and meet with our professional approach.

    Take a hit at the visit at the website and believe me the ball will be in your court.

    Thanks for reading.

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  • Blair Agnew

    Absolutely, well thought marketing activations keep all touch points in mind. If a company is not considering their social media strategy in line with their search and other marketing strategies they are likely creating gaps with the customer in their buying cycle and over all experience with their brand. Great tips.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Blair! I look forward to future comments.

  • Deborah Blanchard

    I am always surprised that people don’t habitually practice #4: “Proactively share content.” It is the easiest way to put good content out there because the heavy lifting has been done for you. Also, it frequently happens that by sharing others’ content, those people begin to share yours. That usually results in your content getting seen by a much larger audience and a different set of social media practitioners than you might ordinarily attract. The circle expands.

    • Great point Deborah. When someone complains that they have limited time to engage on social media. The first thing I tell them is to start by sharing content. It’s an easy way to expand your circles. I look forward to additional comments from you. Thanks for reading!

      • Deborah Blanchard

        I always enjoy your content. I often share it, as a matter of fact. Keep up the good work!

  • Pat Bagano

    You never fail to provide very useful information. Oh wait I said that in twitter too! 🙂 Thank you Juntae.