Search engine optimization (SEO) is the golden ticket of digital marketing.
These days, everyone knows it and everyone’s trying to use it, but what about social media optimization (SMO)?
Maybe you are aware of social media. Maybe you’re even using it, but are you using it to its full potential?
SMO isn’t the red-headed stepchild to digital marketing. In fact, SMO is, more or less, a twin to SEO. They complement each other and work together for a stronger digital presence.
Today, we’re going to talk about social media optimization strategies and how SEO can improve them.
What is Social Media Marketing and Why is it Important?
Before we get into the optimization part, it’s good to identify what social media marketing is in the first place.
Social media marketing is considered one of the second-most important means of customer retention in the digital marketing space.
Social media marketing, therefore, is a wonderful way to generate leads for your business, connect with your audience directly, and strengthen your brand and presence.
Considering the fact that over 80 percent of people in the United States use some form of social media, it’s a smart idea to meet them at “the source,” so to speak. Most people use these platforms every week for personal reasons, so it’s important to interact with them in a space where they are already comfortable.
The importance of social media marketing can’t be overstated, but you’ll soon see that it is all about a good balance between SEO and SMO.
Social media optimization techniques borrow a lot from SEO principles, so let’s take a look at some detailed advice on how you can use it to your advantage.
1. It Begins with a Plan
Just like if you were initiating a visual campaign, social media optimization begins with a plan or some form of strategy.
You’re not going to get far unless you have goals and a plan in mind.
Here is a simple outline for creating a social media plan:
- Outline goals
- Research your audience
- Analyze your social media competition
- Create your content
- Interact with your audience
- Review results
All in all, you need to have some sort of a goal. Whether it’s generating a certain amount of leads, making a certain amount of sales, or something else entirely, you should have a goal to work toward.
You will also want to research your audience and competition. Maybe you already know this, but before you can create good quality content for your social media platforms, you need to know who you are presenting to and what other people are doing.
After creating and sharing your content, it’s a good opportunity to interact with and engage your audience. This is one of the best aspects of social media for businesses.
Finally, it’s important to review the results of your social media strategy using some kind of tool that tracks engagement. You’ll probably want to base this off of the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of your plan.
2. Keyword Research
One of the ways social media optimization is similar to and benefitted by SEO is the use of keywords.
Quality keyword research tools can help you identify keywords, phrases, hashtags, and questions your target audience is searching for or asking.
When you’re researching your target audience and demographic, you can find more information about what words they are using or how they may intersect with other audiences.
This will give you a better chance of being found by people who are searching for content similar to your brand.
For example, if you have a monthly book club business, you may find that some people are using the #AmReading or #GoodReads hashtags for their own posts. These people may or may not be using a book club like yours, but they could if their interests intersect with the keywords you’re using in your content.
Some social media marketing tools can also track the engagement for specific keywords or phrases. It would be good to monitor this as well so you know which keywords to focus on.
3. Complete Your Profile
This may seem like a simple step, but you need to make sure your profile is 100% complete on all of your chosen social media platforms.
- Using an original profile picture
- Using an original cover photo (if applicable)
- Picking a good username
- Filling out a good bio
- Filling out all contact information
Completing the profile of a social media page would seem easy, but you’d be surprised how many people skip over this when they’re too eager to get their content out there.
This is important for a couple reasons. If you’re wondering how to optimize social media, you need to realize that you’re optimizing it for your audience as well as search engines.
Search engines take all of the information in your username, bio, contact area, etc., to properly determine where you’re placed and ranked in searches.
At the same time, you also want to be optimizing social media for your audience as well.
It’s no good if your profile itself doesn’t make sense to your target demographic.
This is a good time to really hone your brand as well. Make sure you get a username that matches with your actual business name as close as possible.
Use a profile picture and a cover photo that are original, high quality, and maybe work together in a unique or creative way.
The bio space, especially on Twitter, is a good chance to put an easy URL to your website and keep your brand catchy and memorable.
Finally, the contact information, if available, should be filled out in full. If people stumble onto your content naturally then they may wonder how they can e-mail or call you or what website to find your products or services.
4. Optimizing Content
Content is king in social media optimization strategies just like in SEO.
It is your “bread and butter,” whether it’s original or curated content.
Original content is, obviously, something you or your business has created, but curated content is content shared from anywhere else on the web.
Curated content can be links to online articles or shared or retweeted statuses or posts by other users.
Original content is great as you have full control over it and can use it to promote your own brand, but curated content is important as well. Sometimes, content that comes from elsewhere is too good not to share and it may be relevant and important to your userbase or audience.
If your audience gets quality information or entertainment from content that you share, it will still reflect positively on your own business even though you didn’t create it.
Sharing other’s content is a great way to take advantage of “ephemeral content.” If you’re worried about having links to competitor’s content on your social media profile, ephemeral content is a great way to share something that is worth sharing without linking to a competitor permanently.
Finally, take advantage of each platform rather than copy and pasting content to each without thinking about it.
For example, utilize polls in Twitter to promote content there, but then maybe use it as an image on Facebook. Make each platform unique so that your content is always fresh in your audience’s eyes.
Consider using different headlines to re-use content as well.
For example, the same article or blog could be used multiple times by framing it in different ways. Use different headlines, text, or images to promote the article or blog with a different perspective.
5. Hire Others for Social Media Optimization
The reality is that social media can be time-consuming.
You wouldn’t think so since so many people use it on a daily basis, but considering you still have a business to run, your Facebook account may be the last thing on your mind.
But if you’re struggling to figure out how to optimize social media, the good news is that some companies out there, such as Smart Social Kits, can do a lot of it for you.
Some companies can do the research for you and utilize curated content that is unique and shareable. With original photos, ideas, articles, quotes, etc., you can have social content optimization done with just a monthly fee.
This allows you to focus on other aspects of your business that are more worthy of your time and effort.
On the Road to Social Media Optimization
Search engine optimization isn’t the only thing you should be focusing on when improving the digital marketing presence for your company.
Social media optimization is quite important, too, if not just as important as SEO. Often times, SEO and SMO may even work in tandem with each other.
Some SEO principles can be applied to SMO as well, so it’s a good idea to balance the two.
From optimizing your content to utilizing keywords and phrases, to potentially enlisting the help of experts, there are many social media optimization techniques at your disposal.
Make sure you’re making the most of them, and if you would like some more tips and helpful advice, check out some of our favorite SEO articles!