Social Media Optimization (SMO): what is it and how does it work?

The social networks They play a key role in online strategies and are an essential part of brand positioning.

Using SEO tools to be at the top of search engine results is very important, but a company’s online presence is not complete without social networks. This is where the Social Media Optimization or SMO. Let’s see what it is and how we can put it into practice.

What is SMO?

SMO stands for Social Media Optimization and refers to the set of strategies and techniques used to improve the visibility of a website or a brand on different social networks. These are used to disseminate or promote the contents of the site or brand in order to reach as many people as possible and generate interactions.

SMO seeks to make the most of social networks in an environment in which algorithms increasingly favor the content of a user’s personal contacts to the detriment of brands. Furthermore, users are increasingly saturated with content, so creating publications that manage to reach our buyer persona and cause the desired effect is quite a challenge.

Difference between SMO, SEO, SEA and SMM

To put SMO in context, we have to differentiate it from other acronyms related to a brand’s positioning and social media strategy. Let’s briefly see what each of them consists of:

  • He SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the set of strategies and techniques used to improve the positioning of a website in Google search engines. It employs a combination of techniques related to site optimization (on-page SEO) and improving external reputation and inbound links (off-page SEO). SEO results typically take some time to be seen, but it is an excellent investment for long-term brand visibility.

  • He BE (Search Engine Advertising) consists of the use of paid tools to place ads on search engines. In our country, the most used tool is Google Ads, which allows you to create advertising campaigns in the Google search engine. In exchange for a payment for each click generated or per thousand impressions, this strategy allows you to obtain results much more quickly than SEO.

  • Lastly, the SMM (or Social Media Marketing) includes all marketing actions focused on social networks, both organic and paid. The latter include tactics such as the use of sponsored posts (which expand the reach of the brand’s posts) or the placement of ads of different formats on social networks. One of their greatest strengths is segmentation: by having a large amount of information about users, advertising platforms on social networks allow you to apply a large number of filters to hit the target audience.

Benefits of Social Media Optimization

Let’s take a quick review of what the SMO can contribute to your company:

  • Greater visibility and reach. The SMO is developed in a different channel than search engines, so it can reach other users and at different moments in the customer’s journey.

  • Improvement in SEO. Although these are different strategies, SMO can have a favorable impact on SEO. By sharing content relevant to your target on social networks, you encourage the creation of external links to your website, which in turn increases its relevance to search engines.

  • Better budget utilization. Virtually every digital marketing budget today includes a section for social media. Thanks to the SMO, we can guarantee that this budget is used to the maximum to generate visibility and attract the most interesting clients for the brand.

  • Better social media integration in the brand ecosystem. Using SMO best practices, we will ensure that our content is distributed coherently across the brand’s different digital channels, making them reinforce each other.

  • Lower risk of saturation. Content marketing has not stopped growing in recent years, which leads to the target audience becoming saturated with similar proposals. With SMO, you can find alternative solutions so that your content is truly relevant and reaches exactly the audience that needs it most.

  • Better customer relationship management. Social networks allow you to have a direct relationship with your current and potential customers, which helps both to improve the brand image by showing your most human side and to facilitate fast and agile customer service.

  • Greater interaction with customers. The SMO seeks to encourage direct interactions between user and brand through comments, likes, direct messages and other reactions. This generates a closer bond between brand and user and contributes to loyalty. At the same time, the more interactions a post receives, the more the algorithm will reward the brand by generating visibility.

Techniques to apply Social Media Optimization in your brand

1) Choose the right social networks

The first point to optimize your presence on social networks is to decide What networks are you going to be on and why?. The objective is to find your target’s favorite networks, which do not necessarily have to be the ones with the most global reach. Therefore, you will have to thoroughly investigate the Internet usage habits of your users.

Also keep in mind that it is better to be on fewer channels but with a more intense and optimized presence than to try to cover many but pay less attention to them.

2) Create relevant content for your buyer persona

Create a buyer persona Complete is a base strategy in all digital marketing. This representation of our ideal client will help us understand their needs and desires much better and be able to offer them exactly what they need at the right time.

Applied to the SMO, the buyer persona will help us discern which publications may be of most interest to our target and adapt the tone and format to maximize effectiveness.

When creating content, also think about maximizing the possibility that users share it with other people, whether for its usefulness and relevance, for generating intense emotions or for calling to action in an effective way.

3) Integrate social networks with the rest of your strategy

Social networks can fulfill different functions in your digital marketing, from helping you multiply the reach of publications on your website and blog to collecting opinions from the audience that help you improve your products.

At the same time, you can and should use other brand channels to promote your presence on social networksadding buttons with links to your profiles in places such as your emails or the thank you pages of your landing pages.

4) Create a continuous flow of content

To be successful on social media, regularity is very important. We have to create a constant brand presence, without leaving large spaces of time without publishing (which will harm the visibility of our content) or overwhelming our audience with excessive publications.

The frequency Ideal depends a lot on the network we choose: it is possible that on LinkedIn a few quality posts a week are enough, while the normal thing on Twitter is to make several tweets a day. Ephemeral content, such as Instagram Stories, allows you to increase the rate of content publication.

It is also very important to take into account the regularity of certain content. For example, we can organize a live Q&A with the audience every Tuesday at the same time, so that the audience gets into the habit of connecting at that time.

5) Find the ideal publication time and day

Lots of research has been done on the ideal time to post on social media, since whether a post goes viral or goes completely unnoticed may depend on this factor. The conclusion is that there is no universal time that works for all cases, but there is a series of factors to consider:

  • In general, the more users who are logged in, the more reach your post can have. Study the usage patterns of each social network to identify its peak hours, since habits may be different on LinkedIn and on Instagram, for example.

  • Beam experiments with your brand. Schedule similar posts at different times and analyze the results over time.

  • Remember that program Posting in advance is a very interesting option that allows you to reach “peak audience” moments without additional effort.

  • Finally, keep in mind the time zone where the audience you are addressing lives. For brands that publish in Spanish, you may be interested in targeting an audience in Spain and Latin America. In that case, publications made during the Spanish evening will reach America at a time when these users are also awake.