What is Social Media Optimization?

social media optimization

Social media optimization (SMO) is a proactive strategy for building online communities and engaging followers. Keep reading to learn how this tactical communication concept will help organizations establish a plan, connect with people and share relevant and meaningful content.

SMO Basics

Organizations that want to gain online customers must understand the key intersections of quality content, online visibility, and follower interactions. SMO utilizes various social channels, such as news sites like Reddit, video sites like YouTube and networking sites like LinkedIn. The key element of SMO is content, which can include a URL, image, hashtag or geolocation. The underlying focus is not just pushing out new feeds and posts, but a sense of community within a flexible framework for engaging users and building relationships.

SMO vs. Other Concepts

It’s helpful to compare SMO with other similar concepts. SEO is not Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which refers to getting better search engine visibility through paid search advertising. SEM is one of the most vital sources of online traffic and high-quality leads because it is specific, targeted and trackable. SEO is also not Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which helps a website rank higher than identical websites. Achieving an organically higher search engine ranking is possible though better content, updates, quality, credibility, etc.

What are SMO Goals?

The general goals are content sharing, brand enhancement, lead generation, and social media engagement. Investopedia explains how developing brand awareness can be broken down into measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as online product views or positive mentions of service. Measuring the increase of an online community or target audience can be accomplished through thru tracking the number of followers compared with the competition and the follower growth rate. The goal of increasing customer loyalty can be divided into smaller goals like increasing retweets or enhancing brand ambassadors.

The SMO Cycle

Social Media Optimization has a rotating engagement lifecycle that begins with identifying relevant information. The content must be customized across multiple social platforms regardless if it’s a news article, celebrity quote or downloadable item. Next, sharing barriers must be minimized and streamlined. This means utilizing handy sharing features like hashtags and social buttons. Then, the organization must monitor community interactions on social media to recognize and reward users who engage and share content. This will help create consumer goodwill and brand engagement.

Platform Customization

Online content must be tailored to specific social media platforms and how their respective communities consume information. This means that the posting frequency for a Facebook site may be one to five posts per week, but a Twitter account will be one to five brief postings a day. Ongoing series, such as blog posts, must trigger stronger reader curiosity with appropriate resource links. The activity focus of a Facebook post may be increasing social interactions, but a Twitter post may be simply sharing and liking.


Social Media Optimization will help organizations take advantage of new business opportunities and convert followers into qualified leads. It will also help them transform their content to match the interests and needs of their online community.

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