Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The lowdown: What is Social Media Optimization?
Social Media Optimization (AKA: SMO) exists to help fine-tune social media profiles and other marketing efforts.
For example, SMO helps with:
- Finding ways to ensure that all contact info gets updated on every profile when any change happens
- Ensuring that business profiles are consistent across other networks while at the same time not sharing the same content everywhere
- Helping to hone in on how you want to use each social media network based on their overall demographic
- Making sure that social media profiles remain connected to websites
- Setting up ways to track analytics on social media marketing campaigns based on KPIs
And that’s not all!
Are you familiar with the ever-changing landscape of social media? What about how to connect the dots between your social media profiles and websites, analytics, etc.?
Guess what? Not many do! Nor are they familiar with how those things would even be of benefit! Surprising, eh?
As the saying goes: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Bad(ish) News First!
Nowadays, most of us use social media in some capacity. However, when it comes to social media marketing, many misconceive social media as social media marketing or social media optimization.
If you’ve been down the social marketing path, you know that marketing, optimization, and business pages differ from personal profiles. I mean, who would treat a business page the same as their personal social media profile(s)?
(Answer: A LOT of people/businesses do! It’s an actual phenomenon called the Mere-exposure effect!)
Most companies believe that they’ve optimized their social media profiles because they’ve spent HOURS fine-tuning and setting up said accounts.
In short, optimizing social media IS NOT about filling in profile info and waiting for visitors to pour in. It’s also not a one-time thing.
It’s never-ending because there is always something to add, improve upon, or fix!
Keep these 2 things in mind
First, know that SMO happens over time!
Secondly, keep in mind that after you add the business profile info (including images), this is when SMO begins! In other words, you need something to optimize before you can…optimize.
What SMO is
It’s an effort to help streamline a business’s social media presence while at the same time optimizing marketing efforts. In other words, SMO gives us an overall picture of where things stand and what needs to get fixed. Once you know those two things, you can set up a new marketing or optimization campaign more efficiently.
How to start an SMO campaign
When first starting, figure out if you’re choosing the best social network for your business. After that, a social media marketing plan needs to come together based on an overall goal.
How do you figure out social media marketing goals? Start small and work up from there!
Once you have some (annual) goals, figure out which KPIs to measure and if you can successfully track them.
The way to figure out which KPIs to use is a whole different topic in and of itself (we’ll write a post about that soon!). But, to keep things simple, we first need to consider our overall goals, what we need to track precisely, why we need to track the metric(s), how it’ll help once we do, how will we plan to track progress, and which tools we have at our disposal to help with tracking/measuring.
Once you have the above info, pick only one thing to focus on for the next 3-6 months. As a suggestion, try to select at least four goals for one year. That way, you can focus on a single goal every three months (at first). However, depending on your business’s size, the above amount can pose a challenge until you get things streamlined. If that’s the case, pick two goals (for the year) and review ONE every six months.
Once you decide upon your goals and have a timeframe, track what works and what doesn’t. Then, make adjustments during your review times and NOT in the middle of a testing period! (This technique is known as conversion rate optimization.)
Lastly, rinse, and repeat until you hit your goal and get things streamlined!
Now, for some good SMO news!
Keep in mind that no matter what, SMO is not there to judge! It exists to help make your social presence better! The tricky part with SMO is that some things work for some companies while other techniques won’t.
So the good news: SMO is flexible!
Some SMO insight
From my experience, when a company looks for SMO services, they’re looking for a sounding board or 2nd opinion. They aren’t looking to outsource their marketing efforts entirely!
If you are looking for the latter, keep in mind that social media optimization doesn’t manage your marketing! Optimization is there to help improve upon what is already there. SMO also helps with future campaign planning and figuring out new focal points. So if you’re looking to outsource marketing, having the above info helps to transition.
Small businesses should learn the ropes of SMO
Now don’t get us wrong, social media marketing agencies can be super helpful! However, if you don’t have goals, why on Earth would you hand them over to someone else?
Ultimately, if you want to save time/money by optimizing what you already have, try SMO in-house before outsourcing! That way, you’ll have something started, initial goals (mostly) figured out, and an idea of what needs to be improved.
When you start hitting goals, and your business grows to where you need assistance, you’ll know! At that point is when you need to look into hiring in-house or outsourcing marketing efforts. Trying to scale a business too fast without a plan is never good.
There you have it, a quick rundown on what social media optimization is and how it can help. To get started on social media optimization, check out these posts:
- 7 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
- Common social media marketing misconceptions
- Small business considerations before joining a new social network
- 10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips
- Check out these social media marketing tools