What is Social Media Optimisation?
Social Media Optimisation or SMO is all about utilising popular social media platforms and outlets in order to generate awareness for a brand, product, article or event. The types of social media include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ etc.
Isn't Social Media Optimisation (SMO) the same as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is about utilising a range of tactics and methods to ultimately improve search engine rankings to attract more visitors to your website. Social Media Optimisation is certainly an aspect of SEO but they are ultimately not the same thing as SEO is focussed on Search Engine rankings specifically and the other being SMO is more about enhancing awareness and visibility in general.
Since the Hummingbird update there is more emphasis on creating quality content that harbours shareability with a view of reaching a wider audience. This promotes the concepts of co-citation and co-occurence SEO. The more your content and brand name is shared and mentioned online would signify to Google a higher perceived quality. This perceived quality would mean good news for the source of the content (your website) and hopefully lead to better rankings. If enough users are tweeting, sharing, commenting, liking, +1, hashtagging your brand it is hard for Google to ignore this 'social proof'. It's not a clear cut science and Matt Cutts (Former Head of Google Webspam) actually announced in Jan 2014 that Google doesn't use social shares directly in its algorithm. However, there are clear benefits that come from integrating Social Media into your online acquisition strategy.
SMO Pitfalls | Spamming, Deceptive Link Building, Irrelevant Audiences
As much as SMO can support positive SEO it can also create negative repercussions if performed in an irresponsible and uneducated manner. Social Media is one of those aspects that you can do yourselves but it may be wise to meet with a Social Media Consultant or have your marketing employees undertake social media training.
For example, creating a huge number of links to your website scattered across social networks is not social media optimisation. Joining every Facebook business page, Google+ Community, and LinkedIn group just to seed links to your content is actually counterproductive and could be perceived as spammy and unnatural link building which is not good for SMO nor SEO.
Not only can you negatively impact SMO and SEO efforts but there is an element by where the brand can be negatively effected. The wrong campaign, content or even comment can have serious repercussions on your audience's perception of your business and brand.
Klout Score | Social Influence & Influencer Marketing
According to Wikipedia "Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score", which is a numerical value between 1 and 100 with 100 being the most influential. The Klout score is a great way to roughly assess how engaging your business / brand is online. I've had clients that were pushing a lot of content through their social media channels, so their activity was high but it was evident that no few cared what they had to say. If there is little evidence or social proof in the form of retweets, comments, favouriting, liking, sharing happening then it's probably worth reviewing current tactics and trying new ones. Sometimes it's the simplest of things such as following relevant accounts and ensuring to @ mention / tag the appropriate accounts that can change engagement rates and improve your Klout Score.
Top Tips for Social Media Optimisation by Southampton Social Media Consultant Sean Mullins
Content + Shareability + Engagement = SMO SUCCESS!
Content is still very much king but content alone will not take your digital and social media marketing strategy very far in regards to generating results. Below are some top social media optmisation tips to help get the most from your content marketing efforts.
Within blog posts there are plenty of opportunity to include links out. These can be to the authors social media or references to brands and their social media. Then ensuring social sharing buttons are incorporated into the site.