Optimize is a big marketing buzzword that is often associated with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Over the last few years, its younger (and much cooler) cousin, Social Media Optimization (SMO), has proven to be just as important to rank higher and reach more people. All that to say, every digital marketer should have a basic understanding of SMO. So sit back and relax, because we’re about to lay down the basics of SMO.
What Is Social Media Optimization?
First things first. What is SMO? Well, it’s essentially a vehicle to reach as large of an audience as possible through your social media networks. Similar to SEO, SMO involves a series of strategies and adjustments in order to get your business seen. Keep reading for the top four tips that will increase your audience reach in no time.
Social Media Optimization Tips
The most basic SMO tip is to optimize all of your social media profiles. Typically, businesses should use their logo as their profile picture and a branded cover photo. Each username should be as consistent as possible and involve the name of the business. This ensures that all of your social profiles are easily identifiable to your audience and search engines. Also, include a concise bio that clearly explains what your business does along with a link to your website. For more lengthy “about” sections like those on Facebook and LinkedIn, fill out as much information about your business as you can. If users have a question about your business, the answers will be laid out for them so they are easy to find. Now that your profiles are nice and optimized, it’s time to tackle content.
This is where you can take your SMO to the next level. Content is king, so here are the different ways you can optimize your social media content:
Use your SEO keyword research to your advantage when creating social media content. Include your brand’s keywords in the titles and copy of your content. Even better, use your keywords as hashtags so you’re a part of relevant conversations. For example, if you’re a coffee brand, then hashtags such as #coffee, #espresso, and #latte would both keep you in the loop of new coffee news, and get your content seen by your target audience – coffee lovers. Keywords alone won’t fully optimize your content; you also need good quality images!
Social posts with high quality, relevant images and videos make all the difference. According to HubSpot, “When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.” This is valuable brand recognition that nobody can turn down. Also be sure to optimize your visuals for each social network. Use the correct posting dimensions so you make the most of the space you’re given.
- Curated & Original
When it comes to the type of content, have a mix of curated and original content. Share interesting and timely stories that give value to your brand and that your audience would enjoy. Then, mix in original content to show your brand’s personality. The original content is important because it has the potential to be shared and reach more eyes.
Lastly, end off your social posts with a call-to-action. Ending with a question or prompting your audience to do an action has the potential to increase your engagement rate. This will give you key insights on your audience and allow you to continue optimizing your social media content to their liking.
Optimize Posting Times
Once all of your content is optimized and ready-to-go, it’s time to post it at optimal times. This can be a tricky business, but our friends at SproutSocial have crunched the numbers and come up with optimal posting times according to social network and industry. These are a generalization, so it’s all about trial and error. After a month’s worth of content goes out, look at your audience insights to see when they were most active and adjust accordingly.
Analyze and Adjust
SMO means constantly analyzing and adjusting. Online trends are always changing, so your job is to change along with them. Make sure you have a good reporting tool that gives you the information needed to see if your strategies are working or not. Whether it’s the type of content, posting time, or use of hashtags, make adjustments accordingly to see if it will impact the numbers. This is how you will find the SMO sweet spot for your unique brand.
From your username to the time of day you post, every detail counts when it comes to SMO. With new content constantly being posted, optimization is key to reaching your target audience.
Do you have any tips for us? We’d love to hear from you!