Social media optimization (SMO) is the process of increasing awareness of a product, brand, or event on social media. SMO involves analyzing the content that will resonate most with an account’s followers, including graphics, text, hashtags, and links.
Key factors in social media optimization
The following factors have direct impact on creating then tuning content to maximize views, engagements, and conversions:
- “Optimized” content — in other words, a combination of both original content (created by your company) and curated content (created by someone else).
- Content that historically draws views and engagement. Examples include short videos, images and infographics, and even relevant humorous posts.
- Strategic engagement with customers. This includes publishing content on social sites at times when viewers are most active, addressing problems or complaints promptly, and interacting with customers on social sites when appropriate.
- Paying attention to analytics. Data on website performance, paid social ads, or likes and comments helps businesses gauge what content is doing well or failing and allows them to move forward on campaigns or halt the ones that aren’t working.
How to optimize social media content
Optimizing social media activity includes properly using social media networks and techniques and regularly analyzing how social content performs.
Choose Ideal Platforms
To determine what type of content is best suited for their audience, social media managers usually begin by identifying what their followers are looking for and where they are looking for it. This often includes examining which social media platforms offer the greatest opportunities for engaging with their ideal customers.
Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, and Pinterest each cater to a distinct demographic of users, so part of social media optimization is tailoring the content accordingly.
Select Relevant Hashtags
Especially on hashtag-driven networks like Instagram and Twitter, social media optimization also involves identifying hashtags that will increase the likelihood of a user seeing a specific piece of content.
For example, a car repair shop would research trending hashtags that are relevant to the automotive service industry and place them strategically in posts to increase the likelihood that their content will appear before their targeted audience.
Follow Network Specifications
Each network has specifications for the type of content that can be shared. They indicate what aspect ratio(s) images and videos should have, as well as character limits for text and how many hashtags, images, and links can be included in one post.
All of these specifications are important considerations when developing a social media optimization strategy; if they aren’t followed, post content can be cut off or sized awkwardly, and sites may not place the content as high in search results. Social media management tools like Hootsuite are helpful for organizing and planning content according to each network’s requirements.
Regularly Analyze Performance
Reports on social media performance, such as keywords, engagement, and paid content, help businesses visualize the current state of their social media platforms. They are able to optimize based on the trends they’re seeing. For example, if a particular post didn’t perform well or had lower-than-usual engagement, social media teams may use different keywords for the next post to continue testing performance. Continual analysis leads to increased understanding of brand performance and customer engagement, as well as what kinds of content perform best against the business’s objectives.
Also read: Best Social CRM Platforms
Social media optimization vs. social media marketing
Unlike social media marketing (SMM), which is primarily concerned with paid advertising on social networks, social media optimization is focused on organic (non-paid) content. However, the two concepts are closely intertwined because they both impact a social media account’s overall performance as well as the business’s bottom line.
If a social media account and the content it shares is optimized, any social media marketing campaigns are more likely to be successful. Sometimes, a social media account’s performance can be improved by implementing a SMM campaign, thereby making the process of SMO a bit easier.
Further, social media marketing (with its focus on paid or boosted exposure) is typically focused on conversion: the business wants the audience to see the content and then click to make a purchase or provide contact information. To widen the reach of the paid content, social media teams will support SMM campaigns with organic social media which has been optimized.
SMO vs. SEO
Social media optimization and search engine optimization (SEO) are also closely related. Search engine optimization involves keyword planning and adjusting site content to maximize the chances of the site ranking among the search results for those terms.
This largely depends on each search engine’s algorithm. These algorithms often consider how a website’s links perform on social media when determining the overall search performance, so a website’s SMO strategy is an important tool for SEO as well.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool for optimizing and automating social content creation. Users are able to connect multiple social profiles and networks, schedule posts, and respond to social engagement from the Hootsuite dashboard. Hootsuite also offers a social analytics dashboard, so businesses can view how their posts have performed.
Sprout Social is a management solution that allows businesses to schedule their social media content, analyze competitor metrics and industry trends, and provide advocacy opportunities for employees. An engagement inbox helps social media managers to stay on top of customer monitoring and response.
Zoho Social is a management tool that offers social media calendar planning, engagement monitoring, and social analytics. Users can schedule posts based on audience activity and design a social content pipeline. The social analytics tool allows media teams to create custom reports and schedule times to send reports to team members.
Looking to optimize and market your social media content? Read more: Best Social Media Marketing Software