In a recent discussion with a prospective client, we got talking about their requirement wrt Social Media. During the talk, what got me a bit perplexed was the usage of the SMM and SMO interchangeably by the person. As the conversation went further, it suddenly hit me, he didn’t had a clue about the difference between SMM and SMO. I had to then step in and gently make him aware the difference. To all other who are still figuring it out..
Social media optimization is a process of making your website social media marketing ready.
While social media marketing is a process to market your business on social networks.
And you thought they were same!
What is Social Media Optimization (SMO):
Rohit Bhargava wrote a post in 2006, which started the Social Media Optimization revolution. As he said it, the idea behing SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines , and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs. In short, SMO is all about pulling your audience in with an “optimized” website and encouraging them to spread your content without any effort on your part.
If you are planning to SMO your site then here are some quick points to keep in mind :
- Shareable content
The content that is created should have the potential to be liked or tweeted. It is about more than links – it is about creating content that is shareable. The better your content is, the more people will want to share it with their entire social networks whether they link it, like it, tweet it or reddit it. Also make sure you regularly upload fresh content on your website and social media profiles.
- Make sharing easy
Once you have shareable content, it has to be one-button-easy so people will do it with minimal effort or thinking. Make sure you place the buttons at the most optimum place, so your users find them easily with each piece of content.
- Engagement is the key
Today the real currency is around conversation or engagement, so encourage people to comment and discuss your content. This could be done on-site using comment pluggins like disqus . This is the behaviour that matters most in the social and the one that we should all focus on encouraging it to happens.
- Share your content
Don’t just wait for people to find your content, share them on different platforms and in different ways. This would include that the same content is shared as slides on Slideshare or documents on Scribd or a video on youtube – as well as tweeting or offering embeddable versions of it, or using RSS feeds to syndicate it.This would inevitably increase your social footprints. As more people see and share your content, your site acquires buzz, inbound links, referral traffic, and strong social signals, all of which help your organic search visibility.
- Social Meta Tags
Each of the social network has its own sets of tags which makes user to attach rich photos, videos and media experiences when they share content on social network. Check with the development team about implementing twitter cards , Open graph and rich pins.
- Optimize the social profile
Last but not the least, you need to optimize your social media profiles with proper information about your business. It includes your business URL, about the business, address, logo etc. Most importantly, fill out your profile completely. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn let you enter a lot of information about your company. Unfortunately many businesses leave these fields incomplete because they rush through the process. But the more complete your profile is, the more your page will stand out.
What is Social Media Management (SMM):
Social media marketing is a long-term process, where we concentrate on posting updates, social media campaigns, social media customer services, and branding activities. Even though, many of you might consider SMO as a part of SMM, but the fact remains, SMM starts when SMO ends.
These are some things to keep in mind when it comes to Social Media Management
- Social media strategy
It’s the basic step of social media marketing, where we decide the goal, associated metrics, the best social networks for a project, best time to post, the best content format to connect well with the audience. It’s a long documentation that one would follow throughout the project duration.
- Competition analysis
Social media competition analysis also plays a crucial role in social media marketing. We thoroughly monitor your competitors and their community to suss out the best plan for you. There are social media tools like Facebook Fanpage Karma, Twitonomy, Similar Web, BuzzSumo that help us in the process.
- Social media style guide
It’s an essential part of branding and every business, be it small or large, must have a style guide for their SMM. Wondering how do we do it? Simple. We analyze the target audience, their age, preferences, online behavior and based on all these data we create a unique tone and voice that goes well with the existing website theme.
- Social media content calendar
Social media marketing is largely based on the content. So, we plan and create a detailed content calendar including all the important and relevant days for the client. We also make sure to send them to the client, so ha/she knows what we’re planning for them.
- Engaging with the audience
Engagement plays a big role in social media marketing. We do it with our organic posts, social media ads, and social media campaigns. And that’s not all. We closely monitor all the conversations happening in and around our social media community to address the issues more quickly. Social media listening tools would help you in this.
- Monitoring the right metrics
Planning and execution will only take you through half way. Monitoring the metrics to see if your strategy is at all working, constitutes a major portion of social media marketing. Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Fanpage Karma etc will make your job easier.