cial media optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, service brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, video sharing websites and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization, in that the goal is to generate web traffic and increase awareness for a website. In general, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content to encourage more users to use and share links to the website across social media and networking sites. SMO also refers to software tools that automate this process, or to website experts who undertake this process for clients.
The goal of SMO is to strategically create interesting online content, ranging from well-written text to eye-catching digital photos or video clips that encourages and entices people to engage with a website and then share this content, via its weblink, with their social media contacts and friends. Common examples of social media engagement are "liking and commenting on posts, retweeting, embedding, sharing, and promoting content". Social media optimization is also an effective way of implementing online reputation management (ORM), meaning that if someone posts bad reviews of a business, a SMO strategy can ensure that the negative feedback is not the first link to come up in a list of search engine results.
Rules of SMO, according to one source, are as follows:
- Increase your linkability
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy
- Help your content to "travel" via sharing
The Social Media Strategy may consider
Objectives e.g. creating brand awareness and using social media for external communications.Listening e.g. monitoring conversations relating to customers and business objectives.Audience e.g. finding out who the customers are, what they do, who they are influenced by, and what they frequently talk about. It is important to work out what customers want in exchange for their online engagement and attention.Participation and content e.g. establishing a presence and community online and engaging with users by sharing useful and interesting information.Measurement e.g. keeping a record of likes and comments on posts, and the number of sales to monitor growth and determine which tactics are most useful in optimizing social media.
According to Lon Safko and David K. Brake in The Social Media Bible, it is also important to act like a publisher by maintaining an effective organisational strategy, to have an original concept and unique "edge" that differentiates one's approach from competitors, and to experiment with new ideas if things do not work the first time. If a business is blog-based, an effective method of SMO is using widgets that allow users to share content to their personal social media platforms. This will ultimately reach a wider target audience and drive more traffic to the original post. Blog widgets and plug-ins for post-sharing are most commonly linked to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They occasionally also link to social media platforms such as StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Many sharing widgets also include user counters which indicate how many times the content has been liked and shared across different social media pages. This can influence whether or not new users will engage with the post, and also gives businesses an idea of what kind of posts are most successful at engaging audiences. By using relevant and trending keywords in titles and throughout blog posts, a business can also increase search engine optimization and the chances of their content of being read and shared by a large audience. The root of effective SMO is the content that is being posted, so professional content creation tools can be very beneficial. These can include editing programs such as Photoshop, GIMP, Final Cut Pro, and Dreamweaver. Many websites also offer customization options such as different layouts to personalize a page and create a point of difference