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What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

Published on: March 06, 2012
Filed under: Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Over the past several years, marketing-related content has been lightly peppered with the term “social media optimization” (SMO). It’s now at the point, where people are taking notice and asking, “What is SMO?” 
 
To explain SMO, one can first consider search engine optimization (SEO). In a business-to-business (B2B) context, SEO is about driving traffic to B2B websites, so SEO is a strategy to improve businesses’ search engine rankings. While a side benefit of SMO is improved search rankings, rather than driving traffic to a website, SMO’s focus is on making content travel.
 
How does one make content travel? Putting aside, for the time being, the fact that content must be relevant, timely, and interesting in order to make others want to transport or share it, we need to surround content with SMO features and social actions.
 
The usual suspects in the social landscape—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube—are great examples from which to learn. They make content highly transportable with social actions such as “share,” “retweet” and “like.” B2B websites have been including RSS feeds and share buttons (e.g. StumbleUpon, Reddit) for several years. Today we are beginning to now see B2B websites add “share” and “like” social action buttons to their website and blogs.
 
Because SMO is all about making relevant and timely content transportable, we need to keep in mind that this is pull marketing, not push. So here are some ideas to get your SMO strategy underway:
  • Define goals and objectives
  • [If you haven’t done so already,] create a social network presence
  • Determine how best to develop, build, and nurture relationships; e.g. share, like, follow, #hashtags, reply, comment, etc.
  • Implement SMO features and social actions
  • Develop an editorial calendar of high value and relevant content
  • Use a tool to automate and/or schedule content posts to social networks
  • Track results
The Extra Insight: Your social media optimization (SMO) strategy is just one component of your overall marketing efforts. Make sure all of your tactics are aligned and working together to create momentum to achieve your company’s goals. 

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