Simply put, SMO is the process of having all of your social media properties – including but not limited to social media heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter – to increase your visibility, strengthen your brand and reputation, establish authority and thought leadership in your marketplace, and ultimately generate quality leads that convert into profitable, loyal customers.
And what isn’t SMO?
While SMO is a key part of a larger SEO strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that they aren’t the same thing (we’ll focus more on this in a moment). SEO focuses on boosting a business’s organic search result rankings for certain keywords. SMO is about engaging with target audiences and making a favorable impression by offering and sharing relevant and interesting content. In this sense, while SEO is strategic and tactical, SMO is more about sparking conversations; including those that customers have among themselves on properties/websites that aren’t owned and controlled by a business (e.g. review websites, forums, etc.).
Yet with this said – and we don’t want to confuse anyone, but at the same time we don’t want to offer partial information – as noted SMO and SEO must work together, too. This is especially the case since 2013, which was when Google launched an algorithm update known as “Hummingbird”. That and subsequent updates have placed a much greater weight and emphasis on social shares and mentions. In simpler terms: Google gives more SEO love to businesses when customers are engaging with and sharing its content (e.g. blog posts, infographics, tips, etc.) via social media platforms and networks.
5 Ways to Boost Your SMO
So now that you know what is SMO – and just as importantly, what it, not SMO – you’re probably wondering how you can boost your SMO and reap the rewards. Here are 5 proven strategies that we at Leap Clixx build into all of our campaigns:
Create great content. For SMO purposes, content it doesn’t need to belong or drill deep. But it has to be readable, engaging and relevant.
Use visuals to your advantage. Don’t settle for low-quality graphics (like the graphic design tragedy known as Clipart). Keep your production values and standards high so that your content and brand stand out for all the right reasons.
Make it easily shareable. Some businesses do a good job creating content and visuals, but they don’t make it easy to share. This is a major oversight! As noted above, content sharing is part of SEO, plus it means that your business is reaching new customers – without paying a cent!
Connect with “influencers”. These are the folks who have some street cred in a marketplace and/or about a topic, and therefore can boost your content’s authority and relevance. Just keep in mind that influencers aren’t spokespeople or shills. They’re all about expertise and independence, and that means they’re only impressed by the good content and good visuals. Otherwise, they’ll damage their reputation, and before long, won’t be an influencer.
Be consistent and think long term. This advice applies to everything in the inbound and online marketing world, but it’s so valuable that we’ll mention it here: a winning SMO strategy is not a one-time or a set-it-and-forget-it thing. It’s an ongoing focus – which isn’t a bad thing, because the profitable results are ongoing, too.