What is social media optimization?

The purpose of social media optimization (SMO) is to maximize your business’s digital presence through social channels to get the most benefit for your business.

There are many things businesses need to do to win on social media, from choosing the right platforms to creating original content, to finding influencers and converting followers into website traffic.

Social media is an area of marketing with lots of intangibles that can make it difficult to navigate.

This post will walk through the most fundamental principles of optimizing your social media profiles for your business.

Benefits of social media optimization

Social media marketing can be a huge source of website traffic and new customers in almost any industry you can think of. 

Emarketer states in 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Gen X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active on social.

54% of social browsers use social media to research products according to GlobalWebIndex.

You can find your buyers on social because you can find just about anyone on social.

Social is a great marketing tool because when someone subscribes to your account or follows you, they’re consenting to and showing interest in consuming your content. 

Benefits of SMO:

  • More website traffic
  • Lateral networking
  • Built in social proof
  • Better lead generation
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Establishing thought leadership

People on social media are mentally prepared to consume content. You can use that to your advantage to highlight issues or topics that your brand addresses.

B2C marketers said that social media analytics is the top technology they use to manage their content marketing efforts.

Keep in mind that most people need to see several pieces of content from a brand before opting into anything or taking any action.

According to FocusVision, B2B buyers consume 13 pieces of content before deciding on a vendor.  53% of buyers said they discovered the content through social media.

With so many people spending so much time on social media, it’s a great opportunity to stay top of mind with potential buyers.

Choosing the right social media platforms

Getting on the right platforms for your business and audience is one of the most important parts about optimizing your social media presence.

One of the primary functions of social media is distributing content. But your content can be the greatest content ever made and fall flat on its face if it’s not being put in front of the right people.

Part of tapping into the market is understanding which platforms the buyers for your products and services are spending the most time on. 

You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Which platforms are your target audience using?
  • What kinds of content does your audience prefer to interact with (video, blog, podcast, etc)?
  • What platforms are your competitors and other companies in your industry utilizing the most?

Don’t try to have the most content on every single platform. Pick 2-3 platforms to focus on and generate results from.

Set up your profiles

Make profiles on every social media platform to secure your brand on every major platform, even if you won’t actively be using all of them.

Make sure you fill out all relevant information and include photos/logos, bio info, and information about your brand.

People should clearly be able to tell three things as soon as they click on your profile page.

  1. What you do
  2. Who you help
  3. How to find more information or get in touch with you

Use your space to include links

Most social media profiles have an area to specifically include a link to a website or webpage on the profile. Other times you can include links in other areas of the bio.

Make sure you’re taking advantage of that space to link to relevant offers or resources.

Whether you link to a lead magnet, a landing page, or your homepage, make sure you use whatever space you have available to include a strong link that can help you collect opt-in information.

Become a content creator

To optimize your social media presence you need to make original content for your brand.

Without original content you can’t compete. 

Remember the basics.

  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Inspire

Make sure your content does at least 1 of these things. If you can make it do 2 or all 3, even better.

Types of content (podcast, story, blog, video, tweet, etc)

Each social media platform has different types of content it prefers and allows. Some platforms you can share almost any type of content such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Some are limited like Instagram and Pinterest for image based content and some video, with YouTube and TikTok focusing exclusively on video content,.

You’ll need to decide on types of content you’ll be creating for your brand in addition to the content you post directly to social media.

Whether you’ll use blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc you’ll have to commit to consistently creating content through a certain type of medium.

Make sure it’s shareable

Make sure whatever content you’re creating, from graphics, to blogs, to videos, are all easy for people to share. There are social sharing buttons to include on your site and ways to present your content to make them more likely to be shared. 

Don’t bombard people with CTAs

Don’t be that social media account with no savvy that’s constantly spamming links, ads, and offers.

Consumer behavior has evolved with technology and people aren’t going to engage with your content or follow you too long if you’re constantly shoving sales offers down their throats.

Be more human and less corporate 

People go on social media to be social, not deal with robots. When you’re interacting with people online, remember to be human.

Even if you’re operating a brand account, try to stay away from the sanitized overly corporate tone.

People are looking for relatability and authenticity, not scripted sound bytes.

Make things mobile-friendly 

Everything related to digital marketing is shifting more to mobile as technology evolves. 

Just like with SEO and website optimization, social media marketing should be done with the understanding that many, if not most of the people viewing your content will be doing so from a mobile device.

How to find the right influencers

Influencers have been one of the hottest things in marketing in recent years because of the power of social media.

65% of content consumers stated that they prefer content from leading industry influencers. The nature of online marketing has shifted toward more organic content and many times influencers can offer that.

Influencers can massively increase the reach of your content by sharing it with their own audiences.

There are a couple things you need to do help you find the right influencers for your brand.

Narrow down the audience/niche 

Step one of finding the right influencer is to narrow down the audience or niche you want to reach. You can also look at influencers you’re interested in and examine what type of audience they have to see if it falls in line.

Find micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are social media accounts with a large following but not too large.

Often defined around 10,000 to 100,000 followers, micro-influencer accounts are known for having high engagement and trust despite not having as massive an audience as accounts that are far beyond six figures in follower counts.

Micro-influencers have enough followers to have significant reach, higher engagement rates compared in comparison to their number of followers, and can be cheaper to work with.

Incentivize and empower your influencers to advocate for your brand

After you’ve identified influencers that would be a good fit for your brand, you have to incentivize them to work with you.

You should have some sort of affiliate program or sponsorship options prepared before you approach an influencer.

You need to make it easy and simple for them to advocate for your brand and promote your products/services. Make sure they have the copy, images, links, discount codes, and whatever else they need to publish content for you.

How to measure success on social media

How do you measure the success of your social media marketing efforts?

There’s one main thing to keep in mind when you’re assessing your effectiveness on social.

Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics

Likes and views are important but be sure not to be fooled by vanity metrics.

You may want to look at things like how many sales are being driven by social media, how much traffic you’re getting to your website, and how much meaningful engagement you’re getting from people.

Engagement matters more than likes and follows.

Meaningful engagement could be different things from shares to reviews, to user-generated content, and link clicks.

What benchmarks are “vanity metrics” and what benchmarks are important KPIs (key performance indicators) will vary depending on your goals.

Likes and follower counts don’t always tell the full story.

Social Media Optimization Summary

Optimizing your social media presence is about maximizing your brand’s visibility among the most relevant audiences.

It has lots of benefits for businesses and is a huge aspect of modern marketing.

There’s no reason your business can’t successfully market itself on social media as long as you:

  • Choose the right platforms
  • Become a content creator
  • Find the right influencers
  • Properly measure your efforts

If you’d like help with your brand’s social media strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.