What is 'Social Media Optimization (SMO)'

Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of social media networks to manage and grow an organization’s message and online presence. As a digital strategy, social media optimization can be used to increase awareness of new products and services, connect with customers, and ameliorate potential damaging news.

Breaking Down 'Social Media Optimization (SMO)'

For many years search engine marketing was the standard for digital marketing efforts. But social media marketing has come to the fore, and is either converging with search engine marketing or supplanting it in some regards. Studies show that companies that do not succeed with social media optimization are neglecting social media optimization, which offers the benefits of strengthening a brand, lead generation, increased visibility in the online space, and better connections with a company's audience.

Various types of social media can be used to disseminate information, including social network websites such as Facebook and Twitter, RSS feeds and news aggregators, blogs, and video websites, such as YouTube.

Social media optimization often directs the public from social websites to the company website, where more information can be provided. For example, a campaign to raise awareness of a new automobile may direct the visitor to a company webpage providing information on where local dealerships are located and how to schedule a test drive.

Social Media Optimization and Messaging

Companies using multiple social networks may use Internet-based tools designed to improve the organization and dissemination of company messaging. The tool may allow an employee tasked with optimization to push a specific message across multiple networks at the same time, as well as manage any feedback provided by individuals who reply to any posts on social media networks.

The Internet allows content to be sent out nearly instantaneously. This has given rise to marketing efforts that have relied on developing content that Internet users may pass along to friends and family. This type of social media marketing, called viral marketing, operates under the assumption that the company will achieve a broader reach by getting others to pass content along rather than relying solely on users finding the content on their own.

Social Media Optimization in Practice

Messages in social media optimization can be tailored to specific groups of individuals, allowing social media managers to provide different offerings based on demographic and geographic profiles. For example, a soft drink maker may post a message about how cold a beverage is to Internet users in hot climates, while at the same time telling users in cold climates that drinking the beverage will remind them of summer.

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