SEO, now SMO: What is Social Media Optimization and How to Use It

Just when you thought you’ve got the idea of Search Engine Optimization, or you at least know what SEO stands for, along comes another acronym to add to your Online Marketing artillery.  Introducing SMO, which stands for Social Media Optimization.  We use SEO to optimize the content for our website to promote a greater online presence, and while SMO deals with your company’s content, if focuses more on the engagement and interaction with relevant communities on social networks.
This is an important difference between SEO and SMO.  SMO is not about how many links to your website you can spread across all of the social media outlets.  Rather, true optimize your Social Media presence requires active participation in conversations with others about your services, products, events, etc.  It requires commenting and generating interest through questions on your posts as well as sharing relevant and influential information from reputable sources.
Rohit Bhargava is given credit for creating the idea of SMO back in 2006, and he has give 5 rules for SMO.  Below is his updated list of 5 New Rules for SMO:
1. Create Shareable Content
The basic principle here is the better your content, the more people want to share it. Make it relevant to your industry and informative.
2. Make Sharing Easy
Make your content accessible and easy to share on all social media platforms.
3. Reward Engagement
Engagement is a huge priority.  Think about how you engage on your personal social media accounts: liking, posting, sharing, commenting. Now transfer that engagement into your business accounts…only you may want to leave the emojis and cute cat pictures for your personal account.
4. Proactively Share Content
This rule means to be creative with how you deliver your content.  The traditional way is to write a blog and post the link onto social media or provide a link to your website.  We are seeing more diversification in how content is now delivered.  Slideshare presentations, embedded videos, photo galleries, are all different ways to share your content than just text.  Turn that 20 page report into an eye catching video, or animated slide presentation.  The possibilities are endless.  Be creative.
5. Encourage the Mashup
First of all what is “the mashup”?  Bhargava states that the mashup is when people take your information and put their own spin on it.  Rather than consider this as offensive, (I mean isn’t your content perfect the way it is?) consider it as a testament to the relevance and informative nature of your content as a building block for other ideas.

Social Media Optimization requires active engagement on social media platforms.  It doesn’t have to be more work though.  Consider your engagement as a conversation among a population of other like minded individuals whom you would like to learn from, and who can learn from you.  SMO can help you build brand credibility and trust, and paint your business as a reputable source of information.