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Social Media Optimisation

Breaking The Ice With Social Media Optimisation

Social media optimisation is a term that is loosely used as a substitute to social media marketing (SMM). Though the differences are subtle, they are definitely there. The Wikipedia definition of SMO goes as “SMO is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, service brand or event.”

Well … that hardly clears things up. Let me break it down, SMO refers to the optimisation of a website to make it more social media ‘friendly’. SMO is very clearly an on page activity. However SMM refers to marketing one’s brand via social media platforms which may be paid or organic. It is off page as far as the website is concerned.

By optimising your website to be more user friendly and social, you make it easier and more compelling for the visitors to associate with you, whether it be in the form of likes, shares, subscriptions or User generated content. After all, a word of recommendation from a friend is more credible than a thousand paid ads.

SMO in applicability is similar to SEO. Both are primarily done to drive traffic to your website. While in SEO your source is search engine, here it is social media.

SMO involves optimising ones website to promote social media engagements and to embed social media icons, subscription icons, social log in etc. Objectives of SMO includes strategically creating content that is suitable for sharing via their website links, be it interesting and crisp texts, eye catchy images or short viral videos. The ultimate objective is more and easier content flow across platforms and dimensions thus attracting more traffic to the website.

SMO can most aptly be called a precursor to SMM. It helps increase the effectiveness of SMM by making it easier for visitors to engage with the SMM campaigns. While approaching SMO, like many other marketing processes one must keep in mind:


goal of the action that you hope to achieve like bringing in traffic, getting visitors to spread awareness etc.

Market sentiment

the conversation surrounding the brand and positioning of the brand in the minds of the target audience


who your target audience are, their likes and preferences and their social circles


creating relevant content and get the target to participate


Analyse the KPIs like likes, share, leads etc. to understanding the effectiveness of the actions

And you also need to make sure:
  • You are well connected to all the platforms your audience are on
  • Your content is easy to share, tag and bookmark
  • Create content that is attractive and relevant to your audience and their social circle
  • Encourage user generated content
  • Promote and positively reinforce shares
  • Be creative and at pace with industry, thus being thought leaders or conversation starters

The same has been beautifully put into a systematic frame work called REALSMO model by Joshua Berg, a thought leader in SMO. It stands for

Engagement- Associate with your audience via relevant contents, UGC, shares etc.

Authority- Be an authoritative name in the particular area

Leadership- Be the conversation starter and thought leader in the relevant areas

Social- Be a part of relevant communities, influencer circles etc.

Media- Find where you can reach your audience and focus your attention there.

Optimise- Optimise the code, the webpage and its content for social media

SMO too like SMM contributes to the page ranking of a website. Search engines are taking in the recommendations of social media users for page ranking. A like or a share by a user counts as a ‘vote’ for the quality of that page. The algorithm for the ranking weighs in relevancy, authority and shareablity of content on your page. So, the more the shares, the merrier. One must thus approach SMO keeping in mind all its benefits and advantages.

Hope you now understand the basics of SMO, however there is a lot more to learn to take up a professional job in it. Combining it with other related topic by joining Facebook marketing training and Google Ads Training can help you land the job of your dreams. Join our digital marketing training in Kochi today and take a step towards a prosperous and enriching career.