The rapid growth of social media users opens up new opportunities for building an efficient social media marketing strategy and overall lead generation for the business. At the start of 2021, there were 4.2 billion social media users worldwide, according to Statista. In 2017 there were only 2.8 billion.
When enterprises try to grow their network, they often think creating social media profiles and making posts is enough. However, they make a huge mistake and omit one important and necessary step – Social Media Optimization (SMO).
To achieve community targets and get more conversions and profit from social media, companies should develop and follow SMO strategies that align with their brand. Why? First of all, when they do SEO without SMO they’re missing out on the huge potential for getting new prospects to websites.
SMO helps buyers find a website/product through social media. On the business side, SMO boosts the website’s organic ranking through additional traffic and social signals. According to the GlobalWebIndex statistics, 54% of social users use social media to research products. 26% use a social media “share” button. And 16% share a brand’s post on social media.
These statistics show the potential activity by bringing users to your website. However, it’s possible only with the right approach to Social Media Optimization Marketing. SMO focuses on improving social media profiles, content optimization, developing a stronger social media presence, and driving more conversions.
We have prepared this step-by-step guide to Social Media Optimization with practical tips. Our goal? To help digital marketing managers and business owners develop and implement a successful seo social media optimization and capitalize on social traffic to the full extent. Check it out!
What is social media optimization (SMO)?
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the use of social media techniques and strategies such as keyword research, profile optimization, content optimization, social media calendar, and others. The result is increasing a company’s brand awareness and growing online presence by incentivizing the target audience to share content, drawing people to a particular website.
Social Media Optimization Goal
The main goal of SMO is to increase digital brand awareness, website traffic, and the number of purchases from social media. Digital marketing managers use social media key metrics to measure the success:
- Brand Awareness (Coverage = Impressions)
- Average Engagement Rate (Likes, Comments, Shares)
- Social Media Traffic Conversion Rate (on a website)
Brand awareness & Engagement Rate
1. Identify the attention metrics that create brand awareness for your organization
- Impressions – The number of times your content has been viewed, including repeated views from a single person.
- Reach – The number of people who have viewed your content.
- Mentions – The number of times people mention your brand in their posts.
- Voice Sharing – The percentage of total mentions in an industry that mentions your brand.
Decide on a number for each of these metrics that will mean that your brand is well-known.
2. Identify the reporting period which you will tie to brand awareness
You can choose the reporting period by yourself. For example, per month, per quarter, per year, etc.
3. Analyze the metrics for each reporting period and compare them
If you choose 1 month as a reporting period, you need to collect all the data of your metrics during this month. Then, compare them to the results of the previous month and analyze what you did during this period to understand what could boost or reduce your metrics. After that, you should set up goals for increasing them in the next month.
Moreover, you need to compare the results with your goals. For example, you aim to have at least 200 000 impressions for a month, but you have only 100 000. The plan includes how to increase them to 200 000, with an appropriate deadline.
Social Media Conversion Rate
1. Track your traffic
Mark the traffic coming from social media to ensure that each of your actions is collected and your analytics are as accurate as possible. To do this, create a link for a post using a shortened URL that places a “cookie” on a user’s machine.
This shortened URL gives you a chance to analyze your campaign. To see the analytics, you need to add your website to Google Analytics. Google Analytics shows you how many leads came to your website, to which exact page, and from which sources. Now you are able to determine which content works the best.
UTM is here to make it easy for you.
Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters are five types of URL parameters that help marketers to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. You will find them in the URL Building tool (link under the image). Fill the gaps near them with special meaning.
2. Measure your total number of conversions
3. Get your SMO conversion rate percentage
Divide the social media conversions by the total number of conversions and multiply by 100 to get your Social Media Traffic Conversion Rate percentage. Learn more about other Google Tools that may help you launch, improve and promote your website. Read our article 4 Best Google Tools to Launch a Website.
Engagement Rate by Reach (ERR)
1. Find out total engagement per post. Add up post likes, comments, shares, and other types of interaction.
2. Divide the total engagement per post by the reach per post and multiply the result by 100 to get your engagement rate reach by percentage.
The connection between SEO and SMO
Along with boosting traffic from social media, SMO also contributes to a regular influx of organic traffic. Google can crawl pages like Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit. If you make a post referring to your newly-created page, it will facilitate its indexation. Moreover, if you post relevant content with a link on your website page and people share it, the number of users exposed to the link grows. This results in a positive impact on your site’s domain authority, an increasing number of backlinks, and other things that increase organic rankings.
Social Media Optimization Strategies
RGray experts have prepared social media optimization tips that you can use to expand the influence of your company in social media. It’s time to create more conversions from social media sources. Let’s explore them step by step!
Keywords are words or phrases that people write in Social Media search engines when looking for something that interests them. Keyword research helps to figure out a topic that will engage people’s attention. Companies may use keywords or hashtags in their social media content to gain a higher chance to be found by their target audience.
A brief guide: how to conduct a keyword research
Keyword research is basically demand research. Today, if people are looking for something, they google it. Therefore, by analyzing keywords people type, you explore the current needs and wants of your target audience. It’s important to understand how they exactly name things they’re interested in. Based on that info, you can design your profile, content plan, call-to-actions, and posts.
For conducting keyword research we recommend you to use Ahrefs.
Optimizing Social Media Profiles
The profile description helps search engines to know what your brand is about. This way search engines will recommend your content when people search the topics that are relevant to your website. If your social media profile has a strong foundation and relevant content it may convert readers into followers. A profile is basically a landing page.
Tips on how to build a strong foundation:
The best idea is to use your company name. It will be easy and quick for customers to find your social profiles. You may use tools such as Knowem to check if your company name is available.
When creating a profile for a company, you should upload your logo as a profile photo. As a freelancer or consultant, it’s better to use a headshot of yourself.
Write clearly what your company does. Use keywords in your bio to increase visibility in search results. Place a trackable link back to your website. This helps you to increase traffic to your website and provide some necessary metrics to measure your SMO strategy success. You can make trackable links by using URL Builder. You can add hashtags in your bio so your profile can be found by the search function (you will find the right approach for using hashtags below in this article).
For social media marketing to be successful you need high-quality and well-optimized content. Content published in your profile converts people to your followers and drives traffic from your social media. Content should be:
Original means content that is specifically produced for social media, including unique images and graphics. Curated content means it’s created by others and shared by you. Be sure that curated content is relevant to your social media profile, consists of qualified and verified information, and don’t forget to check the reputation of the profile you took it from (information from notorious profiles has a bad impact on your reputation).
These are some tips on how to optimize your content:
Test different headlines
Try to write different types of headlines. Each time it will make your feed fresh and new. You will see that some headlines work better than others.
Choose the clickbaity title/solution like “7 Tips for…”, “How to…”, etc. This catches the attention of users scrolling the feed. You may leave some space and write the main text afterward. Following these content guidelines will attract your target audience and push them to press “read more” in order to find a solution or tips.
You can compare the best and worst-performing headlines in the following image:
Use visual content
According to Forbes, 91% of people like images over written content. As a successful digital marketing company, we found out by ourselves when making a social media marketing analysis of our profiles. And yeah, visual content engages more people. The majority prefers to watch a video or read text with an image over just simple text.
People often use hashtags to easily track trending topics and categorize social media posts. Hashtags help SMO by giving more post reach and the ability to be found by people who don’t follow you. We recommend using main keywords to engage people.
Include featured images
Websites that have a featured image will be shared on social media with this image, making it more attractive.
Social Media Calendar
Creating a Social Media Calendar is necessary to prevent coverage issues. Avoid posting something when followers even don’t see it, for example, because it’s time to sleep or work. The reports from investigation companies help us to determine the time when most people are online. The time of posting depends on your audience and the social media platform you use.
The best time to post on social media might change for different niches according to sproutsocials research in the following images
When you know the most ideal time to publish your post, it’s time to schedule it. This is useful for example when your audience lives in a different timezone.
SMMplaner is one of the most popular tools for managing social media posts, here you can paste your post text, upload visual content, add hashtags, links, and emojis, and most importantly schedule your post for a specific timezone.
Social Media Optimization Companies
Social media optimization is usually done by digital marketing companies. The main difference between these companies is the quality of their work. The chance to get the best result from social media optimization is higher if it is implemented by experts who have already served different types of businesses in multiple niches. The ideal situation is when a digital marketing company you are talking with already has experience in your niche or in an industry with a similar target audience. However, you should be critical when choosing a social media optimization agency. For example, make sure to choose the agency that will provide you with full SMO services.
This is a list of services/activities that social media optimization agencies should provide for their customers:
- Social Media Presence Analysis
- In-depth competitor analysis
- Brand reputation assessment
- SMO Strategy Creation
- Social media network set up and optimization
- SMO Strategy Execution
- Social Media Content Production (Text, Images, Videos, Animations, etc.)
- Influencer Outreach
- Paid Traffic Management
- Social Media Automation
- Viral Events Launch
- Monthly consultations
- Monthly reports
Social media helps your website with a significant amount of traffic. However, it takes a lot of attention and work. When done right, the result is worth it, resulting in conversions, more brand awareness, etc. There’s a lot to be gained by professional research and the implementation of everything we have described.
Do you want to improve your SMO results? We are ready to help you!
Reach out to us and together we can look into improving your conversions.