While content and digital marketers have spent years honing search engine optimization into a fine art, most companies have actually devoted considerable efforts and resources to ensuring their SEO techniques are top-notch. While SEO is indispensable in increasing brand awareness online, there is another relatively newer technique that is equally as valuable: Social Media Optimization. Also, known as SMO, social media optimization is an ever-growing buzzword in 2017 in the online marketing world. These 5 social media optimization tips will hopefully come in handy to whatever it is you are trying to promote. So what is SMO exactly? It simply refers to optimizing a website or landing page and the content on it to encourage sharing of links across social networking platforms.
The idea behind social media optimization is really quite simple. It is to ensure a website or web page receives additional links to highly visible and popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. With that, the website or landing page must undergo changes around its content, its call-to-action messaging, meta tags, keywords and all media rich elements with the goal in mind to better engage your readership. According to reliable statistics, there are currently more than 3 billion people who have registered with at least one social media site globally. Half of these people log into social media at least once daily; this makes social media an indispensable marketing tool for any site that wants to enhance its online visibility.
Most search engines such as Google, Bing and even sites such as Scour.com have started incorporating social actions into their search results. So what does this mean to you? Simple! In the next decade, you will have to fight tooth and nail to ensure the content you create online is more endorsable, shareable, tweetable and more likeable than content from anyone else in your niche. To help you get a head-start, here are the 5 indispensable social media optimization tips that will come in handy:
1. Ensure Your Content is Engageable and Shareable
No matter how impressive your content is, it will not receive any traffic unless the people you are targeting engage with it through liking, commenting and sharing. The only way to generate interest and retain readers’ interest is to make your content engagement-friendly, relevant to your target audience and timed perfectly for maximum effect. You can do this through the following ways:
a. Write Persuasive Content
Make sure to write compelling content that is very relevant to your target audience, released in a timely manner, perhaps even controversial. Due diligence by making sure that your content uses proper grammar and sentence structure and of course correct spelling! Again, the goal is maximum user engagement so keep that in mind when crafting together your content.
b. Add Content on a Regular Basis
Continually add in fresh content to your site on a regular basis because most social media networks quickly archive posts within hours after it becomes published. And by continually posting new content, your visitors will keep coming back to learn about new insights within your field of expertise. Set up an editorial calendar for your posts on a weekly basis and build out content that is trending, popular and what your target audience wants to hear. Above all else, always ensure that you never jeopardize quality for quantity when posting content so make sure to push out content that is unique and a high readability score.
c. Add Media-rich Elements to Your Pages
Visual content that is more engaging, catchy and appealing will always spark more interest with most audiences so don’t be shy about adding in photos, embedded videos and infographics or other forms of media as a part of your content. All social media platforms have plenty of tools that enable incorporating multimedia content. Working media into your content marketing strategy makes your profile more interesting, memorable and engaging for readers.
d. Make Your Content Easily Shareable
Making sure your content is easily shareable is also very important. This means you need to push out and promote your content on social media networks whenever you can. It is even more vital to encourage people in your social media circles to share your content. By allowing your content to be easily shared, your search engine rankings can improve in a positive way and the benefits of social media to SEO can play a huge role.
– BONUS: 4 Ways to Make Your Content More Shareable on Social Media…
- Start by ensuring you have a social share tool bar in your site; reliable statistics have shown that this increases virality by up to an incredible 700%!
- Don’t be scared of asking for a ‘like’ or ‘share’ as long as it is done gently without coming across as too pushy.
- The same is true for requesting comments from readers. The trick is to do it subtly; for instance, a simple ‘What your story? Do you want to be part of the conversation?’ will suffice.
- Ensure that all your content has a subtle CTA (Call To Action) and placed strategically in the article.
2. Use Social Media Analytics to Your Advantage
Just like in search engine optimization, ensure you track all your SMO efforts using social media analytics. This can be done efficiently through Google Analytics using UTM codes. These are shortened URLs that allow a marketer to attribute the traffic a website gets from social networks to a specific campaign or channel. Additionally, you can also get a full picture of the impact that your SMO strategy is having. A well-built and useful social media analysis tool will give you vital information that will ensure you are on the right track. Indispensable information you can get from social media analytics include:
– This is the average number of ‘shares’ and ‘retweets’ that your posts get.
b. Economic Value
– This is your social media ROI (return on investment).
– This measures the number of ‘votes’ (likes or +1 likes) that your posts get.
d. Conversion Rate
– This is simply the average number of replies and comments that your posts get.
3. Experiment With Optimal Posting Times
Through trial and error, ascertain optimal posting times that work well for the audience you are targeting. There are many statistics floating around online that claim to give marketers optimal times to post on social networks. However, the reality on ground is that optimal posting times are dependent on your audience. While some of these stats will help you get started, the only way to get it right is to try and see what works best for a specific audience. Once you determine what works best for your audience, tailor a scheduling timetable that meets your audience needs and expectations.
4. Hashtags are Your Friend in the World of SMO
Apart from helping you find new people, hashtags also give your audience a way to find you. They have become synonymous with social media marketing; in fact most social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ have incorporated the use of hashtags. Aside from making it easier to track trending topics, hashtags also help in categorizing social media posts. They are also quite entertaining.
– BONUS: 3 Power Tips on How to Use Hashtags More Effectively…
- Figure out which hashtags are popular in your niche and incorporate them into your posts
- Use hashtags to help you find out vital information about the conversations making rounds in your niche or about your brand
- Take the prerogative to create your own hashtags; this can help you create a buzz around a promotion, marketing campaign or a contest.
5. Work on Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
Although creating an online social media profile seems like a simple task, it is one of the areas of social media optimization that is often ignored or neglected. The profile page is the foundation to having a strong footprint in any social media platform. If it is unappealing and weak, then it is extremely hard to build anything valuable on top of it. Here is what it takes to build a strong profile:
a. Your Username
– To avoid any confusion, simply use your company name.
b. Profile Photo
– It is advisable that you use your company logo as your profile photo. Alternatively use a photograph that is related to your brand, is memorable and captures the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.
c. Cover Photo
– This is an opportunity to showcase what your brand is all about.
– Use simple language to clearly state what your company does; if possible incorporate a trackable link to the bio on your website. Also try to use relevant keywords in your bio to enhance visibility.
e. Fill Out All Information
– Social networking sites such as Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to enter a lot of information so take your time and create a profile that is fully complete and will stand out to your audience.
If applied, these five social media optimization tips will give you a more strategic approach to marketing on social media sites and will significantly amplify your results.
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