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Years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) was declared the best strategy fo getting your website to the top of search engine results pages. It was unanimous: SEO companies and web experts alike agreed that the most effective way to succeed in the digital age was to rank at the top of results so that you’d be found by potential customers and customers. Then came social media – and with it, social media optimization (SMO) – which seemed to change the game.

Instead of pulling out all the stops to increase Google rankings, companies started scurrying to establish as many new social connections as possible. And thus, the concept of SMO was born. But has the rise of social media optimization made search engine optimization irrelevant?

Taking a closer look at the two strategies, it’s clear that SMO and SEO have common goals: traffic generation and website awareness. The main difference, then, is a matter of approach. And chances are, you understand the ins and outs of SEO better than it’s social media counterpart. So let’s take a few minutes to try to understand the basics of SMO.

social media optimization


Understanding Social Media Optimization (SMO):

  • What’s the goal of SMO?

In short, user experience. The role of social networking sites has evolved into a content-driven and user-focused system. Thus, SMO means offering your users a fantastic experience that leads to further engagement with your company. When users are satisfied with your social media content, they are more likely to become customers.

  • What are major differences between SMO and SEO?

Almost all SEO campaigns begins with internal, on-page work. SEO companies immediately look at keywords, inbound and outbound linking, and website structure in order to improve SEO scores. SMO requires a slightly different approach. It involves the immediate generation of new, external relationships. It involves befriending target audiences. In SMO, there are no search engines funneling visitors towards your page; it’s up to you to pursue them.

  • What skills does SMO require?

Simply put: SMO requires some serious technical knowledge. It requires the ability to do data analysis, forecasting, and manipulation. It requires a deep understanding of best practices for posting and sharing. And it requires widespread knowledge of each social media platform, as well as current trends and changes in the industry. Of course, you can outsource to services for some of these needs, but why not cut your spending and become an expert yourself?


The Truth About SMO

While the importance of SMO is rapidly increasing, the reality is that it hasn’t ruled out SEO yet. In fact, digital marketing experts agree that optimizing your social media presence should go hand-in-hand with your search engine work. As you might expect, there are significant opportunities for valuable interplay between the two. Quality SMO boots SEO, and vice versa.

Stick around for future posts regarding SMO practices. As we continue to learn and develop new approaches to social media optimization here at Victorious, we’ll be sure to share our findings with you.

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Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the CEO of Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives at Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset Neighborhood.

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