Optimizing your social media investment

As a social media marketer, I spend a lot of time creating metrics reports so that I can see how well our strategies are working. A big return on the investment in social media is an increase of web traffic to your site…which will turn into better name recognition and trust…which will (hopefully) turn into new business and sales. If your metrics reports are not impressing you each month, you should take a closer look at your social media optimization (SMO).

SMO is the optimization of social media activity with the intent of attracting unique visitors to website content. The focus is on increasing web traffic through portals – Facebook, Twitter, blog comments – rather than search engines. Both strategies run on similar principals. Find the balance between SMO and SEO, and you may find your metrics reports looking a lot sweeter at the end of each month. Here’s how to adopt what you know about SEO into your SEM campaign:

1.  Keywords.

  • SEO: Optimize keywords as you create content for your site or blog.
  • SMO: If your content is optimized for search engines, it is perfectly suited for sharing across social media platforms. For example, when you tweet a link to your article, include keywords and hashtags that correlate to the article’s content.

2. Cross-linking.

  • SEO: Connect all your online collateral with links. Your homepage should display links to your social media accounts and vice versa.
  • SMO: Encourage your fans and network to share links to your content by creating useful content. Then, make it easy for them to share by building social applications into your blog. The more times people comment, like, or tweet your content, the more the web will recognize it as valuable.

3. Content Relevance.

  • SEO: Make sure the information on your site answers what your target audiences are searching for online.
  • SMO: Participate in conversations with other bloggers and news outlets. Provide them with your expertise, and athen suggest a link to a related piece of your own content. Match your content with other similar posts to boost your online relevance. Example: “Great post Claire! SEO and SMO are very important. We wrote a piece on some strategies that you might be interested in… http://www.______.com)” That way, you don’t look so self-interested, and you are building your own back-links to your website.

4. Activity.

  • SEO: Update your site with new information. Keep it active so that Google and other search engines know your site is still relevant.
  • SMO: Keep track of engaged fans and friends by thanking them, asking them follow up questions and providing incentives for them to return to your blog. Ask users who are particularly active if they’d like to write a guest post.

5. Synchronization

  • SEO: Connect all your social media accounts to your website to build cross-links.
  • SMO: Take the extractable data from various sites via their APIs. Sync these up to your website to reinforce their online relevance. For example, have your Twitter feed running on your blog. And since you are tweeting about industry-related news and those tweets are now living on your blog, that content is ever-increasing its SMO and SEO relevance online.

Track your success

So, how can you tell if your SMO and SEO strategy are working harmoniously? Pay attention to the Referral Sites section of Google Analytics. This data will give you the insights on which social media sites are bringing you the most web hits.  It will also list the top search engines that are driving traffic to your site. Aim to strike a good balance between the number of search engine hits and social media referrals.

Share your thoughts, advice, and suggestions in the comment section below, or send us a tweet @thinksocreative!