Why Social Media Optimization Matters
Everyone knows that search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for businesses to thrive—80% of clicks come from the first page of search results, after all—but did you know that it’s only one small piece of a much larger puzzle?
Though search engines turn over plenty of traffic, they’re certainly not the only way you can be discovered. Yes, for your business to stand out you need to be easy to find on search. But you also need to maintain a professional brand and look trustworthy when potential customers stumble upon your business in other ways; more and more, customers are coming across new businesses via Facebook and Twitter (among other platforms).
For this reason, savvy marketers must also prioritize social media optimization, or SMO.
What is SMO?
At its most basic, SMO is exactly what it sounds like—optimizing your website and its content to be maximally interesting, attractive, and apparent when shared to social media. However, that can take a lot of different forms.
For example, one form of SMO could be a plugin or a feature in your content management system (CMS) that allows you to edit the text that is auto-populated when someone shares one of your links to Facebook or Twitter. Or, it might be changing the fields that your “share” buttons pull from to ensure that the user is always sharing a small enough piece of text to fit into a tweet. It may also just be using images that you know will look sharp on Facebook and encourage user engagement.
However your SMO takes shape, it should be a priority.
Why does SMO matter?
There are two types of social media shares: those where someone copies the link and drops it into the platform of their choice along with some thoughts and those where the user just hits the “share” button and moves along. They’re two different ways of interacting with the content and two different ways that people like to share information with their social circle.
However, they need to produce streamlined, reliable results.
Consider this: how many times have you seen someone you know share a link to Facebook only to have the text cut off, garbled, or otherwise unclear? How often have you seen a tweet that’s missing the second half of the headline? Most likely a lot, right?
That’s because many sites still aren’t optimized for social sharing, meaning when people use that “share” button, they may be getting less-than-perfect results. Similarly, if they go to share the link manually, there may be no image that populates or no way to edit the link. And while you can edit the photo or add text to your professional page, when regular folks share, they don’t have that option.
This has the long-term effect of reducing the overall traffic and attention your site receives which could be costing you business over time.
Twitter, Facebook, and More
Twitter and Facebook are, of course, the main social media sites that marketers look to when trying to grow their business. They aren’t the only ones, though; if you do any kind of ecommerce that is consumer facing, you should also be optimizing for Pinterest.
Pinterest is a rapidly growing social media platform that is highly visible and has been shown to lead to conversions. People buy things they see on Pinterest, plain and simple. But because most items that are pinned are actually repins, the content you’re putting out there has to be ready to share with minimal effort.
Look for a CMS or plugin that allows you to use different, custom images for each kind of share; long and thin images work best for Pinterest, while a square is right for Instagram.
SMO is easy to overlooked and, unfortunately, often becomes the last priority. These may seem like small details, but they can make a big difference in your bottom line.
efelle can give your clients something to talk about
efelle creative is a Seattle-based web marketing firm that specializes in website design and development, website content management, search engine optimization, and other online marketing services. Since 2005, efelle has worked with hundreds of businesses to help them with their web development needs. Call us at 206.384.4909 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with a custom web design specialist.