What is SMO and why is it better than SEO?
SMO is an acronym for Social Media Optimization, an increasingly vital part of your online marketing strategy. More and more, search engines look to the social web and SMO to determine what sites are informative and relevant. By following what actual humans are talking about and linking to, search engines can move beyond the limitations of traditional Search Engine Optimization to determine the relevancy of a website to a searchable word or phrase. Today, a website would be hard pressed to gain access to the first few pages of search results if they don’t also have a social presence with good SMO, generating interest in their product or service.
The added beauty of SMO is that it incorporates the best marketing and sales techniques of the physical world. For any business to grow, relationships need to be formed and contacts need to be made. Social Media Optimization is all about forming those relationships and promoting your business or hobby.
So Does SMO Replace SEO now?
Well, no. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the foundation upon which your website will grow. It tells the search engines what your site is about, and how much you know about the product or service you’re promoting. What search engines can’t do, however, is tell how well actual human people are impressed with what you have to say. Oh, they can get an idea, based on how long people stay on your website and how they behave while they’re there. If they click on your site and five seconds later they go back to the search engine to look for the next link in the list, the search engine will have a pretty good idea that your site isn’t a great match for their search query. But of course, that leaves some room for error and misinterpretation on the part of the search engine. A visitor to a site could be there for a very brief visit just because the site is quickly informative and easy to navigate. And after all, when it’s doing its job efficiently, the search engine itself won’t have people dwelling for long as they make a query and move on to their found sites. Social media is a great way for search engines to see if real people value your site well enough to share it.
If I Do My Marketing With SMO, Why Do I Need A Website?
Depending on what you want to get out of your online marketing, you might not need a website. Many people make social media work for all their marketing needs. But there are a lot of reasons why you might still want your own website:
- Automation: If you want to be able to take orders or make appointments online, you’ll need a website.
- Control: Social sites have the right to change their rules, and they sometimes do. There is no guarantee that the product or service you’re promoting today will be allowed tomorrow. With your own site, you also have the ability to handle customer service directly. Customers will be less likely to complain to a review site if they are able to contact you directly with any questions or concerns.
- Security: So long as you’re only marketing on someone else’s website, you may one day lose your marketing efforts for reasons beyond your control. Your account could be suspended over an inadvertently broken rule, a change in the rules about marketing, or because the website itself closes. With your own site, you will always have your web presence, despite whatever else happens.
- Professional Appearance: There’s no doubt about it, a professional looking website can add an air of legitimacy to a business. As wonderful as Twitter, Facebook, and the rest can be for promotion, in the end, they look and feel like a casual interaction. A well done website is like the nice office or storefront you bring your customers to after you’ve met and schmoozed with them in a casual setting. It can seal their impression of you as an authority in your field.
OK, I’m sold. How do I get started with Social Media Marketing?
Well, that’s a much longer conversation than we can cover in just one article, and the rules for Social Media Marketing are constantly evolving as trends change in social site popularity and the sites themselves tweak their rules.
There will be more information coming (including videos, cause YouTube is an important part of SMO.) In the meantime, you can always contact the Social Mutterfly team to help you seek out and connect with your prospective audience. Our team are creative, helpful, trained in SMO, and love what they do.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help with your SMO needs.