Most online marketers and business owners already have an idea of SEO and how to leverage it to improve their businesses. But thanks to the ever-growing influence of social media, marketers can also boost their businesses through relevant channels. One of the best strategies to do that is through social media optimisation (SMO).

What is Social Media Optimisation?

Social media optimisation, in simple terms, refers to the best ways businesses and individuals can boost their image and revenue through social media. This covers all forms of planned activities carried out on business pages and profiles that directly or indirectly boost sales or company image. 

While most companies prefer to just set up profiles online so their clients can find them, proper SMO offers a lot of benefits. With a good SMO strategy, you could strengthen your brand, make more sales, manage your reputation, and even boost your website’s ranking. 

The concept is relatively new and most online guides fail to list out what SMO entails exactly. This guide covers SMO in detail and also has extra tips.

Social Media Management

In most cases, social media optimisation begins with social media management. This may not be necessary for individuals, but for businesses, proper management leads to better results. As a business owner, you need to create a proper plan and schedule for your social media activities. Here are important aspects of social media management you need to consider.

Optimizing Profiles

To gain the most out of social media, the first step, even as an individual, is to optimize your profiles. Start with setting your logo as your profile picture and uploading a branded image as your cover photo. Your cover photo is the first thing your page visitor sees on your profile and should tell the visitor what you do at a glance.

Depending on the channel, you need to provide a short but compelling description of your business. This can come under your Bio or in the About section of the profile. Your contact information should be accessible too and visitors should be able to navigate your profile properly. You aim to make a good first impression and to make the visitor clearly understand what you offer.

Increasing Following and Engagement

The most common activity under social media management is to increase the page’s following and engagement. That means encouraging the organic growth of the page’s audience by sharing valuable content regularly or soliciting for followers. Proper engagement also demands that you reply to comments and messages as soon as possible.

As your business’ social media manager, you can only improve your online presence by growing your audience and keeping them satisfied always. You need to develop an audience growth/engagement strategy, test the strategy to confirm it works, and consistently keep to the plan. 

Generating Leads and Influencing Sales

Social media management is an investment (time or money or both) which can only be sustained if there is significant revenue. An SMO plan that does not directly or indirectly boost your returns on investment (ROI) is not a good one and needs to be attended to. 

A good SMO plan should ensure that interest in the products or services is cultivated and steadily nurtured. It should be a sales funnel that ultimately leads a good portion of the audience to place orders. You can do this by mixing in good copywriting, content marketing, and digital marketing in your strategy. 

Online Reputation Management

Social media management also requires online reputation management. Bad reviews or comments hurt your sales and brand image significantly. While you need to avoid situations that may make a client drop a bad review, you also need to properly handle them when they come. Stay on the lookout for them, drown them with other positive comments or get the comment deleted if possible. You should also attempt to get the matter resolved and make it up to the client. 

Tracking Performance with Social Media Analytics

There is no way to know if your SMO plan is working without tracking your page’s performance. This is easily done with social media analytics. With Facebook Analytics you can monitor certain metrics and measure your performance through them. You could also invest in analytical tools that can help you track your performance on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

A big advantage of social media analytics is that it enables you to identify where you are getting it wrong and alter your plan accordingly. This will eventually lead to better brand reach and greater returns.

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement is the highlight of social media optimisation. The main purpose of business pages is to be closer and accessible to your audience; if they are not able to connect with you, you are getting it all wrong. Your social growth and engagement strategy should ensure your clients are connected to you and are satisfied always.

Replying Messages and Comments

This is the basic activity under social media engagement. You need to attend to all messages promptly and reply to comments on posts. For best SMO results, you need to make your audience believe you care for them and respect their interests. This means watching the tone of your replies, keeping your cool even under pressure, and attending to their every whim respectfully. How would you expect your front desk officer to treat clients?

Generating and Joining Social Trends

A good and cooler method of growing your following is by generating or joining social trends. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have an organised trend system that collects feeds about a particular trend and enables interested users to find them. You could leverage that to gain followers by staying on top of these trends. If you are not creative enough to make a particular hashtag trend go viral, you could join the trend and try to draw attention.

Developing Original Content

Another method of growing your page’s audience is by amassing social shares. This can only be achieved organically when you provide valuable content to your existing audience. They are encouraged to share your posts and copies, giving you a wider audience. If you are lucky or very creative, your posts could go viral and attract followers in their numbers. With good original content, you can also sell your products and services easily.

Sharing Appropriate Curated Content

Good social content marketing strategy does not require you to dish out original content always. You can also share curated content that is related to your niche. Seek out for blogs or pages that provide content rich in value and pick posts your audience will love. Share them too occasionally, alongside your original content, to maintain a wholesome content marketing strategy.

Use of Branded Images

While managing your company’s social media profile, you want to build trust and establish your authority in your niche. Besides dishing out content regularly, you also need to attach clear branded images to the posts. Nice images attract and hold your page visitor’s attention and also helps to drive the message home. Branding the images builds trust, confidence, and increases your authority.

Online Brand Building and Marketing

An essential part of social media optimisation which most SMEs and start-ups tend to overlook is brand marketing. Large enterprises, in most cases, understand the importance of brand marketing, and always have brand marketers on their social media team.

As a growing brand, you need to build loyalty by steadily pushing a particular message or narrative to your audience. The idea is to make your audience identify emotionally with your brand. When a follower grows to accept and believe your brand message, he or she will remain a loyal customer. 

Your brand message and story need to be woven into your content marketing strategy. They also need to be reflected in your replies, comments, style of writing, and message tone. The idea is to indirectly burn your brand and the story into the minds of your audience. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the final part of social media optimisation and is sometimes considered as a separate approach. It deals with paid advertisements on selected social media channels. The truth is, an optimum SMO strategy needs to make use of paid advertisements at some point. It is mostly necessary when a new product or service is to be launched.

Most SMEs are guilty of placing ads without a proper social media marketing plan. Channels like Facebook and Instagram now make the process easier even for rookies. But before you start placing ads, determine the best channel for your business, and create a good plan. Your plan should ensure you get the most out of the ads without breaking the bank. It is always better to work with a social media marketing agency that can help you maximize your ROI.

5 Useful SMO Tips to Remember

Here are five tips to always keep at the back of your mind in your SMO journey:

Identify and Focus on Your Target Market

You will not make useful progress if you have the wrong audience. From the start, you need to make sure you are addressing the right people. That means identifying your target market before you commence your social media optimisation journey. 

Pick a pen and paper and write down the qualities of your ideal customer. Make certain allowances to broaden the range too. Narrow down the locations where you can find these people, and then proceed to hunt for them. 

Your copies and content should be tailored to suit the needs of your target market. Speak in the language and tone they are familiar with. Use terms they understand readily. Offer only what they will find valuable. You have better chances of hitting optimum ROI when you focus on your target market.

Aim to Educate or Entertain

If you are looking to engage your target audience properly, you need to publish only content with educative or entertaining value. Your audience are on social media to connect with people, learn something new, or ease work tension. You need to offer them at least one of those.

Your replies should have a calming effect. Keep your content educative or entertaining. Make your audience look forward to your posts. This increases the number of shares on posts and helps to establish authority. 

Be Intentional in Your Use of Keywords

Keywords are not only important for SEO; they are also needed in SMO. To improve your profile and posts on social search results, you need to fill your content with appropriate keywords. Conduct proper keyword research before writing a post, develop your content around those keywords, and publish the content with the right hashtags. People who search for the hashtags will find your posts firsts if they are optimized.

Stay Focused and Consistent

In digital and content marketing, consistency is key. This also applies to social media optimisation as earlier mentioned. You need to be clear on the message you are passing across. Consistently push your brand message and story across and watch your audience become loyal customers.

Timing and Frequency are Important

This may be hard to believe but the timing and frequency of your posts affect your page’s performance. Posts perform differently at specific times across all social media channels. You need to study each channel and understand the best time to publish certain kinds of posts. You also should keep your number of posts per day or week at the optimum level. Hitting your Facebook audience with the same number of posts per day as your number of tweets may be counter-productive.

Boosting ROI and Brand Image with Proper SMO

Kopykart solutions is a content writing and copywriting agency in Nigeria. As part of our services, we help brands across Africa and beyond to manage and optimize their social media presence. Our team of expert copywriters and content writers are well-trained and skilled in social media optimisation. We know how to help your brand get that reach and online revenue boost at very affordable rates. Partner with us today and enjoy the dividends of proper SMO!