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Social Media Optimization: How To Do It and Everything Else You Should Know About It

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When discussing digital marketing, search engine optimization or SEO is a common term discussed often.

However, a term called social media optimization (SMO) has also gained prominence recently.

If you, too, have heard about it but don’t have any idea about it so far, no problem.

Because that’s what we’re going to cover in this article.

Let’s discover everything about this method of driving more reach to your social media posts!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social Media Optimization is a way to increase the reach of your posts and other content by adopting various strategies.

It aims to make your content and brand more visible across social media channels.

Why is Social Media Optimization Important?

The organic reach of social media posts has only decreased in the last decade.

Paying for social media ads to build a following has become increasingly important.

In such a situation, if something can be done to increase the organic reach of posts, then it makes sense to do it.

What is the Difference Between SMM and SMO?

The critical difference between SMM and SMO is that while Social Media Marketing (i.e., SMM) focuses more on building a fan following by spending money on social media ads, Social Media Optimization (SMO) focuses on increasing the visibility of your content on social media platforms by making it easy to share your content.

Which is Better — Social Media or SEO?

Although both may have similar goals, it won’t be fair to compare them because they try to achieve their goals differently.

While SEO tries to bring in more traffic from Google Search, SMO tries to bring in both web traffic as well as engagement to the social media posts of a brand.

What You’ll Need For Social Media Optimization

You’ll need the following two things before you can start working on the social media optimization of your accounts:

  • Keyword research tool: Tools like WordStream or Keyword Planner of Google Ads can help you find relevant keywords for captions, account bios, etc.
  • Canva account: With Canva, you can design social media posts that are the right size for any purpose.

Once you have these two things, you can start with the steps below.

How to Do Social Media Optimization: Step-by-Step Instructions

12 different steps go into the social media optimization of any post. Those steps need to be implemented as explained below:

#1. Posting at the right time

While most of us post when we like on our social media accounts, things are different regarding business.

A business should be more scientific in its approach and post at times when its audience is more likely to engage with the content.

That’s right — for each social media page, channel, and platform, there’s a time when a large number of its followers are online, and that’s when you should post to maximize your engagement rates.

If you post multiple times a day, choose to post your best or most important content around this time.

This will ensure higher engagement on your social media posts.

You can easily find out the best times to post on social media by going through your engagement insights from the in-built reporting tools of each social media platform.

If your posts done during a specific hour got more engagement than the others, that time block is your sweet spot when much of your audience is online.

#2. Ask questions

This is hands down the best way to boost engagement of your posts — ask intriguing questions that make them respond in the comments.

There are several types of questions that you can ask depending on your niche and industry, and a social media audit of your competitors who have done this before can give some good ideas.

#3. Run contests

After questions, another type of post that can significantly boost social engagement is contests.

And when we say contests, it doesn’t necessarily mean paying people some cash prize or any other gift.

You can simply give away your product for free to the contest winners, and it will have a higher ROI than many of your other marketing investments to boost your page’s engagement.

#4. Try carousel posts

This tip is for Instagram specifically.

You might already have seen a few carousel posts in your timeline, and they are done for a reason.

It has been shown that their engagement rate tends to be much higher than a regular Instagram post.

And remember, engagement works cyclically — the more someone interacts with your posts, the more they see from you.

So higher engagement on even a single carousel post you do can increase your subsequent posts’ engagement.

#5. Don’t over-post and under-post

Posting often increases the visibility of your page.

However, posting too often can backfire and make people start unfollowing your page, which can be picked up as a signal by the algorithms of social media platforms to reduce the reach of your posts further.

Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that you post on all your social media accounts at a frequency that’s neither over-posting nor under-posting.

Ideally, you should be posting between the limits prescribed below:

  • Facebook: once or twice per day
  • Instagram: 3–7 times per day
  • Twitter: 1–5 times per day
  • LinkedIn: 1–5 times per day

These limits have been prescribed by some of the best companies selling social media management software (i.e., Hootsuite), so you can think of it as a reliable starting point.

#6. Optimize your account

Optimizing your accounts on social media platforms can help others find your business more often, ultimately increasing your posts’ reach and visibility.

It can also boost your followers and fans and help you in making money on social media.

Here are a few steps that you can take to optimize your social media account:

Include keywords

Find popular keywords relevant to your industry from a keyword research tool (i.e., WordStream or Google Adwords Keyword tool) and include them in your bio.

And don’t worry — you don’t have to use long tail keywords here because you’re not trying to rank in the search results of a search engine.

You can choose the most popular search phrases as long as they’re relevant to your niche.

Include CTA and links

Also, don’t forget to include a Call To Action (CTA) and an accompanying link in your bio on social media profiles.

The CTA tells people precisely what you want them to do after arriving on your page, and links or buttons allow them to do that.

Add a cover

Some social media platforms (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) allow you to add a cover picture to your profile in addition to the default profile picture.

This picture can then be used to tell people more about your business or to include a CTA sometimes.

Use it wisely.

Add location, hours, etc

If you’re a local business, don’t forget to include your location, operating hours, etc., in your social media bio.

This will help people find your business and contact it in person.

#7. Optimize graphics and media

The graphics and media you include in your posts are also as important to be optimized as the text part.

Your posts will need optimized graphics to reach the audience.

That’s why you should try to optimize your graphics and media content by taking the actions explained below:

Choose the right size

If there’s one size that’s right for all social media platforms, it’s the size of a perfect square.

However, you can also experiment with other sizes depending on where you post your graphic.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow people to post larger graphics that can be seen in full size after tapping them.

In addition, the graphic’s purpose also matters in defining its correct size.

For instance, ads on social media platforms require graphics of different sizes than the graphics of regular content.

So keep those things in mind.

Cross-post carefully

Do not repurpose the content of Facebook and Twitter to visual-rich platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Those platforms may not correctly show the content created for other platforms, as the graphic size and limit of character count on posts may mess things up.

For instance, a carousel post may look perfect on Instagram but will look ridiculous on Facebook or Twitter, especially if it says things like “Swipe right” or includes more than 4 images.

So keep those things in mind while scheduling your content for cross-posting.

Add alt-text

Alt-text is usually added to images published on websites, but you can also add it to the graphics you post on social media.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter now allow people to add alt-text to graphics while uploading them.

By including them, your graphics will have a higher chance of appearing in search results of social media platforms whenever someone searches for a term related to them, thus increasing the reach of your posts.

Include subtitles for video content

This optimization is specifically applicable to video content.

Whenever possible, include subtitles in them to make videos viewable and understandable by people under any circumstances and location.

Subtitles also help the algorithms of social media platforms to understand the nature of your content in more detail, so they are really important.

#8. Use keywords in captions

We already spoke about the importance of using keywords in your account bio.

However, keywords are terms people search for, so they speak a lot about customer behavior.

Therefore, you should include the most popular keywords related to every topic in your captions if you want your posts to keep generating engagement even after months of being posted.

Because keywords can increase their discoverability within the search results of social media platforms on which you post them and through Google search results.

#9. Use relevant hashtags

Just like keywords, hashtags can also play a significant role in increasing the discoverability of your posts.

Most people probably know this, so they cram 30 hashtags into a single post.

And initially, this also used to work, but that’s not the case anymore.

Now Instagram has released some guidelines regarding how people should approach hashtags to increase the discoverability of their posts.

These guidelines suggest a couple of things:

  • First of all, put your hashtags in the captions and not the first comment;
  • Secondly, use only the topic-relevant hashtags;
  • The hashtags should also be a mix of broad terms, niche terms, and specific (i.e., brand-related) terms;
  • Work with 3–5 hashtags max in a post.

So keep these guidelines in mind while using hashtags in your posts.

#10. Tag people

Tagging other people or business owners is one of the fastest ways to get them to engage with your posts.

If you are mentioning someone in your post, whether they’re an individual or a business, tag them.

By doing so, you will be able to get their attention, and they may respond to your post.

Sometimes, they may even reshare the post on their social media accounts.

Both these things will increase your social media engagement and reach.

#11. Make sharing your web content easier

It’s not only you who can share your content on social media.

If people like it, they too can share your content on their social profiles, so make it as easy as possible to share the blog posts and other content you publish.

This can be done in two different ways:

  • Either by including share buttons on your web pages near the headline or a floating sidebar;
  • Or by adding the functionality to share snippets of your content by selecting it.

Whatever approach you take, just make sure that the sharing features are easy to reach for someone who wants to use them.

#12. Keep tracking and tweaking

Finally, keep tracking and optimizing your social media posts and content according to what your analytics and engagement reports tell you.

Data can give many insights, so learn from them and optimize your posts and content strategy accordingly.

Here are a few things you can figure out by looking into the insights and reports generated by your social media platforms:

  • Times when your content receives the most attention and engagement
  • Types of posts that get the most likes, clicks, shares, etc.
  • Topics that get the highest reach and engagement (and patterns in them)
  • And much more.

After you arrive at meaningful conclusions based on all this data, use what you learned to tweak and optimize your social media strategy.

If you don’t know how to extract conclusions from your marketing data, you should consider taking a course to learn more about social media analytics.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

  • How to Optimize WordPress for Performance: Creating a WordPress website is one thing; optimizing it is another. And among all optimizations, performance optimization is one of the most important ones as it directly affects your visitors. This tutorial explains how to optimize your new WordPress site for performance.
  • How To Optimize Google Adsense: Google Adsense is an important part of any website because it helps them earn. However, it’s also an important part to optimize because too many ads on a page can make it cluttered and slow to load. This tutorial explains how to optimize your Google Adsense ads for maximum revenue with minimum compromise in UX.
  • How to Implement SEO Best Practices: When discussing optimizations, how can we not discuss search engine optimization? This article explains how to implement SEO best practices for ranking your website in Google search results.

Wrapping Up

This was our brief guide covering every aspect of social media optimization and how it should be done.

If you still have any questions about it, feel free to drop them in the comments.

We’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.

And finally, don’t forget to share this guide on your social media handles because that will help us boost the reach of our content. 😉

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