Making SMO (Social Media Optimization) and
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Work For You.
There is no shortage of voices telling you how to use social media to do things great or small. Truthfully, most of them know very little more than you do. Today, what I want to do is discuss some very specific mechanics involved in using these tools to generate positive results for your business, or organization. Let’s cover some foundational information first:
Definitions (via Wikipedia)
- Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities, and community websites.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
A Bold Step
I am about to ask you to view Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In with a different set of eyes. These are the tools of social media. I am also asking you to think differently about your website. Your use of social media tools must integrate with your website to achieve the growth you are looking for.
Good social media needs good SEO in order to thrive … like fire needs oxygen. Conversely, building a strong web audience is dependent on strong SMO.
Most people take off running when they hear these terms, assuming there refer to a world far too difficult for them to comprehend. In truth, both concepts are rather straightforward — though mastering the art of optimization can be somewhat challenging.
SEO — Getting Found
SEO simply involves a set of techniques to present your website in the very best light to the automated programs that browse the web sorting and prioritizing the millions of website available. A good SEO strategy will help those programs find you and raise your site to a place of prominence.
SMO — Building Relationship
SMO involves a set of techniques to present your organization in the very best light to people who are using the web and making choices about which sites and organizations are important to them. A good SMO strategy will invite people to get to know your organization by providing helpful information, inviting questions, and creating relationship.
It may have occurred to you that good SEO and good SMO will have some points in common. The most common point of synergy is a blog. Every organization wanting to build a strong follower base needs to find some way to blog at regular intervals.
Putting it All Together
Your online presence is like a living organism. It has life — it breathes. The days of putting your brochure on the web and allowing it to go untouched are long gone. Here are four practical steps to capture the online synergy available to you:
- Create the best website you can afford. Most people are making decision based on websites. People are choosing which church to attend based on the church’s website; donors are deciding who to support based on the organization’s website; consumers are making purchasing decisions based on the seller’s website. A website can make a small organization look big, or a big organization look small.
- Invest in a good SEO strategy. Mastering the art of optimization is not for the amateur. It takes knowledge, skill, understanding, and a bit of intuition. However, the benefits of an optimized website far outweigh the costs. When your site is optimized people will begin to find you and you audience will grow.
- Invest in a good SMO strategy. Most people today are engaged in social media without a clear strategy or purpose. Consequently they wander aimlessly on the social media highway. With a good SMO strategy you will find yourself on the expressway to deep relationships, loyal customers, and raving fans.
- Start blogging. Somehow, someway start to communicate about your organization regularly. Provide insightful information; resources, tips, etc. Give people a reason to read what you have to say. It doesn’t need to be long; it doesn’t need to be daily; just make it informative, helpful, and regular.
Capture the synergy. Give to your audience until their loyalty and desire to hear more intersects with their opportunity to buy, give, or join. Then nurture that relationship by giving even more.
The beauty of using the synergy of SEO and SMO is that when done properly, people come to you … people who like you, want to build relationship with you, and invite you into their lives.