There seems to be a lot of confusion around Social Media Optimization & Social Media Marketing.
People are adequately aware of social media marketing since it’s all rage. Every other day, the Marketing gurus drops knowledge bombs on how one can grow a business/brand and or Personal Brand using Social Media.
If you’re inclined to inquire about Social Media Marketing, then you to read → “Social Media Marketing Guide” before proceeding.
What is Social Media Optimization?
A one-liner explanation would be
“Social Media Optimization Complements Search Engine Optimization.”
Gone are the days when a business, brand, event, product & services used to become popular on the web without marrying it with Social Media. Nothing is the same since 2004, the year when Facebook came into force & changed our perceptions about Social Media.
The narrower understanding of Social Media Optimization is making just the website popular over the web. The web which includes all the possible networks.
Website, because it represents your overall business. In order to make your website popular over the web, you need to couple search engine optimization with social media.
In a broader spectrum, Social Media Optimization is making your business, brand, product, event & services become well known over the internet.
How to do Social Media Optimization?
Let’s first undertake the website example, you have a website you adopted the best search engine optimization practices to rank in Google Search Engine.
But here’s the thing, the Google Algorithm has changed the way it ranks the websites in search results. Back in the day, links were the only things that mattered.
A website having more links will rank higher, the website speed, social media linking, social media engagement, social shares, on page SEO, Website Speed none of this mattered.
But now the circumstances have dramatically changed. Google is factoring in the above mentioned aspects to rank a website.
Social Media Optimization Process
The Social Media Optimization Process that I’m about to share with you is ubiquitous. This works for every industry, B2C or B2B or even C2C for that matter.
1. Creating social profiles for the website/business on all the relevant social media platforms.
Social Networks & Social Bookmarking sites where your business should reflect presence includes.
Note: I have enlisted the super-relevant ones.
2. Connect your website with at least 4 Social Networks where you intend to crush it
Here’s the thing, it appears erratic if you connect & showcase virtually all the social networks on your website Footer Section.
The website design looks decent from UX perspective if you showcase 4-5 social profiles where you are absolutely crushing it, constantly providing value. The Social Media Icons in the footer section acts as Social Media Optimization Tool connecting the website visitors to social. The most responsive way of transforming visitors into social media followers.
By smartly placing social profile icons in your website you are prompting visitors to check out your social media game.
This is a tried and tested strategy to increase your social media following. People idolize the brands they trust & resonate with. After arriving on your website, they will voluntarily look for your social media handles so that they could connect with you.
A brand/business that updates followers with the latest whereabouts of the business via social media has a higher likelihood of getting the customer hooked.
3. Add Social Media Sharer Icons on your posts page & Conversion Optimized Landing Pages
You have created something unique, something authentic, you’ve put hours on producing the content. It only doesn’t make sense if it’s lying dormant over your website.
Social Share Icons are these insane Social Media Optimization Tools which can potentially make your content viral. Don’t believe me? Head over to app.buzzsumo.com & put any keyword in the search box. It will reflect results based on virality, i.e ranking content based on the sheer amount of social shares the content has resulted in.
Social Share Icons are these magical icons that urge users to share the website content. You can define the social networks on which you want users to share the content.
If you’re a WordPress user then you can use tools like Social Warfare (which I use on this site), AddThis, WPZoom, etc. If you use HTML Static website, then you just need to install the code from AddThis or other service providers like them so that Social Share Icons become visible on post pages like Blog Posts.
If there is one piece of content from the website that will mushroom all across web passively, then that is definitely a blog post.
Blog posts serve one single purpose, i.e providing value to buyers in their purchase decision journey. People still like to read blogs that provide value. What they will do after having derived value? They will extend their support by sharing on social.
In fact, these days a trend that is being observed over Twitter is that people are sharing articles that are relevant to their niche. In order to establish influencer over Twitter & breakout as a rising influencer. Folks on Twitter are sharing contextual & knowledge rich articles with their tribe.
Even esteemed influencers like Larry Kim can be found sharing articles that they themselves don’t own.
The Social Sharing Plugins allows you to add your social handles so that as a visitor shares on content from your website, your social handle over that network is automatically tagged. This lets the untapped tribe find out about your existence over the social channel.
Ninja Tip: Implement UTM Tracking for social sharing icons to track all those people who are clicking on Social Share icons on the given blog post or web page.
SEO Fact: Social Shares is a crucial search engine ranking factor.
Recommended: Why Social Share Buttons Improve SEO
4. Get active on social media platforms
It’s time to unlock the beast. Merely creating social media profiles & connecting it with the website is a job half done, nobody likes incomplete work. The Social Media Optimization Process comes closer to fruition once you get active.
To promote your website, your business you need to have a social media strategy in place. The golden principle to remember here is “One Size doesn’t fit all”
Don’t think like an SEO, think like an Entrepreneur. Get under the skin of a Social Media Marketing Expert.
You need to optimize content & strategy according to the platform upon which you intend to crush it.
The poor social media strategy for your business website looks like this. Just sharing the link to your different pages on all the social media platforms. (This is what happens when you think like an SEO)
The goal of the strategy is to get your business known, get your website found, drive qualified referral traffic.
You need to ideate on how you will get the social media audience to learn about your business & click the link which will redirect them to your website where they will learn intricate details about your business.
Intricacies like what services you offer? Where you are located? Your Startup Story? How you’re educating the community via blog? Are you involved in some CSR Activities? What are your PR Activities?
Your Social Media Strategy should inspire people to check your website, do not bait them.
Your Social Media Game should be so gripping, that it urges people to find the link to your website in Description & investigate your business out of curiosity.
5. Measure your Social Media Strategy
This is perhaps the most CRUCIAL aspect of Social Media Optimization Process. The #1 Tool to measure the impact of Social Media Optimization on your website is Platform Analytics (Ex: Facebook Analytics, Instagram Insights, Youtube Analytics) followed by Google Analytics Acquisition Report.
This step is intimidating because we aren’t prepared for what we will find. The data might crush our expectations, but rather being in denial it’s best to confront the data & make informed decisions.
But how do you make sense out of the data?
First, you define KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
A Side note: I’m deliberately not using the term “Social Media Marketing” here. Social Media Marketing is a dimension of its own altogether. The Consolidation of Social Media with Search Engine Optimization is programmed such that the website gets connected with a world that just can’t stop talking.
The KPI’s to measure the success of ongoing SMO for your website are:
- Discoverability: The importance of Social Media Optimization can be traced back to the fact that your Social Media Handle gaining discovery benefits your website directly & indirectly.
It is for this reason that designing your Bio/Description is more of an art than a chore.
Check out this epic Instagram Bio which is carefully engineered in a way that would compel people to click the link & discover their business website & preferably their value proposition.
Your Bio/Description is the most priceless piece of architecture you have on Social Media. It is that Bio which determines if it entices people to click the link to your website or not. Your Social Media Profile is more than just placing your website link.
With your business Social Media Profile, you can educate people about your business, the reason for your existence. Unique Visitors who are gonna stumble upon your social media profile are likely to be the ones who never knew about your business website in the first place. Here’s your shot to communicate the value proposition.
Link Clicks: Very generic, but it is very crucial to keep tabs over link clicks. Link Clicks from social includes all the links you share + the website link which is lying in the Bio section. Take Instagram for example, it only allows 1 Link in Bio.
If you have 10K Followers then you can drive decent link clicks via Instagram Stories or else you put up the sticker “LINK IN BIO” & that works! Just tap the insights & see in real-time all the link clicks you managed to drive.
Social Media Referral Traffic: Just sharing links in Social Media is part of the process you take for optimizing the website for social media. The next part, the crucial part is to track the behavior of the traffic resulting from social media. As you share the link to social media, you need to have numbers as in how many people are clicking those shared links. (As a rule of thumb, share links at peak times). Because you wouldn’t wanna miss out even an ounce of traffic which you could have obtained sharing at a peak time.
Always build the URLs to be shared using Campaign URL builder + Bit.ly to then track the traffic derived from the shared links. On Google Analytics you can pin down on intricate data like bounce rate, landing page, sessions, exit page, average session duration. (The whole charade may seem tedious, but it’s a necessary evil)
Check out the Social Media Optimization Tools by TopRank Blog
Social Media Optimization is one the less talked about subject in the industry. But if you wish to go throttle on the world wide web, if you wish to take your website to great lengths then Social Media Optimization is very crucial. A whole dimension remains left out when the website is isolated.
I hope this article helped you gain some perspective. If it did then don’t forget to share this article.