Social media marketing (SMM) is defined as “a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach,” according to Tech Target.
Overtime however, the term was used to denote several other things, some of them not even under the scope of SMM. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through the common practices under SMM and briefly discuss each pillar.
Social Media Optimization
Social media optimization (SMO), often confused with search engine optimization (SEO), is “a strategy for drawing new and unique visitors to a website,” according to the same source as above. This is performed in a number of ways, such as through social networking, social bookmarking, blogging, press releases, and video distribution, among others.
SMM is very important to businesses since it enables them to receive direct feedback from potential and existing customers. With the click of a button, customers can reach out and connect with the brand to discuss their issues, concerns, and questions. In turn, these concerns are easily remedied by the brand in a more effective and efficient manner. Aside from this, SMO also enables the company to make its brand more relatable, bolstering its presence and online reputation in a wide array of the digital communities.
When an SMM campaign is executed properly, companies can experience a stronger brand presence and visibility, as well as an improved brand retention among their target demographics. What’s more, it also increases the company’s trust rating as the brand is thereby recommended not only by paid endorsers but also previous customers.
Think of it this way: SEO puts your company on top of search engine results pages. SMO transforms your brand into a top-of-mind solution for your products, particularly when your target demographics is scouring social media for a solution.
How to have a successful SMO campaign
Unfortunately, SMO is not something that can fit a cookie-cutter method. It usually requires trial and testing, paying special attention to the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, the weaknesses are strengthened, and the strengths are displayed on social media for all to see.
Yet a seemingly common narrative among SMO experts is that companies should learn how to engage their audiences particularly in prominent social networking sites. They should also learn how to curate relevant and timely industry news so that they would be considered as authorities for their industries.
Components of an SMO campaign
There are a number of things you can attach to an SMO campaign, but for the sake of this blog, we are going to talk about three: social networking, social bookmarking, and blogging. These five are among the most effective way of boosting a company’s brand.
- Social Networking – social networking is defined as “the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts by making connections through individuals,” according to Tech Target. This includes managing the brand’s social networking sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.
A social networking campaign can do wonders for a company depending on its demographics. For instance, a company that is heavy on images can take advantage of Instagram and post enticing images that would captivate its target audience. Companies can also take advantage of community management, one of the facets of handling their social media presence.
Community management is the act of interacting with potential and existing clients on social networking platforms, from social networking sites to blogs. This involves the easy way social media users can reach out to the brands and air out their inquiries and concerns. This way, the concerns are addressed in a more efficient and engaging manner.
2. Social Bookmarking – Lifewire defines this practice as “simply tagging a web page with a web-based tool so you can easily access it later.” Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious and Connotea enable users to save their bookmarks online so they can access them wherever they are. They can also send these social bookmarks to their friends and see what other people find interesting. By using social bookmarking, companies would be to spread the links to their website and other pertinent online collaterals, while at the same time keeping an eye on what their demographics is finding as important and relevant.
3. Blogging – A few years ago, content changed the way search engines rank pages. Search engines used to rank webpages based on their authority and how SEO-friendly they were. Today, a lot of those techniques are still being used, but search engines now consider the relevancy of the content and how it would add value to the user.
That being said, blogging is the process of posting a news pieces or an article on a blogging site or on the company’s webpage. The goal of this is to become an industry authority, so that those who are interested in the industry would follow the blog. To rank effectively, companies would have to ensure that their blog articles are unique and are news worthy, in the sense that it would enhance user experience rather than just clutter the Internet.
Each company has its own set of rules for what accounts as newsworthy or what should be shared on the Internet. Some even make the use of video blogs (vblogs) which also taps into the power of video distribution sites. Whatever the case, the goal of blogs is to humanize the brand to make it more appealing and relevant to the consumer. This means the customer would be able to understand the intricacies of the industries from a trusted subject matter expert.
These are just some of the more detailed aspects of social media marketing. It is worth pointing out that there are other components that make a social media marketing campaign successful. In a next blog, we will discuss other techniques, such as press releases and video distribution, as well as talk about the difference of community management and social media management.