What is Social Media Optimization (SMO) and How to Improve Your Content for Social Media

SMO, or Social Media Optimization, is a concept whose central idea is to use social media to expand a brand's digital strategy. By using it, you can reduce the total cost of marketing, strengthen the relationship with consumers, and maximize your SEO approach.

Updated: May 29, 2024
What is Social Media Optimization (SMO) and How to Improve Your Content for Social Media

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SEO techniques are being used to increase the reach of content created for the internet. It’s an essential practice for any Digital Marketing strategy. By understanding the search algorithms’ criteria, we can guarantee the material created by the company is ranked among the SERPs’ first results.

However, dominating the search results page is not enough for a brand that seeks to make the most of its relationship with the digital audience. The constant growth of social networks makes them essential to consolidate the company’s online presence. Therefore, a strategy aimed at them can be valuable.

That’s where Social Media Optimization comes in. It’s a concept that, if applied correctly, can optimize and maximize the impact caused by the use of social networks

Social media used to be just a fun way to share content. Now it indirectly affects your rank in Google. Find out how to leverage SMO to boost web visits long-term.

    What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

    SMO is the acronym used to refer to the concept of Social Media Optimization. The idea is to use social networks as a catalyst to increase and consolidate your brand’s online presence through specific techniques.

    To understand SMO, you must keep in mind the unprecedented growth that social networks have shown in recent years. Platforms like Instagram, in which 80% of profiles follow at least one brand account, increasingly attract investment from companies that see their potential.

    These channels are becoming central parts of Content Marketing strategies carried out worldwide, which causes a side effect. The volume of content production reached stratospheric levels. That makes it difficult to come up with original and relevant posts for the persona.

    The important thing is that, with this growing wave of companies investing in social mediaGoogle has adapted its algorithm to consider the engagement of your page as a ranking factor.

    That means that in addition to the traditional SEO techniques, it is now necessary to create content that gains more and more likes and shares than its competitors. For this, Social Media Optimization was developed.

    In 2004, MySpace made news by reaching 1 million users. Facebook introduced social media shopping in 2007.

    The rest, as they say, is history. There are now five social media platforms with over a billion users. Nearly 107 million Americans shopped on social media in 2023 alone.

    SMO directs the public from social media platforms to the company’s website,” says Will Kenton, VP of Content at Investopedia. It “[coexists] with SEO to strengthen a brand, conduct lead generation, and increase a company’s online visibility.

    Why invest in Social Media Optimization?

    In the past, it was easy to see the separation between marketing aimed at optimizing search engines (SEM) and focusing on the use of social networks (SMO). This line, today, practically no longer exists. The two strategies are not only allies but essentially complementary.

    Therefore, the first and most obvious reason for applying SMO techniques is their importance to your SEO approach. This becomes even clearer with this study, which found that 50% of companies that do not experience SEO success do not bother to integrate both strategies.

    So, let’s imagine that your company has a high level of engagement on Twitter. Although this fact does not guarantee a good ranking on Google, adding it to a good SEO strategy will enhance the results obtained. In other words, a balance between SEO and SMO is essential to your Digital Marketing success.

    Social media is also an indirect factor affecting your search engine rank. That’s why a growing number of companies are embracing SMO. It’s also why SMO trends often change as companies learn how to meet consumer expectations and Google’s preferences.

    Why is SMO important? Consider the following statistics:

    • Nearly 5 billion people use social media
    • 90% of social media users follow at least one brand
    • 76% of social media users bought something they saw on social media

    Do you want to reach a large captive audience? If so, optimizing your social media accounts isn’t optional.

    Next, we will further discuss the benefits that investing in Social Media Optimization can bring to your business. Read below!

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    The decrease in social media marketing costs

    Today, any budget that contemplates a company’s marketing and advertising efforts must have a separate section for use on social media. After all, the ad platforms offered by channels such as Facebook and Instagram, although paid, make it possible to launch efficient campaigns.

    It turns out that this efficiency is only possible based on studies related to consumer behavior, demographic characteristics, and interests. That happens because the ads work with a targeting tool that makes it easier to target an extremely specific audience.

    However, there is no point in attracting the audience to your page if it does not match the expected quality. Do you know why?

    Ad platforms charge according to goals reached. If someone sees the ad, performs the expected engagement, and is still not interested in the content, it means an investment that has been thrown away. As we know, it is necessary to establish a good conversion rate.

    So, whether organic access, whether generated by ads, the fact is that applying SMO techniques increases the chances of someone being interested in the content offered by the page. Consequently, the return on investment becomes greater, which decreases the total cost of marketing aimed at social media.

    Optimization of the integration between social media and other channels

    If you have experience with applying Content Marketing strategies, you know that it is essential to diversify the channels in which you publish content. You also know there is no point in having a plurality of channels if they are not integrated coherently.

    This ranges from the posted content to decisions related to the page design. After all, both the message conveyed by the brand and its visual identity are fundamental elements to enable quality branding. Therefore, it is necessary to be cohesive in all channels used.

    That said, focusing on optimizing your social media makes this integration considerably easier. That happens because Social Media Optimization can establish best practices for managing your pages, ensuring a quality result.

    With the certainty that the posts on social media are aligned with your company’s other channels, you can direct posts on your blog or website, for example, to your profile. Thus, you generate extremely qualified traffic, increasing the efficiency of investments in the area.

    Reduced risk of content shock

    Remember that we mentioned that global content production is experiencing exponential growth and imposing a challenge for professionals in the field? Along with this, we have the human limitation, which makes it impossible to consume all the content produced by the internet.

    This phenomenon was addressed by Mark Schaefer in the book The Content Code, released in 2014. The author introduces the concept of content shock, which describes exactly what you read in the last paragraph.

    So, by offering way more than the demand, you need to find smart solutions to ensure that your content will be consumed. The best way to achieve this goal is with SMO.

    With optimized and relevant content, you put yourself one step ahead of the competition and have the chance to put your brand in a top-of-mind position. This means that, when faced with content from you and your competitor, the consumer will not hesitate to click on the one that represents your brand.

    Maximized audience interaction and engagement

    We currently deal with an audience called Consumer 4.0. According to Philip Kotler, this means that the relationship between the brand and its customers is an increasingly fundamental factor for the business’ success. This is because the current public sees companies as equals and, therefore, demands their humanization.

    Several brands are already investing in strategies to show themselves as accessible to the customer. That is why many email marketing campaigns use the sender’s first name – in an attempt to deepen the relationship with the lead.

    However, there is no better tool to create this relationship than a social network. Posts from a brand on Instagram, for example, stimulate the audience by leaving a like or a comment. In addition to showing the algorithm that people are interested in the page, this makes room for interaction.

    As Social Media Optimization aims to increase the likes and comments received per post, we can say that it increases the interaction chances. An audience that talks to the business are more easily loyal. Thus, the strategy results in the generation of true brand advocates.

    What are the main differences between SMO, SEO, SEM, and SMM?

    If you’ve read this far, you already know what SMO means and understand the importance of aligning this strategy with SEO. Also, we talked briefly about the fine line between such concepts and SEM. Those are many different acronyms, right? This situation is very common in Digital Marketing, requiring a lot of attention.

    Therefore, before we dedicate ourselves to explaining the most effective Social Media Optimization techniques, we will reserve a space to point out exactly what the main acronyms related to internet-oriented marketing mean. Keep reading and learn the differences!


    As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, SEO concerns the set of organic techniques used to optimize the ranking of a web address on SERPs, Search Engine Results Pages. It’s a concept that integrates and aligns with the SMO.


    In turn, SEM has a broader scope than SEO. Search Engine Marketing includes all the techniques – paid or organic – used to optimize search engine results.

    While it may sound similar to SEO, the concept has fundamental differences. While SEO focuses on points like readability and the keywords use, SEM can include practices like campaigns on Google Ads or sponsored links.


    SMM is for SMO as SEM is for SEO. Too complicated? Let’s explain! Remember how Search Engine Marketing has a broader scope than the techniques used in Search Engine Optimization? So SMM, which stands for Social Media Marketing, is broader than SMO.

    Therefore, this acronym represents all marketing actions aimed at social networks, whether organic or paid. The idea is to look for ways to put the brand in a position that generates engagement, relationships, and business opportunities.

    What are the main Social Media Optimization techniques?

    As you probably could imagine, it’s useless to understand the whole theory of SMO without knowing the best techniques for applying it. After all, it’s fair to assume that the competition will adopt a similar strategy and, therefore, it must be executed excellently.

    Below, you will find the techniques and strategies that give the best results in optimizing social media.

    Find the optimal posting frequency

    It’s no secret that knowing the right frequency of posting to your social media profiles is essential to an effective strategy. Posting too much can tire your persona, while a low volume of posts can make you be forgotten.

    Of course, there is no magic formula for finding the perfect balance between too many or too few posts. Therefore, there is only one solution: perform tests and more tests.

    To carry out these experiments, you can adopt the following strategy: first, for each network that you test, schedule your posts with a predetermined frequency, like two hours.

    Keep this frequency for a week, during which you should closely monitor your metrics, such as likes, level of engagement, and clicks. In the following week, reduce your frequency and continue to follow the numbers.

    Do this week after week until you have enough data to compare and find out which posting frequency has maximized your results the most. You will better understand the persona’s behavior and identify the frequency levels that cause the most positive results.

    Find the best time to post

    In addition to calculating the optimal posting frequency, you must try to find the best days and times to post on each social media channel. You can follow a strategy similar to the one you used to identify the posts’ ideal regularity.

    To begin, create a list of all your old posts. Add the main metrics for them and the date and time of each. When evaluating this list, you should be able to identify trends related to the time of posting.

    If you notice that 7 of your 10 most liked posts on Facebook were posted between 1 pm and 2 pm, this is a good indication of the best times to make your posts.

    Strategically reuse content

    Doing Social Media Optimization also means being smart with your content on social media. The concept of content shock showed us that creating great material to publish on your channels is an increasingly challenging task.

    That happens because only with really sensational content we’ll have the same return that we would have with good content a few years ago. That said, we know that it’s impossible to create excellent posts every day and still maintain the desired level of frequency.

    So, you need to reuse your content intelligently. That article for which you have dedicated a lot of research and time can serve as a basis for creating pieces in other formats, such as infographics, webinars, and ebooks. That way, you better distribute the focus of your content.

    Integrate social media with other marketing channels

    We have already said that it’s fundamental to integrate your social media with other channels to be successful. And when we talk about other channels, we are not restricted to your blog or website.

    You will boost your open and conversion rate by incorporating a button linking your social media channels to your emails. Also, it will make it clear to your contacts that there are other places on the web where they can engage with you.

    Another interesting place for introducing a link to social media is your landing page‘s thank you page. It’s worth remembering that the landing page text must not have any kind of link. Your only goal is to get the lead’s contact information. In the thank you pages, on the other hand, the idea is valid.

    Create shareable content

    Getting your content shared is essential to increase the post’s reach. Therefore, the creation of viral content is a strategy often adopted by companies in their digital approaches.

    That said, take care to not signal to the audience that you are looking for going viral. At the slightest sign of this intention, the public may have a negative reaction and end up distancing themselves from your brand. Therefore, always focus on meeting the audience’s needs and desires.

    After all, there is no need to go too hard on encouraging sharing. It’s easier to capture the public’s attention and increases engagement chances by using visual elements such as images, GIFs, and videos. So, as long as within the context, do not hesitate to use this feature.

    Another interesting technique to increase your chances of going viral is the simple use of a CTA, which is a short text stimulating action by the public. Add a direct share button to your page and suggest that the visitors use it. Not everyone will indeed do it, but asking subtly does not harm. 

    It doesn’t matter if the social network most used in your Digital Marketing strategy is Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or another. The Social Media Optimization concept to guide the page’s management is essential to increase ROI, reduce the effects of content shock, and maximize the relationship with the public.

    Advanced SMO Strategies

    Create visual content

    Younger generations are migrating to visual platforms. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are among the top 10 social media platforms worldwide. Short videos are trending, but long ones are making a comeback.

    Use social SEO

    SproutSocial recommends branding your social platforms using relevant keywords and posting regularly. Monitor engagement to make sure you’re getting the best possible results.


    Automated tools can help you create relevant content and hashtags. It can also optimize your posting schedule. Hootsuite recommends Magic Studio, Riffusion, Wordtune, and Murf.

    Engage your audience

    Social media is all about audience engagement. That’s why interactive content such as polls, quizzes, and contests do well.

    Track your results

    You’ll also need to periodically audit your social media usage. Check all key metrics to ensure your SMO strategy is hitting the mark.

    What Does Success Look Like?

    What does SMO success look like? Consider the following examples:

    • Red Bull excels at creating stellar video content for its brand
    • Oatly aces social media branding
    • oVertone does a great job optimizing its social media bio and hashtags

    Other tactics that are becoming increasingly important in 2024 are timing optimization, user engagement, and audience segmentation.

    Integration With Other Marketing Strategies

    Social media optimization complements other marketing strategies.

    SMO improves your SEO by increasing site visits. This shows Google that your site is popular with users, which boosts your rank.

    SMO works hand-in-hand with content marketing. You need winning content to promote on social media. You also need engaging social media posts to draw attention to great content.

    WriterAccess can boost your SMO efforts by helping you create winning content. 

    We have a huge team of vetted, experienced content creators. We use cutting-edge tools to help you come up with the best content ideas.

    Does your social media marketing need a boost? If so, check out our 14-day free trial period. We look forward to meeting or even exceeding your expectations.


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