Understanding Social Media

An Optimization Guide

Table of Contents


Social media optimization (SMO) is a term that gets thrown around a lot, and for good reason. As a small business owner, you need to make the most of every opportunity, and social media optimization is key to maximizing your online presence.

But what does social media optimization actually mean? How do you do it effectively?

This guide will answer these questions and help you enhance your social media optimization efforts.

Chapter 1: So what IS social media optimization, exactly?

Social media optimization (SMO) is the process of optimizing your social media profiles and content to improve your visibility and engagement online. It bridges the gap between your website and your social media presence, making it easier for potential customers to find and interact with your brand. When done right, social media optimization enhances your brand messaging, improves your site rankings, and drives more traffic from both social sites and organic search.

SMO bridges the gap between your site and your social presence (meaning, your Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn-Instagram-whatever accounts), making you more visible on the web, and giving your audience more ways to connect and interact with you.

When done right, SMO keeps your brand messaging consistent across all networks, improves your site rankings on search, drives traffic from social sites and organic search, and boosts awareness of you and your brand.

Social Media Platforms

Chapter 2: How do I do it? (Do I press a button somewhere, or…)

Social media optimization doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen all at once – it’s an ongoing process. When you do it consistently, it can yield big results over time.

Think of it like exercise – if you do it right and keep it up, it gets easier and easier, and the results are cumulative. If you only do it every now and then, though? Not so much.

There are many SMO techniques, but its core tenets are universal:

Engagement. That means talking to your fans on social media, and through blogging, writing guest posts on other sites, and even doing informational videos or podcasts!

Quality content. Keywords are just one part of the picture – sharable, quality content builds your IRL reputation and your online reputation. The better your online reputation, the better your domain authority (which is kind of a big deal for driving traffic to your site).

Strategic social. Know where your audience is and meet them there! If you see conversations mostly on your Facebook page and never on LinkedIn, don’t force it! Prioritize your Facebook presence instead – you don’t have to be everywhere at once.

Thought leadership. You may not think of yourself as an industry expert, but you’re the only one like you! Your perspectives, experiences, and advice are unique and valuable, so don’t be afraid to share!

Automation. You don’t have to do everything from scratch! Good SMO combines time-saving tools with your authentic voice. (It’s as close to push-a-button SMO as you’ll get!)


facebook, linkedin, twitter on computer

Chapter 3: Can social media optimization drive traffic to my website?

Absolutely! Social media optimization can significantly increase your web traffic by giving your audience compelling reasons to visit your site. This includes creating high-quality content and engaging with your followers consistently.

There’s no real “trick” to SMO. Driving traffic to your site means giving your fans on social media compelling reasons to visit your site over and over, like blog posts (this goes back to the whole “quality content” thing under the “How do I do SMO?” tab).

Quality content and quality engagement together are what make the difference between having a lackluster social media presence and a well-optimized one. 

What about all the time I spend on social media every day? Can optimization make the whole thing less of a time-suck?

It totally can! Optimizing the time you spend on social media is a two-part process that includes both automating your updates and directly engaging with others in real time. (The two aren’t mutually exclusive!)

Just auto-recycling “evergreen” posts with a tool like Edgar, for example, can save you hours every week. What could you do with some real, live, free time?

By having your SMO running on autopilot whenever you can, and spending your active time on social media actually interacting with others, you’ll become way more efficient – and that’s what optimization is all about!

social media autopilot

Chapter 4: How does SMO relate to SEO?

Social media optimization (SMO) is more important to search engine optimization (SEO) than ever before, and its influence is only growing. As social media increasingly becomes the way people stay connected and engage with the digital world around them, optimizing your social media presence is essential.

To break it down simply: the more social media activity you have, the higher your search engine ranking will be.

An example of SMO affecting SEO is a “viral” Facebook post: Search engines look at the number of times a link has been shared, and this affects the ranking of the page. A viral Facebook post – that is, a post that’s been shared thousands of times – will rank higher than a Facebook post shared only four times.

Sharing, commenting, engaging – not just “likes” or number of fans – is what search engines love to see. But that’s not all – don’t forget, it’s about the quality of what’s being shared, too. As algorithms become more sophisticated, clickbait-y shortcuts just aren’t cutting it anymore.

Chapter 5: What are some tools I can use to make this easier?

Start by checking out some social media automation tools, like MeetEdgar, of course! (You probably knew we’d say that.) We’ve also put together a BIG list of other killer online time-saving tools – a lot of which offer free trials.

But back to Edgar for a sec: You work so hard on your content, so why only share it once? Edgar is particularly useful in re-sharing older content via social media. That’s a big deal for your SMO, and here’s why:

By scheduling your “evergreen content” to be shared over and over again on Facebook and LinkedIn, you are getting more value out of your social engagement efforts – and you don’t lose any of the relevance you gain from real time engagement with your fans!

scheduling content with Edgar

Chapter 6: How do I get people to share my content?

Creating great content is the first step, but making it easy for people to share is just as important. Add share buttons, rich snippets, and compelling calls to action to encourage your audience to share your posts.

You’ve probably noticed on other websites and blogs that they’ll have little buttons that say things like, “Tweet this” or “Click to share” – those are things that you can add to YOUR website, too! It may seem like an unnecessary addition, but making it even just a teensy bit easier for the people in your audience to share your content can make a HUGE difference.

Optimizing your SMO includes technical things – like adding images, share buttons/links, social media icons, rich snippets, and title tags to your posts – and non-technical things, like creating quality content that’s also shareable, like infographics and “quick read” type posts. (Even offering fans the option of a newsletter sign-up can increase traffic!)

To understand how to create content people actually want to share check out this blog post that explains the top 5 reasons why people share content online.

share content on social media

I’m concerned about internet “trolling.” Is it good or bad to allow comments on my website (on a blog post, for example)?

Allowing comments is usually a good thing. Social media allows you to directly engage with your fans and followers, and you want them to be able to engage right back!

You may, however, consider an approval system for your blog’s comments section. This means that comments won’t appear in real time, but instead you’ll be notified when somebody leaves one, and be given the option to accept it or not. This can prevent both spam and harassment.

Chapter 7: This is great, but I’m not sure where to begin. Are there any easy ways to get started?

Optimizing your social media presence through social media optimization can yield significant benefits for your small business. By understanding the principles of SMO and using the right tools, you can enhance your online visibility, engagement, and overall success.

We have a few resources for you if you’re unsure how to get started.

  • Our platform-specific social media guides. For all the basics and then some, we’ve compiled online guides for Facebook, X/Twitter, and LinkedIn strategies and best practices – with more to come!
  • The MeetEdgar blog is filled with useful tips on how to make the most of your SMO efforts. We tracks the latest social media platform changes so you’ll always be one step ahead.
  • EdgarNews: subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates, exclusive content, and actionable insights directly to your inbox.

MeetEdgar's Platform-Specific Guides

Looking for more help with social media? MeetEdgar has the expert answers to your questions about Facebook, LinkedIn, X/Twitter, and more!

Brush up on Facebook marketing fundamentals and learn about the latest developments, tactics, and small business strategies with our Facebook marketing guide.

LinkedIn isn’t just for job searching anymore! Learn how to optimize its unique content channels to make business connections and drive traffic to your site.

94% of people plan to buy from small businesses they follow on Twitter. Is yours ready to take advantage of this golden opportunity?

SEO, SEM, SMO – what do they all mean, and what’s most important? Our guide has everything you need to know to start putting your social media to work for you.

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