Hello and Welcome! We hope you have enjoyed the previous articles regarding Social Media Optimization (SMO). I mean, you are back reading again so we must be doing something right, right?
This week’s installment is inspired by this article I found: SMO vs. Engagement. This is a topic I have wrestled with myself. When I began with Sutherland and with this team, we were very unsure of how we were going to attack social media and the idea of engagement. Our company presence wasn’t very strong, so we had to start from the ground floor up. I wish I had this content when we started our plan.
If you haven’t read any of our previous publications, I will provide a quick definition of SMO for you. The key to SMO “is understanding your audience, and listening to them. By listening to them, you can figure out which content is most likely to resonate. The right content to use will depend on what social media platform you are using”. For example, we have a corporate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ accounts. A job posting we place on LinkedIn might not be the same as a posting we want to create for Twitter. A contest we run on Instagram asking for the best photo of your typical day at work might not translate well on Facebook. Knowing your tool and your audience is essential to success.
With SMO, it is also important to know when you should be posting content. Analytics can tell you which times are most likely to be effective. The general rule of thumb which I have seen is anytime between 12-3pm local time and after 9pm local time. Also, people have more free time on the weekends. I know I am all over social media on the weekends, looking up cool recipes, interesting stories and breaking news.
Engagement is a whole different animal. It is a step further along the process than SMO. Sure, you want your website to be seen by as many people as possible. Don’t you want those people coming back, though? Or checking out your Twitter account, or LinkedIn profile? Yes, you do! Engagement is “sparking discussion among your followers and responding to their comment, or it could mean recognizing their contribution on your site and incorporating their ideas in your product”. You have to constantly be engaged. Whether it is 9am on a Monday morning or 12am Saturday night, you must be available to your followers.
Simple engagement methods can go a long way. Acknowledging comments or questions is an easy start. Creating an authentic voice for the company, product, organization, brand, etc. can have a huge impact in generating conversation. People just want to be heard. Taco Bell does a great job of answering people on their Twitter account. Their responses are witty, timely and engaging.
Simply put, these are different ideas, but they must work hand in hand. Thank you for reading this. Until next time, prosper and live long, or may the force be with me. Something like that…