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Social Media Optimisation v/s Social Media Marketing

By: Mike Smith

Search Engine Optimization SMM) and (SMO) are two new catch phrases that have appeared across web marketing sites over the last year. These seemingly interchangeable terms are used to define marketing through social media and social networking sites. However there appears to be much confusion over the precise meaning and as a result, the exact definition of these terms. The problem in making a distinction appears to be a result of confusion with viewing them as two different emerging marketing techniques.

Social Media Optimisation

Social media optimisation is the process of refining a website i.e. optimising it, so that brand/site awareness and content are spread with little effort through social media and online communities. Rather than a banner ad or search ranking, users and visitors of the website act as carriers. Optimising can thus include any on-page techniques used such as improvements to the design and usability of the website which would help it become more compelling to users. This makes it more likely for them spread it through social media sites. A simple example of SMO is represented by adding social bookmarking links like "digg this", "add to delicious" or "stumble upon" that are all over the web today.

Social Media Marketing

SMM in contrast, is representative of a creative perspective on marketing over social networking websites. It refers to crating and then distributing content and similar messages through the social web network using some form of viral marketing. The "viral marketing" content specified here could be a funny blog post that gets bookmarked and possibly makes its way to digg's homepage or spreading a viral video by placing it on YouTube and other social media websites. The main difference is that the work here is off-site and involves engaging your potential customer base on territory familiar to them.

To a certain extent, the two terms can be contrasted similar to push and pull marketing. With SMM, advertisers push their message out into the social media. However, once out there the message should not require any more pushing. A true viral marketing campaign must generate its own momentum so that it spreads on its own, creates a buzz and people actually want to spread it. Thus with SMM the campaign starts with creation and ends shortly with planting of this campaign. SMO, on the other hand, focuses on pulling people in with an "optimised" site. Visitors are then expected to spread content present with minimal effort on your part. SMO is at some levels a second stage of the SMM process.

These two new phenomena cannot be ignored in the web marketing world. SEO firms are now looking to social media with more intensity to provide the added exposure for their marketing campaigns.

Convonix is an seo company uk that provides customised social media optimisation strategies to help improve the search engine rankings of your website. Learn more about our consultative search engine optimisation services to leverage your site’s online presence.
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