Social media marketing keeps on growing everyday and can be found on most active web channels. This trend is changing the way digital marketing agencies operates to get to the top of the search engines and how to stay there. Social Media Optimization (SMO) and engagement plays a crucial role on how you can use these two strategies to get the most out of our digital strategy.

When it comes to the success of any social media marketing campaign, there are two main factors that drives the initiative: Engagement and SMO (Social Media Optimization). Many times people are confusing the two with one another. Even though they are somewhat related, they actually address completely different fields within the social media playground.

So what is Social Media Optimization and what is engagement? How are they different?

Social Media Optimization

SMO allows digital marketers to use social media in a scientific and systematic manner. SMO is the quantitative side of the whole social media marketing equation. If you are measuring the effectiveness of your Facebook Fan page to go viral, one way you can measure this with SMO is to look at what percentage of people that actually share your posts with their own network.

If you have posted something on your Facebook Fan Page and it has been shared by about 5% of your fans, it gives you a solid benchmark to measure against. If you track this number every time you post a new update, you can very quickly get a sense and idea for the things that get shared the most.

Even though this is just one example of SMO, you can also track the visitors generated from social media, the number likes, number of shares, peak traffic times, best days of the week to post and number of other statistics that will help you on the areas of improvement on your campaign. This will also help you to understand how you can optimize your content to be shared the most.

In basic terms, SMO is the approach to getting more people to like your page, and what overall brand effect you having with your network.


What is engagement? Engagement is the qualitative side of the social media equation. It is how engaged your network is with your work. It is also how emotionally vested they are with your business brand and how excited they get talking about your products or services when they share this information with their own network. It is about how much they think you care about them.

Engagement comes from regularly connecting with targeted audiences in an engaging dialogue. If you want to foster engagement with your network, make it one of your top goals to actively engage with the people following you. Ask your network questions to get them talking, create fun games for them, ask for feedback, and create a couple of fun topics for them to participate in to get the ball rolling with the engagement process.

Your network should always feel welcome and part of your community.

Never focus on only one

It is very important to realize that to succeed with a social media initiative, you need both engagement and SMO. If you only focus on optimization, it might be a technically well run campaign, but you won’t have the buzz to make it go viraly. This buzz is the heart beat of any social media campaign and to turn it into an unstoppable snow ball.

If you only focus on engagement, you are most likely not getting the interaction from your targeted audience that you want. If you are not tracking what kinds of content interests your network, what is the point? The same is with when to post the content and using systematic testing to determine exactly what works, if you are not doing this, you definitely have a hard time at succeeding with your social media initiative.

If you want your social media campaign to be a success, focus on both SMO and enagement. Have a look at the areas where you are the weakest. If you already have an active engaged community and you are not tracking the results, work on your metrics first. If your campaign is all set out, but it lacks passion, focus on increasing engagement. In the long run, focus on both and you will see results.