Most marketers are familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on some level. Using the reach of search engines such as Google, Bing or more recently Duck Go to fuel your marketing campaign has been a strategy that’s been successful for years. But as social media has grown to become one of the top platforms to reach consumers, new approaches to digital marketing have started to emerge. One of the top strategies being used by businesses looking to maximize their reach online is Social Media Optimization (SMO).

The lines between social media marketing and search engine marketing are becoming increasingly blurred. In the past, they’ve been looked at as two separate and distinct aspects of marketing. But the reality is that they’re more intertwined than you might think.

While Google hasn’t stated that social media directly influences its search algorithm yet, there’s evidence to suggest that it does. One survey found that 50% of companies that aren’t succeeding with SEO aren’t integrating social media marketing.

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A social media strategy should focus on growing your presence, and achieving measurable results. This post outlines how to setup your strategy in seven steps:

  1. Ensure Your Social Goals Solve Challenges
  2. Extend Efforts throughout Your Organization
  3. Focus on Networks That Add Value
  4. Create Engaging Content
  5. Identify Business Opportunities through Social
  6. Engage Instead of Ignore
  7. Track, Improve and Market Your Efforts

In order to have a presence on social media, you’ve got to be on social media. Make sure to log in to each of your social media accounts, daily. Even over the weekends. Some of the best activity we’ve seen for businesses with a strong social media presence occurs during the weekends.

Making sure your social pages have regular activity is important. Leveraging the massive reach of social media to distribute content is easy and powerful. There are two different types of content you’ll post; content you’ve created and content others have created.

Make it a goal to search out and find 5 new people to connect with, each day, through one of your social media networks. Find people who are interested in topics similar to what products or services you provide. Establish a connection and start a dialogue, ask for their opinions and thoughts on things.

It’s great to be active on social media, but it’s also a great tool to be able to perform very detailed competitive analysis. Each day you should be checking your competitor’s social media pages and taking note of what they’re doing. See which posts get the best responses and engagement from their fans. See what new things they’re posting about and test similar posts with your audience.