At this point in the game, we all know about search engine optimization (SEO). But you may to may not know about social media optimization (SMO). As we have moved from the world-wide-web to the Internet to the internet, the amount of websites is so prolific that search engine results are just not as reliable as they used to be. Many companies are now moving towards optimizing their social media sites because many consumers find it easier to find reliable search results on Facebook, Snap Chat, Pinterest or Twitter vs. a search engine.
SMO particularly lends itself to the world of higher education, where many prospective students prefer to learn about colleges in first-hand accounts rather than from traditional advertisements.
You may already be incorporating SMO into your social media marketing whether you realize it or not. If you study your analytics to see the best times of day to post, if you’ve done split testing to see if there is a particular format your audience responds to, or if you make your content easily shareable, you’re already on your way.
Here are some ways to incorporate SMO into your inbound marketing plan:
- Carefully craft your headline
Your headline can make or break your post. Whether you are crafting a blog post, content offer or a 140 tweet, your friends or followers will never get to read the fantastic content you’ve written if the headline doesn’t grab them.
So, what’s in a successful headline? According to Forbes, including a number in your headline (5 Reasons to Love A/B Testing), making your headline timely (Marketers: Are You Optimizing Your Downtime) and including a clear benefit to reading your article (How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence to Boost Student Recruitment) are all good ways to draw readers to your content.
- Make your CTAs Crystal Clear
Just as you do on your website, you need to include a clear call-to-action to convert your visitors on social media. Make sure your friends and followers know exactly what is being offered, where to sign up and what the timeline will be for them to hear from you.
Hubspot suggests a simple design, clear copy and multiple CTAs on a page and they’ve compiled 30 great examples of winning CTAs.
- Tie Your Post Into Trending Topics
Trending topics and news stories are becoming increasingly popular on social media. So when possible (and only when they are truly related), link your posts to a topic that is trending online and join the party.
An article on LinkedIn does caution, however, that you make sure you know how each social media search works, or you may not be linking correctly.
- Use Photos and Videos
This isn’t always possible, but photos and video definitely add visual interest and make your posts more appealing. In fact, Twitter conducted a study which found that photos were retweeted 35% more and videos boosted retweets by 28%.
Hopefully this gives you a bit of direction with ways to increase your online presence and boost enrollment through the use of your existing social media accounts. As with everyone digital these days, ideas and best practices are constantly evolving so change is necessary to relevant.
So now that you’ve mastered SEO, it’s time for SMO. And when you have that mastered, well, stay tuned!Interested in learning more about inbound marketing and how we can help? Sign up for a free consultation.