Social media optimization isn’t about your social media strategy as a whole. It’s an opportunity to make what you’ve been doing even better
Social media optimization (SMO) helps business owners, content creators and social media marketers get the most out of their social media presence.
Understanding how to optimize your social media profiles and posts for maximum returns might sound scary, but we’ve put together a list of simple tactics that don’t involve complicated keyword research or require technical know-how.
What is social media optimization?
Social media optimization is the process of improving your social posts (or your whole social media strategy) to achieve better results: faster follower growth, higher levels of engagement, more clicks or conversions, etc.
Social media optimization can involve many different techniques and tactics that vary in scope and complexity:
- Basic improvements on an individual post level, e.g. asking an engaging question in a post caption or picking a more thumb-stopping visual
- High-level improvements, e.g. redefining your brand’s tone of voice on social media
Think of SMO as an opportunity for you to analyze and adjust what you’ve been doing on social media to make it better.
Benefits of social media optimization
Here’s what the right social media optimization tactics can do for your social media efforts:
- Strengthen your online presence
- Connect and engage with your audience on a deeper level
- Increase brand awareness on social media
- Improve reach on social media
- Improve the quality of your leads from social media
- Sell more of your products and services through social channels
11 easy social media optimization techniques to start doing now
To the untrained eye, a brand’s social media presence might seem effortless, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that social media accounts are being used as effectively as possible.
1. Post at the right time
To win big on social, you need to consistently post content that not only gets your audience excited, but that is also posted at a time when they’re most likely to engage.
Figuring out the most optimal time to post on social media is hard work. But luckily for you, we’ve spent hours researching and analyzing millions of social posts to figure this out. It’s between 10:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
But don’t forget that this is a general guide. What works for your social media pages and your audience might be different.
Use an online scheduling tool that has a best time to publish feature (we might be biased, but Hootsuite is pretty good!) and take advantage of posting your social media content when your audience is most likely to be online and engage with what you’re serving up.
2. Polish your bios
Your social media bio is potentially one of the first things a new visitor or potential lead sees when visiting your profile page. So, it’s essential to have this as polished as possible. Important information to always include:
- Who you are
- What your business does
- What you do
- The topics that interest you
- Your brand’s tone (more on this below!)
- How someone can get in touch with you
Check out how Hootsuite nails their bio by ensuring that the message of being a “global leader in social media management” is consistent across social channels.
You might also want to consider including a call to action (CTA) in your bio that encourages visitors to click on a link to your website, an online store, or a key landing page. Feel free to swap out the link in your bio regularly with your most up-to-date, highest-quality content or a key landing page that you need to drive traffic towards.
Pro tip: Use a tool such as One Click Bio to create a link tree, and sneak more than one link into your bio. With a bio link tree, you get to easily promote your most-recent content, link to your other social accounts, direct traffic to an online store or landing page, and keep your profile visitors engaged with your business.
3. Optimize your links with UTMs
As we’ve just mentioned above, social media optimization often uses links to direct visitors to a webpage where they can continue their engagement with the brand. Doing this is important to drive traffic to your website, content, or landing pages.
Link optimization is an integral part of understanding how your audience engages with the links you’re sharing. Tracking your customer’s behavior lets you see what posts drive the most traffic from your links and which don’t. You can quickly and easily track behavior by adding UTMs to your social media channels and posts.
Need more info on how to use UTMs on social? This post has all you need to get started.
4. Make sure your images are the right size
There’s nothing worse than visiting a social profile and the images look terrible, amiright? Your brand’s look is everything, darling. So, make sure that your images look professional, polished, and — most importantly — are the right size.
At the absolute least, ensure that your profile picture is a high-resolution image that isn’t overly cropped, speaks to your brand (preferably a company logo), and clearly represents your business. Oh, and you’ll want your profile images to be consistent across all your social channels, too. Doing this will help your audience with brand recognition.
When in doubt, check out our always-up-to-date cheat sheet to image sizes across networks. Or, bookmark this sheet with basic specs:
5. Post the right amount
You don’t want to bombard your audience with posting non-stop, and you also don’t want to post so little that you fall off their radar. Finding your optimal social media posting schedule is essential to driving more engagement and conversations with your brand.
Here’s how often you should post to the biggest social media networks in 2022, according to experts:
- On Instagram, post between 3–7 times per week.
- On Facebook, post between 1 and 2 times a day.
- On Twitter, post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day.
- On LinkedIn, post between 1 and 5 times a day.
Remember that finding the sweet posting spot might take some time. Experiment and find what cadence works best for you.
6. Review your social media strategy
Take the time to look over your current social media strategy and think about the following areas:
- Are you hitting your goals and objectives?
- Do your social media goals still align with your overarching marketing strategy?
- Are you posting the right types of content? For example, images, videos, text-only, or a mixture of all three? (Hint, you want to aim for all three!)
- Are your posts resonating with your audience?
When thinking about the above points, consider how your SMO will positively (or sometimes, negatively) impact them.
To get insider information on your company’s social performance, most platforms have built-in analytics to help you understand if your social strategy is working or not. Tools like Hootsuite Analyze give you additional valuable insights.
If you want to go one step further, you can always A/B test your social media optimization and see whether one tactic vs. another works better.
For example, if you’re an online organic grocery store and want to create more conversation about food waste, what image drives more engagement from your audience? A photo of a an overly full landfill producing methane gasses or a photo of a reduced grocery bill?
A quote from a wise old marketing person (okay, it’s me) says, “always be testing,” and SMO is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
7. Always keep your audience top of mind
Not all audiences are the same. Spend some time digging into the demographics to optimize your social media content for the right groups.
For example, if you’re targeting an audience in England, you might want to ditch US colloquial language. Similarly, if you’re targeting an audience in America, you might not want your social media copy to sound too British, guv’nor.
8. Optimize your accounts for search
Not all of your posts need to use this tactic because not all of your posts need to be discoverable by a searcher. Sometimes, you’ll be posting on social media just to communicate with your audience. Remember to be strategic. For example, when we share this post, we’ll include the keyword “social media optimization” as a hashtag to help with the post’s discoverability.
You could also speak with your SEO team to find out the most important keywords for your brand and incorporate these into your social posts for an extra boost to your organic performance.
Online fitness studio A Few Fun Moves incorporates hashtags related to wellness in their posts to help searchers and potential new customers discover them on Instagram.
9. Create consistency with your username
Your username across your social media channels speaks volumes about who you are and is an essential piece of the puzzle as to how your brand comes across. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent with your username.
For example, having the username @Hootsuite on Twitter and /Hootsuite for Facebook looks a lot better than @OwlShop and /Hootsuite123.
10. Write catchy headlines and captions
Not everyone is a writer. Hire a copywriting professional or social media expert to help you craft catchy headlines and captions that achieve your goals. Remember, copy that feels appropriate for Twitter might be utterly different from copy for TikTok. Experiment and test what language and words resonate with your audience the most.
It’s important to maintain your brand voice throughout your posts and captions and find that sweet spot between being conversational and promotional.
If you need some help getting your creative juices flowing, check out our list of 264 creative Instagram captions.
11. Add tags to your posts
If your social media post features another brand or a customer, it’s best practice to tag that person in your post. Not only does this earn you massive niceness points, but it also helps create natural conversation and communication on your post.
A golden rule of thumb is that if your post contains user-generated content (UGC), always make sure you tag whomever the original content is from.
Originally published at Hootsuite.com.