Social Chameleon

What does Social Media Optimisation mean?

Social Media Optimisation


Social media optimisation (SMO) or search-first social media® refers to the process of applying SEO principles to social media content. SMO involves creating and optimising content in line with social media best practices to enhance a brand’s social media presence. 


SMO or search-first social media marketing is the ultimate example of the social media and SEO worlds colliding – with organic search at the heart of it all. As a search-first social media agency, we’re here to help you navigate the realm of SMO and discover how you can use it to bolster your brand’s social media strategy. 



Why is SMO such a buzz term in 2024?

With 40% of consumers using TikTok to search for things they need or are interested in learning about – music, fashion, cooking, and DIY ideas being the most popular – SMO is becoming increasingly important for marketers and brands alike. 


The surge in popularity for the term ‘SMO’ then, is caused by the shift in people using social media platforms, like TikTok, as search engines. 


Younger generations are much more likely to use TikTok as a search tool, with 64% of Gen Z and 49% of millennials doing so. Even more surprisingly, almost 10% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok over traditional search engines like Google when seeking information. 


With younger generations shaping the way we search and social media platforms using it more frequently as search engines, applying SEO practices to social media strategies is crucial. 



Best Practices for SMO in 2024

In 2024, SMO best practices go beyond simple improvements, such as asking an engaging question in a post caption or using an impressive visual. While these techniques should still be used in your day-to-day activity, there are far more valuable search-first social media practices you can use to your advantage in 2024. 


Here are three things you can do to optimise your social media to help boost your presence and enhance your organic search efforts:


Optimise your bio

As one of the first things a user sees when visiting your social media page, your bio needs to be squeaky clean and optimised with the most relevant keywords and terms. Be sure to avoid keyword stuffing, however! Showing your personality, interests, and character is far more valuable. So try to use a good balance of super-relevant keywords while authentically conveying who you are. 


Given that you usually only have a few words to play with, you should summarise who you are, what you do, and what your business does in a clear and concise manner. You should also include a relevant CTA, whether that’s asking people to follow you, visit your website, or DM you. If you’re hoping to connect with local customers or businesses, you should also consider including your location.

Optimise your links

Adding UTM codes to links will allow you to track user behaviour, giving you insights into how your audience engages with your social content. In short, a UTM is a basic snippet of code added to the end of your URL to track social media content and campaign performance. 


For example, using UTM links in your social posts allows you to identify which ones drive the most traffic to your site and which ones don’t – helping you enhance your strategy. 

Optimise accessibility

Considering accessibility factors is crucial. For images, you’ll want to make sure that you’re abiding by each social media platform’s image size guidelines. Besides, having weirdly cropped or blurry images never looks good so make sure you’re using high-resolution imagery and strictly abiding by those guidelines. This is especially important when you’re crossposting the same image across multiple social platforms. 


It’s also crucial to accompany any image with Alt text descriptions – this helps visually impaired users and search engine bots understand what the image is showing. 


Videos should also always include subtitles and closed captions to help hearing-impaired viewers understand what the video is about. Video captions also provide Google with context and semantic meaning, which can lead to higher rankings in organic search results. People, especially younger viewers, prefer watching videos with subtitles, with Netflix reporting that 40% of its viewers regularly use them.

Measuring the Success of SMO Efforts

Similar to how you would analyse SEO efforts, you should measure the success of SMO efforts by analysing your brand’s performance on each social platform as well as conducting in-depth audience research and competitor comparisons.


Where you can go a step further with analysing SMO success is by using social listening tools and metrics to gather insights. For example, social listening can identify trending content within your industry and can help you uncover how customers and potential customers feel about your brand.


Pioneers in Search-First Social Media®

As SMO experts, Social Chameleon trademarked the notion of ‘search-first social media®’, highlighting the wealth of knowledge we provide to help any business enhance their social media strategies. We know that social media’s reign will continue, rapidly transforming the search engine landscape and the wider digital marketing world. The quicker businesses adopt SMO in their social strategies, the better. And that’s where we can help. 


“A good social media strategy is one of the most powerful weapons in a marketer’s portfolio. With social platforms constantly evolving to meet user preferences, there is an ongoing opportunity for businesses to adapt and seize a greater share of their market.” – Jemima Myers


Taking a search-first approach to your social media strategy can help you:


  • Increase brand awareness
  • Boost engagement rate
  • Improve reach
  • Grow followers at a faster rate
  • Better understand your audience
  • Improve the quality of your leads


Want to find out more about how search-first social media marketing can help your brand? Get in touch!

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