Why your website needs SMO (Social Media Optimisation)

90 percent of your customers use Facebook

Why your website needs SMO

What do your customers see when your website is shared on social media? Is it just a blank square, with your website title and description next to it? With SMO, you can have a catchy title and an engaging image that people will want to click on.

What is SMO?

You probably know about SEO, which is Search Engine Optimisation – the process of improving your website’s ranking in search results like on Google. But what is SMO? It’s Social Media Optimisation – the practice of designing a website to get more people to share it on social media, like Facebook.

I recently came across a programme being launched by the Sunshine Coast Council to help businesses utilise digital tools. It sounded useful, so I shared their website in some local business groups on Facebook. I was surprised to find that it looked like this when I shared it:

A site with no SMO

Notice how there is a faint, chopped off logo and a title that says “Home”? That’s because the site doesn’t use SMO.

Without proper SMO, when people share your site on Facebook, they end up with something that says “Home”, when it could say “Learn to utilise digital tools”. And instead of an eye-catching graphic that makes people want to find out more and click the link, they get a chopped off logo from somewhere on the web page being shared, like in the example above.

Why should you care how your site looks on Facebook? Because over 90% of your potential customers are using Facebook.

Of those who are old enough, on the Sunshine Coast, over 90% of people use Facebook. Because this article is about Social Media Optimisation, it’s important to know how you can work out these figures yourself. After all, it’s important to be able to target your audience and be able to measure the success of marketing and advertising campaigns.

How to determine your audience size in Facebook

How do we work out what percentage of the Sunshine Coast population uses Facebook? We start with the population of the Sunshine Coast, which was estimated by the ABS to be about 302,000 in 2015. We won’t have more accurate figures till the results of the 2016 census are released in April this year, but from the trend over the last 5 years, it’s grown by about 5,000 per year, so we are at about 310,000 now.

The ABS tells us that the percentage of 0-14 year olds on the Coast is about 18.5%. Since Facebook is only available to people aged 13 and up, let’s be conservative and take 14% off the total population of the Sunshine Coast.

That gives us a base population of 266,600 people who can use Facebook. There are currently 241,157 Facebook users on the Sunshine Coast. You can work that out by creating a targeted ad or setting your page audience in Facebook like in this image:

241,157 Facebook users on the Sunshine Coast

Setting the Preferred Page Audience to the Sunshine Coast region gives 241,157 users on Facebook

So 241,157/266,600 gives us 90.45%. In other words, in people aged 13 and over, over 90% of the Sunshine Coast uses Facebook. That’s a very good reason to care how your website looks when it’s shared on Facebook.


What can SMO do for your business?

With SMO, you get to turn every page of your site and every blog post or article into an advertisement on Facebook. What’s even better is that you can do this without spending any money on advertising. That’s because Social Media Optimisation allows you to specify what the title, description and image should be when the page is shared on Facebook. Because you can make these things different from how they appear in Google, you get to really customise the look and tone of your ‘ad’, without worrying about whether those words are search terms that people are typing into Google.

For instance the Sunshine Coast Daily uses SMO well across their site. Their motoring section looks like this on Google:

Cars section on google

SEO uses words that people type into Google

But the same page shared to Facebook looks like this:

Motoring section on Facebook

SMO uses words and pictures that make people want to click and share

Notice how the text in Google shows the latest news about the Mazda recall, but on Facebook, it’s like an ad that reads, “Read all about our Featured cars… photo galleries”. “Featured cars” and “photo galleries” are not things that people would be googling, whereas “mazda recall” is something they’d be searching for. So SEO and SMO serve two different purposes, and it’s important to do both.

Get SMO on your website

Every website that I build comes with SMO on every page. So whether people are sharing your home page, or a blog post like this one, your potential customers will see something that will make them click. After we do the on-site SEO to make sure that your page and title are rich in the keywords that people will be typing into Google, we’ll work on the SMO. We’ll make sure that on Facebook, people will see attractive graphics and enticing text, that will make them want to find out more.

If you already have a website and have now found out that there’s no SMO, I can help you there as well. I’ll perform Social Media Optimisation on your site from as little as $200. This will depend on how many pages your site has, and how the site is built.

So contact me today to talk about how I can build a website, or improve your existing one, to make your business succeed.

Feel free to email me, use the secure contact form or  call me on 0412 295 776.

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