Whether one seeks Search Engine optimization(SEO) or Social media optimization(SMO),the objectives are the same – to improve visibility on the web which has become virtually a world in itself and to ensure a better business. SEO or Search Engine Optimization considers the way search engines work, the keywords that people often look for and the subjects for which people search.

Based on this, the website is configured and modified so that it ranks high when an organic search is conducted via a search engine. On the other hand, SMO or Social Media Marketing considers the way people work – via friends and contacts! It focuses on creating content that attracts the attention of the readers and encourages them to share the same with all their friends and contacts. The corporate message in such marketing resonated better with the audience for it comes from a source it trusts – friends.

While SEO sites try to grab a greater market share via linguistics, grammar, syntax and vocabulary, SMO does the same via emotions, trust and recommendations. The social networking sites allow individuals to interact with each other and build many relationships in the process. It is complete freedom for the people as far as doing what they wish to goes. Thus, social marketing is bound to be a very profitable method for the long run as it works via the ‘pull’ mechanism of attracting people rather than the ‘push’ of forcing people.

Customers acquired via social marketing tend to be many times more loyal than normal customers. This is because they have arrived at the marketer of their own volition with faith and trust built through friends’ recommendations. Another reason for this loyalty is that social marketing helps to put a ‘human face’ of the company with which customers can interact, provide instant feedback and seek immediate redressal. Of course, SEO helps popularizing the site. However, a site that is popular in one region or society might not be so in others. But that is not the case with trust and friendships. People everywhere, in all societies listen to their friends and family. Social media marketing is sure to be a success anywhere.

SMO has succeeded in bringing about a dialogue between the company and customer. It also provides opportunities of having an ever-expanding customer base by exploring the friends and friend’s friends in the social network. It also gives the chance to be highly selective about the target audience. Since social networking sites have more or less all the demographic and geographic data about the customers concerned, SMO helps to get invaluable insights about the target market.

Before concluding that SMO is far superior to SEO, it would do well to examine a potential pitfall as well. What works for the good things also works for the bad! While depending on SMO, it becomes imperative for the company to serve well and incorporate the feedback received. Else, it can get bad-mouthed and even that travels fast on the social network. At times, the damage done through ‘bad word-of-mouth’ can be irreversible.

About the author: Alyssa Clarke is a blogger who also happens be a tech freak. She is always on a lookout for latest gadgets that includes cellphones, music players and tablets. She is a car lover too, especially Vintage cars and dreams of owing one soon.

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