Social media optimization (SMO) refers to the creation of online content that is likely to be shared through social networks. Social media optimization is more art than science, as it can be difficult to come up with a consistent formula for creating shareable content. That said, social media optimization is gaining importance as social sharing is increasingly being integrated into search results.
Speaking in broad terms, social media optimization involves two basic steps: the creation of shareable content and the addition of social sharing tools to make it easy, in practice, for users to share. However, SMO is much more involved. Successful sites have found that the title of a piece of content is an important key to getting a user to commit to viewing it. Following that, the strength of the first paragraph affects how much is read by these users. Getting a user to share a piece of content, however, depends on the quality of the piece – and this can often trump a weak title or misleading first paragraph. Finding the right balance of effort between attention getting headlines and interesting information is just one of the challenges of social media optimization.