In the world of social media, acronyms are everywhere! SEO, SEM, SMO, SMM, oh my! No doubt, they make long descriptive social media concepts easier to reference but few outside the tech or marketing world have any idea what the acronyms mean or know the differences between them.
Let’s sort this out, in no uncertain terms:
SEO means Search Engine Optimization, which is how your website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP) and how search results are displayed. SEO techniques try to improve your website’s search engine rankings to drive traffic to your website. SEO techniques can include keywords used in the title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions, and can effect how fast your website loads.
SEM means Search Engine Marketing, which means purchasing paid advertisements such as Adwords. You create a campaign, set a budget and can easily measure your results. It is also the fastest way to get your website to show up on the first page of search engine results. Your sponsored ads show up at the top or side of an organic search. SEM may mean using SEO to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages, or may involve using pay-per-click (PPC) listings as well.
SMO means Social Media Optimization. It means to create content and build a website that is easy to share on social networks and is friendly to social media users. SMO is similar to SEO in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website. The person building and maintaining your website should definitely ‘Know SMO.’
SMM stands for Social Media Marketing. You create content for your social media channels that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks. It’s the essence of social media. You post on your website, social networks, or news feeds to spread the word about an event, product, service, brand or your company. The idea is to get your followers to share it with their followers, who share it with their followers and so on. It’s like an electronic word of mouth. You can also buy Facebook ads to boost your posts.