What is the difference between SMO and SMM-2021

SMO and SMM – The Difference between SMO and SMM

Digital marketing is a hot topic nowadays among the many MSME and online business segment. Many startups and even big corporates today prefer online marketing along with traditional marketing for various reasons.

As the demand for online marketing services (digital marketing services) is picking up, many people are now interested in learning the different concepts of digital marketing.

And to be honest, digital marketing is a vast subject with many verticals in it. Therefore, you tend to get lost with so many concepts with almost similar abbreviations—for example, SMO, SEO, SMM, and SEM.

One such topic that we are going to discuss today and that you can easily get confused with is the difference between social media Optimization (SMO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM).

In a typical social media campaign, SMO and SMM are the two key practices involved. Both are examples of how businesses use social media to promote themselves. 

And although there are many distinctions between SMM and SMO, the ultimate purpose of both is to encourage and grow social media involvement.

Even though these two phrases appear nearly identical, their true meanings and purposes are vastly different.

So before we tell you the difference between SMO and SMM, let us first define SMO and SMM in digital marketing?

What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

SMO refers to the process of fine-tuning and improving your website so that it can be quickly shared on social media.

You might already be following a few SMO practices without being aware. So a simple & basic example for this can be to use social share buttons below your content. 

In general, it may include on-site settings like improving the design, layout, usability & overall user experience.

Let us discuss how we can achieve an SMO-optimized site in brief.

Techniques used to SMO optimize your site:

1. The content created should be structured in such a way to be easily shared. Also, it should be high-quality content & updated regularly.

2. Add social media sharing buttons to your website’s pages to allow easy sharing.

3. In addition to social media buttons, also include social media widgets on web pages. It gives the user multiple options to easily share your content.

4. Allow users to register via social networking sites such as Facebook or Google.

5. Optimize social media profiles with corporate information and contact details.

6. Write regular posts and distribute them across various networks. Remember to repurpose your content in different formats. For example, a blog post can be repurposed as a YouTube video.

7. Interact with your audience. It will improve your social footprints and, therefore, your reach.

8. We can also introduce intuitive sharing features such as in-text sharing options or tweetable links for specific quotes.

Once your website is optimized, you won’t have to put in much effort. The appealing nature of your content will compel users to share your website on social media platforms.

What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

SMM is external or off-site per process/promotion. It involves working on social platforms and then attracting users to your website, blog, or any other resource like a landing or squeeze page.

How do we define SMM?

Any marketing strategy or activity done on any social media platform comes under the domain of Social Media Marketing (SMM).

It may include videos, blog posts, ads, images, creating accounts or pages, creating a post, etc.….

Why do we even need SMM?

Once a website has been optimized, it needs to be shared on various social media platforms for people to get accustomed to your brand, product, or services. In simple words, it helps to increase brand awareness, recognition, and recall.

How long does it take for SMM to show results?

Well, SMM is a long-term game. It requires consistent hard work from your side. You need to regularly post high-quality content on these social platforms & engage with the audience to see the desired results.

Also, it is essential to remember that SMM without a resource like a blog, product, or service is of no use. The ultimate goal of an SMM campaign is to drive traffic to your resource and generate leads and, ultimately, sales. Likes, shares, comments, and followers are secondary metrics.

If you are only promoting your brand on social network sites, then you might be wasting your resources- time, money & energy. 

Some techniques or strategies used in Social Media Marketing (SMM):

  1. Building a social media marketing strategy to attain the desired result
  2. Analyzing the business’s online competition
  3. Get those stats and figure out who you’re going to target.
  4. Make a schedule for publishing the content online.
  5. Interact with the audience more.
  6. Evaluate the metrics and develop strategies based on them.

Let us now dive deep into what is the difference between SMO and SMM.

Difference between SMO and SMM (SMO vs SMM)

difference between SMO and SMM
difference between SMO and SMM

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is an on-site website optimization process to allow easy sharing of website content.

An SMO campaign aims to increase traffic to your website, encourage engagement, retain user attention, and allow re-sharing of the content on other social media platforms.

Social Media Management (SMM), on the other hand, is an off-site process and includes activities done on various social media platforms.

SMM aims to attract users to your website & drive growth for your business.

ParametersSocial Media Optimization(SMO)Social Media Marketing(SMM)
Founded BySMO was founded by Rohit Bhargava in 2006.SMM was founded by Peter Rollock in 1986.
Scope & PlatformSMO is more focused on on-site activities to facilitate the smooth flow of content.SMM is an off-site endeavor to promote your brand on social media platforms- Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
PrecedenceSMO proceeds SMM.SMM takes place after SMO.
ProcessSMO entails modifying and optimizing content to improve the performance of social media marketing activities and capture the target audience’s attention.SMM involves advertising your brand on social media platforms through blogs, social media posts, advertisements, and other means.
GoalThe primary goal of social media optimization is to aid social media marketing efforts and develop engaging content strategies.The primary purpose of social media marketing is to enhance engagement and conversion rates.
Difference between SMO and SMM

Remember, both are essential pillars of Digital Marketing and are used widely by brands & companies to grow their business online.

Any business with a website can take advantage of SMO and SMM to grow online. Therefore, having a website is a must for online growth.


The article covers the difference between SMM & SMO while explaining specific needs for each of the two.

And even though SMO was introduced after SMM, SMO is quite important for the success of SMM. The two components complement each other.

If you are looking for specialized SMO & SMM services- Reach out to us through the details mentioned on the contact us page. We help you generate more leads & sales for your business for the ultimate growth.

Also, if you are interested in agency-level service you can visit our website Digeeta and get a quote.

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