It is commonly supposed that product optimization is aimed exclusively at promoting products and services in search engines (SEO). In general, it’s a series of actions directed at attracting visitors to your site from search engines.

Although search engine optimization is the most important element in promoting your product, nowadays there’s another type of optimization – Social Media Optimization (SMO).Having some negative but still useful and valuable experience connected with SMO, I’d like to share some references and nuances of such methods of optimization with you.
For several years already our company has been working in the sphere of collaborative work management software development but, unfortunately, we started our work on social media optimization with a mistake. Some years ago after launching a new marketing campaign of one of our products, we were not able to cope with a wave of negative responses from consumers and, as a result, had to close the campaign. But we noticed that even against the ‘unsuccessful’ campaign, the sales of this product increased. Now our company has a dozen of successful campaigns in social networks devoted to different products of our company. We learned some mistakes and now I’d like to share with your our knowledge.

  • You should accept the idea that social networks can’t be moderated as you wish. People express any opinions, including negative ones, and tough moderation can only make things even worse. It’s impossible to calculate beforehand how a campaign will go. It’s more important to react quickly, speak openly, and skillfully lead the discussion into the necessary direction. In some cases a simple explanation from an expert can help. For example, if someone asks what technology is used in our product and how it works, we must provide a qualified response with examples and screen-shots if necessary. When we launch disputable campaigns, we ask marketing specialists to calculate five worst scenarios and come up with possible reactions to them.There are categories of goods where people are difficult to bring out of their shells and in such cases negative reactions help to put the campaign into motion. You just have to remember what is written on the Internet will stay there for ages. Thus, we wouldn’t agree to launch a campaign which is likely to induce a negative reaction.
  • Don’t start if you don’t know what exactly you would like to get from social networks. You should understand why you are doing it and realize that it’s a long-term perspective. Blogs should be maintained and moderated immediately. Even if somebody wrote a message at 2 a.m., your answer is important, even with a delay. Launching a project and forgetting about it in a few months is worse for the company than doing nothing at all.
  • If you are planning to be present in social networks constantly and qualitatively, be ready to spend money on a webpage. Constant maintenance and content is a must.
  • Delegate the work to specialized companies or agencies. Because of working with different clients, their employees have a wider area of thought; they borrow some creative ideas from other projects, use new technologies. But the work of the agency should be managed carefully— the people engaged by the agency can be ‘empty contacts’ from broken accounts. If you have 1,000 visits on your page and next day you have 10,000, that’s something suspicious.
  • Don’t expect that the product will immediately increase in sales just because of its presence in social networks. It’s not enough. You need some additional actions and marketing steps.
  • Banking, insurance and tourist services can be easily promoted in social networks. But for consumer goods this service has to be specially invented. For example, Axe gave a possibility to meet and flirt. However, having a product is not enough. In the world there are some groups with a great number of participants but, in fact, they are ‘dead’ groups. For example, the community of the biscuit Oreo has 16 million members but no real communication.
  • Don’t expect to make it big without interesting content. So far some producers consider social networks as ‘entertainment’ and don’t take them seriously. Content is king’ has been a long-lived mantra of media.Without useful, creative and interesting content your chances to be successful are low. The content should be renewed regularly, for example, several times a week.

These are some of the advice we can give for those who want to promote products on social networks. What are your tips?
About the Author
Hi, my name’s Jannet Sparts and I’m working as an editor of Online Issues. I write for several blogs, sharing my experience and observations. I have worked as a project manager in several companies. So I have tried different PM tools, collaboration programs, including tracker and task management software solutions. As of the moment, PM software is my primary field of interest.