First SMOchat and the state of social media optimization from our community

This post is based on our first #SMOchat (stands for Social Media Optimization chat) this past week. We will be hosting #SMOchat on Twitter every Tuesday at noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern Time. We hope you can join us as we explore more SMO topics together.  
It’s no surprise that Facebook was founded only 7 years ago and opened up to everyone just 5 years ago. SocialCast’s study cited that 71% of social media managers have only 1-4 years of experience, and Jeremiah Owyang’s surveys revealed that 62% of corporate social media divisions have only been in existence for less than 2 years. We are all new at this. This is why we hosted our first #SMOchat in order to bring the community together to have a conversation about how to master the skills in this nascent profession. 92 chatters participated, contributing 673 tweets and a ton of insights.
Measuring Only the Basics
Starting with measurement, which is critical to understanding how to optimize, we found that most participants were focused on what Jeremiah Owyang calls theengagement data – followers, fans, replies, retweets, likes, comments, clicks, etc. These make up the lowest level of metrics that we as social media professionals have in front of us everyday. While there were talks about looking at conversions and repeat retweeters as potential ways to tie what we do more closely to the business, it seemed like we are just starting to think about it.

A Lot of Experimentation

With measurement comes optimization, and we found our community to be quite savvy at adapting what they do based on what’s working. While we can’t yet prove most of the things shared, here’s what we heard:

  • Linkbait-y titles get more retweets but not clicks. It’s interesting to think about what you are optimizing for, more word-of-mouth or visits to your website?
  • Finding questions to answer helps expose you to new audiences. We are familiar with InboxQ as a perfect solution for this.
  • Testing different rates of posting, degree of formality in your voice, and mixing in more “value tweets” without links, etc. could lead to better results.
  • Use scheduling and repeating content to engage audiences active at different times of the day. It’s also just a great way to optimize your own schedule to try to stay sane.

Facebook vs. Twitter

Social Media Optimization also means understanding the unique attributes of each channel, so we asked our chatters how Facebook is different from Twitter. In terms of content, chatters found content to be more persistent on Facebook, with pictures, videos, and more entertaining content performing better in terms of engagement. Pages are also much more flexible, with the possibility of adding a store. However, most found success on Facebook much harder to achieve. Some said that it might be because Facebook users want to interact with friends, not businesses. Others thought Facebook likes just feel more forced since companies try really hard to get you to like their Pages by paying Facebook or “like-gating” you on their page. With fan pages getting 50 million likes a day, it’s true that we don’t yet know what percentage of that is organic.
We ended the chat right after this discussion. We got some good topic suggestions, and we are stoked to do it all again tomorrow. Join us on Twitter at #SMOchat this Tuesday noon PDT / 3pm EDT! You can join the Stanzr landing page here.

See the curated transcript from Stanzr here.
Top 10 participants (in order): @Natasha_D_G, @hensel, @PegFitzpatrick, @solete, @DryerBuzz, @AbiNaumann, @thenerdynurse, @runawayapricot, @amywhiggins, @RdLessTkn
Most retweeted tweet:

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