SMO Vs SMM - An Ultimate Comparison Between Social Media Optimization & Marketing

In this digital world where advancements are taking place in technology and the Internet is also continuously evolving, promoting business has become much easier.

Many methods & processes have emerged that facilitate you to take your business online and connect people from any corner of the world.

Two names are quite popular among these methods – Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM).

Both these methods are counted among the important pillars of the Digital Ecosystem.

Although they sound similar, the strategies, motives, and definitions of both the methods are different.

In today's blog, we are going to learn about these two Digital Marketing Methods and examine the difference between them.

So let's start…

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social Media Optimization is a free marketing strategy under which you optimize your website & different social media platforms and create a better experience for your users.

Using SMO increases the online presence of your business and lets people know about your business and you.

SMO helps in generating quality leads which is very important for the growth of any business.

Many top social media platforms are included under this – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and many others.

If we want to understand it in one line, then we can say that it is that part of Social Media Digital Marketing under which you optimize your Social Media Platforms and take users to your website.

If you want to understand Social Media Optimization Strategies well, then definitely read this SMO Guide.

What is Social Media Marketing?

As the name suggests, SMM means marketing, promotion, or advertising of your business using social media.

Under this, you share quality content on various social media profiles, engage with followers, and convert them.

Apart from this, Paid Techniques are included under this Digital Marketing Strategy with the help of which you run Paid Ads for your Business Promotions and increase the reach of your business by targeting a specific group of people.

If you want to know Social Media Marketing in detail then definitely read our Detailed Social Media Marketing Guide.

When to use SMO?

Social Media Optimization is a free marketing strategy under which you can further strengthen the online presence of your business.

SMO Strategies can be used in the following situations:

  1. When you are shifting your business from offline to online and your website has also been created. After this your next step is Social Media Optimization.
  2. When you want to use Free Marketing Strategies for your Business Promotion.
  3. When you are looking for an organic way to send quality traffic to your business website.
  4. You want to grow the online presence of your business slowly & steadily, because you get slow results in SMO strategies.
  5. When you want to create awareness of your products & services.
  6. You are confident in your content and want to generate leads organically by creating a good engagement with your users.
So in this way, whatever your goal is (as written above), you can implement Social Media Optimization in your business and create a strong customer base.

When to use SMM?

Unlike SMO, SMM is a Paid Marketing Strategy which provides you the facility to establish business and earn through social media.

We can use Social Media Marketing Strategies in these circumstances:

  1. When you have optimized all your social profiles using Social Media Optimization. After this comes the turn of marketing.
  2. When you want to resort to Paid Marketing Strategy instead of Free Marketing Strategies.
  3. If you cannot wait for a long time and want to get results quickly.
  4. When you want to post quality content as well as run paid ads and create your brand awareness.
  5. When you have defined your goals and searched & analyzed the target audience. You can target them in the best way by running a Paid Advertising Campaign or Social Media Marketing Campaign.
So in this way if you are at any stage (as given above), you can use Social Media Marketing and create your Brand Awareness.

SMO Vs SMM (Difference between Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing)

As we saw above what is Social Media Optimization and what is Social Media Marketing, let us now understand the differences between them in a tabular form so that it becomes easier for you to remember them.

Before implementing SMO, you have to keep some important things in mind. For this you have to see on which social media platform your target audience stays for longer time.

You cannot do this by creating your profile on all social channels and start posting content.

By doing this you will not be able to post your quality content on the specific platform where your target audience spends time.

Rather, doing so will only result in loss of your precious time.

Similarly, SMM also helps you in increasing Brand Reach & Brand Value.

With the help of its Ad Campaign, you show your ad only to a particular group of audience. These are the people who are interested in your Products & Services.

Let us see what are the differences between these two (Difference between SMO and SMM).

Social Media OptimizationSocial Media Marketing
This is a way to optimize various Social Media Channels & Business Website.
The step after SMO is SMM where you have to market your business.
All On-Page Activities (For Website & Social Media Channels) are included under SMO.
Apart from On-Page, Off-Page Activities are also included under SMM.
With its help, you encourage the audience to come to your website and share your content.
In this, you introduce the leads to your business and target them on your website.
In this Free Digital Marketing Strategy, it takes some time for you to increase the Reach & Online Presence of your business.
This is a Paid Digital Marketing Strategy in which you generate leads through Paid Advertisement in just a short time and bring targeted traffic.
In this strategy you bring targeted traffic to your website in an organic way.
With its help, you can also do direct selling of your products and connect directly with your customers.
In this you have to keep in mind where your target audience is more engaged, on which platform which type of content plays more etc.
In this, you take the help of Paid Promotion to boost your posts and do Sales Conversion by targeting interested people.
Content is King under SMO. Therefore, you have to post your content only on the basis of proper research.
By using Social Media Marketing Strategies properly, you can promote your website and lead conversions.

Best Method for Small Business Owner

In today's era where Pandemic like Covid-19 has knocked, it has become very important to take the business online.

If you are also a small business owner then it is very important for you to know these Best Digital Marketing Strategies.

In this era of online marketing, people have started adopting different methods due to which they are getting good results.

But, when it comes to which marketing strategy between SMO and SMM can a small business owner implement in his business?

Although both these methods sound similar but both have their own end goals and the method of implementing both is different.

However, which method of SMO vs SMM you should use depends on the following things:

Your business level

The first thing that comes into consideration in the selection of SMO and SMM is the level of your business.

If you have just started a new business, then in such a situation you will have to understand various marketing terms.

In such a situation, it would be right for you to choose Social Media Optimization. You would like to see how different social media platforms are identified according to their target audience and how content is posted.

In the beginning it will take some time for you to become familiar with and understand social media. Gradually you will start knowing the art of posting good and result oriented content.

However, if you are at the intermediate or advanced level in your business and have optimized your social media profiles, then you will need to market your products & services.

In this, you will also have to take the help of Paid Promotion to reach your specific target audience.


Selecting the right marketing strategy among SMO & SMM also depends on whether you want to invest money in your business or not?

If you want all the work to be done by adopting free strategy then you will need to implement SMO.

However, if you can invest some money then SMM will prove to be a profitable deal.

Under this, you can run Paid Ad Campaigns which help you in getting quick results and creating brand awareness.

Time Horizon

Time Horizon means how much time can you spend in creating awareness of your business, so that people can come to know about it and then they automatically come to your business website?

If you have time and you are confident in your content delivering skills then you should choose Social Media Optimization.

Under this, you will have to optimize both your social profiles and content and provide value to people.

Only after seeing your Quality Content & Online Presence, people will reach your website and make a deal with you.

On the contrary, if you want to get results in just a few months, then you can choose SMM.

Under this, you have targeted reach and by customizing ad campaigns you reach your customers.

Your Digital Marketing Understanding

It is obvious that if you want to do online business then it is important for you to understand Digital Marketing.

However, there is also a possibility that you may not understand this and you are thinking of handing over the responsibility of your online business to a Digital Marketing Agency.

Therefore, if you have even a little understanding of Social Media Handles then you should choose Social Media Optimization.

Gradually you will learn from creating content to optimizing it, optimizing posts, user interaction, etc.


To choose the right method among Social Media Optimization and Social Media Marketing, your Goal, your understanding of Digital Marketing, your Time Horizon etc. are very important.

If you are at the initial stage of your business, then you have to understand how different social media platforms work, how to optimize them, how to deliver content, etc.

But if you want to get results quickly or you do a seasonal business where you sell goods according to the season (summer and winter), then in that situation you can run Paid Ad Campaigns on your various social media handles.

In this way, gradually you can run your business through automation so that your business will continue to run even without your presence.

So in this blog we understood the difference between SMO vs SMM and saw how a small business owner can choose the right marketing method for himself.

Do tell me in the comments which strategy you are going to implement for your business.