SMM and SMO have been two fascinating topics for discussion in the digital sphere. While both of these are the two essential pillars of what we call as the Digital Marketing World, people still have lots of confusion about each of them – their meaning, purpose and impacts. Therefore, let’s find out the meaning and the points of difference between the two terms.

Difference Between SMO and SMM –

As a cutting-edge industry, internet marketing has experienced continuous evolution and is still unstoppable. With so much of changes and improvements, there are many ways to promote a business, brand, or product among millions of consumers within a short timeframe.

Among the various means, SMO and SMM are the two impactful marketing sources that are built upon many tools and strategies, which differ with each other greatly.

While these two terms seem so identical to one another, their real meaning and purpose contradicts with each other greatly.

Read more to know more about these digital marketing techniques, which have changed the face of entire internet marketing industry.

Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization or SMO refers to the process of streamlining or optimizing a website so that it can be exposed online on various social media channels. This process can include anything carried out “on-page” such as refining the interface and usability of the site so that it becomes more compelling to the visitors in an effort to help them share it through various social media sites.

Social Media Optimization

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Types of social media include social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, video and blogging sites and social news and bookmarking sites. In general, social media optimization refers to making a website and its content viable and optimized for sharing across social media and networking sites.

In short, SMO is all about pulling your audience in with an “optimized” website and encouraging them to spread your content without any effort on your part.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing - Difference Between SMO vs SMM

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SMM on the other hand is the next step to SMO. Once you optimize your website, it’s time to share and publicize it online on various social media channels for the people to know about your brand, its product and services and to show interest in them. It plays more of an active role by referring to the creation and sharing of content and other messages through the social web by means of viral marketing. These may include advertisements, blogs, images, and videos describing your services and products. For instance, creating a convincing content that gets bookmarked, spreading a viral video by putting it on YouTube and other social media websites falls under SMM.

SMM is about activities that are done off-site, for instance, participating in online communities to have direct interaction with your customers forms an active part of SMM.


The clear difference between the two is: SMO refers to on-page modifications on your website whereas SMM refers to activities taking place outside your website (on some other channels). In brief, SMO can be taken as a way to encourage SMM activities by visitors of your website.

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SMM and SMO – The Difference | SMO vs SMM
by Disha Singh

22 thoughts on “SMM and SMO – The Big Difference | SMO vs SMM

  1. The SMO is optimization deals with attractive your company’s presence and online reputation through interactive people not just Facebook and Twitter, but also blogs, forums, and anywhere your business is mentioned or linked to socially. But i want to know which one is good for Website visiblity?

    • These days people are very active on social media channels and this why most of the businesses consider social media channels for enhancing their brand visibility depending on their business niche. And by combining blog postings, forums posting and other backlinks earning techniques we can actually sharpen the chances of improving the website’s visibility.

  2. Absolute the great information the definition of SMM & SMO . Thanks for you kind information.

  3. spear digital web

    Excellent post. Really good information article.

  4. alisaa

    SMO means usage of media files in your own website whereas SMM (social media marketing) means posting media files of the company at different websites for promoting your business or company.

    • Hi Alisaa,

      I would like to correct you a little bit as social media optimization is not only the usage of media files on the business website, it is the process of properly optimizing the website and social media profiles of the business in order to grab the organic traffic to it.

      Whereas social media marketing is a way of promoting your website through different platform available for social media. It includes both paid as well as organic ways of marketing.

      Please let me know if you have any question.. :)

  5. The Revew

    A nice article was written. there is so much to learn and worth sharing.

  6. David Cornish

    Social Media Optimization includes activities such as making the website more social media friendly so that visitors find it more easy to share the site or page through social media channels such as Facebook, blog, video etc.

    Social Media Marketing is also an internet marketing strategy which makes use of social media outlets to promote a product which helps you in product promotion and interaction with customers.

  7. ict media pvt ltd

    Definitely, it should be a great information shared with us.
    thanks team to share

  8. Joel Huang

    Both have own importance. SEO is used to drive traffic to the website by improving keywords rankings in search engine while SMO help to enhance the brand identity.Wonderful article. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

    • Glad you liked the article.

      Keep reading our blog posts :)

  9. Digital Marketing Toronto

    SMO is Social Media Optimization on the other hand SMM is Social Media Marketing. For doing SMM we have to do SMO in proper way.

    • True.. Whether SMO, SMM or SEO, everything needs to be done in a proper way with proper strategies.

  10. Jayaraj Chanku

    Amazing article. Both SMO and SMM must be go hand in hand for a successful platform. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for liking the article. Keep reading.

  11. After reading your post my confusion is cleared, thanks for sharing the difference between SMO & SMM. Can you also tell me about the SEO & SEM? Are they same? or different? they are both for increasing the visibility in search engines, Isn’t it? but my whole concept is not cleared. Can you please explain a little bit. Thanks in Advance.

    • Hey,

      Yes, you are right that both are used to increase the visibility of the website in search engine. It’s just with SEO, you can enhance the website visibility and traffic only through organic ways and with SEM you will get the traffic with organic as well as paid advertising.

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