Social media optimization (SMO) is the process of increasing the awareness of a product, brand or event by using a number of social media outlets and communities to generate viral publicity. Social Media Optimization
SMO includes using RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social media sites and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to SEO (search engine optimization) in that the goal is to drive traffic to your Web site.
Difference between SEO and SMO
Online marketing is all about awareness and visibility. Most of the time, people find your small business online in one of three ways:
- Your company comes up early in search engine results,
- You’re mentioned or recommended by another person or website they visit, or
- They already know about your company and go looking for you
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of strategies with the broad goal of bringing more people to your website the first way, by improving your search engine rankings. Social media optimization (SMO) can be one part of SEO—but it also contributes to all three ways people find you online.
If you are looking to improve your Social Media Optimization, it is important to keep in mind that having huge numbers of links to your website scattered across social networks is not optimization. Joining every Facebook industry page, Google+ Community, and the LinkedIn group just to send links to your content is actually counterproductive, to both SMO and SEO.
Social shares carry a lot more weight when they are coming from someone else. In addition, indiscriminate link spreading without engagement and participation will get you unfollowed in your social networks—, which in turn drives down your authority.
In order to improve SMO for your small business, you should focus on engaging with relevant social audiences, contributing to conversations, and posting your own shares of authoritative content for your industry.
Why you need Social Media Optimization
In the last month or so, Google quietly launched a major overhaul of their search algorithm. Dubbed Hummingbird because of its speed and precision, the new algorithm changes the way Google interprets search terms—and changes the weight of some factors that drive search rankings.
Social shares are more important in calculating rankings now, and they are apt to contribute even more in the near future. The Hummingbird algorithm values quality content that is relevant, authoritative, and shareable. So the more your content has shared across social media, the higher it perceived quality—and the better you will rank on Google.
Rules for Social Media Optimization
- Increase your linkability: Think blogs, content, aggregation & linkbait.
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy: Include calls to action for users to tag, bookmark and Digg your stuff. I’d suggest the Sociable Plugin if you have a WordPress powered blog.
- Reward inbound links: List blogs which link back to you via permalinks, trackbacks or recently linking blogs (like the Yahoo & Google blogs do).
- Help your content travel:
- Encourage the mashup:
- Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you:
- Reward helpful and valuable users:
- Know how to target your audience:
- Create content:
- Be real:
- Don’t forget your roots, be humble:
- Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh: