Social media optimization (SMO) is a subset of search engine optimization (SEO). SMO optimizes your business site by advertising through social medial sites, blog sites, online communities, podcasts, and message boards.
SMO is accomplished through really simple syndication (RSS) feeds, video and photo sharing, social bookmarking, blogging, and social news buttons. The concept is to drive traffic without spending money on search engine advertising. SMO creates links to a site by creating more visibility through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Squidoo, Blogger, Hubpages, Digg, or Delicious, etc.
There are two categories of SMO methods:
(1) Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, social news and sharing buttons, and incorporating third-party community functionalities, such as images and videos.
(2) Promotional activities in social media, aside from the content being promoted, including: blogging, commenting on other blogs, participating in discussion groups, and posting status updates on social networking profiles.
SMO is related to search engine marketing. However, it differs in several ways. Primarily, the focus on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, although it improves search ranking, is also a benefit of successful SMO.
As a technique, SMO is connected to viral marketing. In other words, word-of-mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video, and photo sharing websites. Similarly, the use of blogs achieves the same result by sharing content through the use of RSS feeds in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.
There are several ways in which to achieve SMO.
Getting links to your website
The popularity of your website is determined by the amounts of links that are pulled through. An analogy to this would be the number of votes that a political candidate receives from the public, which would demonstrate the popularity of the candidate.
Creating inbound links
When it comes to search engine ranking, inbound links are essential to the popularity of the site and its content. You should create links to sites and blogs that contain links that lead back to your site and thus, increase your online presence.
Bookmarking and tagging
Bookmarking and tagging can be accomplished more easily by employing content features, such as buttons like “add to Facebook” and other bookmarking sites. Also, you can include appropriate tags to your pages in addition to your home page for popular bookmarking sites.
Allowing others to make use of your content
YouTube is a perfect example of this. YouTube allows you to download videos to your site(s) in order to jazz up your content. Another way is by syndicating your content through RSS feeds so that other people can use it to their own advantage. The positive result of this for you is that it will drive increased traffic to your website.
Making your content travel
Within your niche area, you can make changes to your site that will allow it to drive your content all over the place. You can accomplish this by including PDFs and audio and video files so that you can submit them to your list of members and also to sites that are related to your niche market. This will help you to create back links to your site so that your website traffic is increased.
The good and bad of SMO
Just as with other ways of driving traffic, SMO is the victim of spamming and link farming. Although the pure concept behind social bookmarking is to provide links that are useful, informative, and interesting, there are many cases of people using their own sites without paying any mind to the content quality, which may be cheap, duplicated, and pirated. It takes away from the web space of the bookmarking site and creates inferior content.
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About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).