Social media optimization (SMO) refers to the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Twitter, and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website.
Social media optimization is becoming an increasingly important factor in search engine optimization, as search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank pages in the search engine result pages. The implication is that when a webpage is shared or "liked" by a user on a social network, it counts as a "vote" for that webpage's quality. Thus, search engines can use such votes accordingly to properly rank websites in search engine results pages.
1. Define objectives and set goals
Know your desired outcome at you start – for example, reputation, sales, influence, credibility, charity, traffic/page views.
2. Make people smarter
If a piece of content makes people seem smart, they’re more likely to share it with their friends. And people like being the first to share information because it makes them seem cool and in-the-know.
3. Increase linkability
To optimize a site for social media, we need to increase the linkability of the content. Adding a blog is a great step, however there are many other ways such as creating white papers and thought pieces, or even simply aggregating content that exists elsewhere into a useful format.
4. Tag content so it travels faster
Make sure pages include a list of relevant tags, suggested notes for a link (which come up automatically when you go to tag a site).
5. Make access to content easy
Content that is easy to view through short links (PDFs, video files and audio files), travels further and is more trackable in proving it is driving visitors ultimately to your site.
6. Use permalinks in blogs for keywords and sharing
When you blog, permalinks automatically capture keywords in the URL titles that search engine look for when the crawl your site; at the bottom of your blog, they make it easy for readers to copy and share.
7. Reward helpful and valuable influencers
Share the content of the people who are sharing your content. It is both a sincere and smart way to raise visibility.
8. Be a useful resource, even if it doesn’t help you
9. Don’t forget your roots; be humble
Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away being a BlogStar or industry talking head. Remember those who helped you along the way, and that respect will help all involved.
10. Let go of an idea and let others own it
In the spirit of social media principles, the idea of Social Media Optimization is now out there and belongs to the marketing and PR community. I strongly believe the future definition of this emerging marketing practice will come from the group.
11. Know who and how to target
On the internet as in life, there is always going to be a certain audience you can appeal to and others that you can’t. Listen to who is engaging with you and take the learning to build your audience.
12. Stay fresh
Social Media is changing and morphing by the minute, keep up on new tools, products and challenges in your social sphere.