5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)This is the original post that started the Social Media Optimization revolution and has been cited bythousands of blogs and media sources around the world. For a more updated view, read the 5 NewRules Of Social Media Optimization published by Rohit exactly 4 years after this post on 08/10/10.First Time Here? Read an introduction to this blog here.Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouzFor years now, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for websites has been honed into a fine art withentire companies devoting considerable effort to defining best practices and touting the value of SEOfor raising a sites performance on organic search listings. While I believe in the power of SEO, there isa new offering we have started providing to clients which we call Social Media Optimization (SMO).The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linkedto, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), andmore frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs. Here are 5 rules we use tohelp guide our thinking with conducting an SMO for a clients website: 1. Increase your linkability - This is the first and most important priority for websites. Many sites are "static" - meaning they are rarely updated and used simply for a storefront. 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. 2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy - Adding content features like quick buttons to "add to del.icio.us" are one way to make the process of tagging pages easier, but we go beyond this, making sure pages include a list of relevant tags, suggested notes for a link (which come up automatically when you go to tag a site), and making sure to tag our pages first on popular social bookmarking sites (including more than just the homepage). 3. Reward inbound links - Often used as a barometer for success of a blog (as well as a website), inbound links are paramount to rising in search results and overall rankings. To encourage more of them, we need to make it easy and provide clear rewards. From using Permalinks to recreating Similarly, listing recent linking blogs on your site provides the reward of visibility for those who link to you 4. Help your content travel - Unlike much of SEO, SMO is not just about making changes to a site. When you have content that can be portable (such as PDFs, video files and audio files), submitting them to relevant sites will help your content travel further, and ultimately drive links back to your site. 5. Encourage the mashup - In a world of co-creation, it pays to be more open about letting others use your content (within reason). YouTubes idea of providing code to cut and paste so you can imbed videos from their site has fueled their growth. Syndicating your content through RSS also makes it easy for others to create mashups that can drive traffic or augment your content.There are many other "rules" and techniques that we are starting to uncover as this idea gets moresophisticated. In the meantime we are always on the lookout for new ideas in Social Media
Optimization to encourage even better thinking. Perhaps we may even see the rise of entire groups oragencies devoted to SMO in the future ...Update (8/13/06): Jeremiah Owyang has added Rules 6 and 7Update (08/15/06): Cameron Olthuis has added Rules 8, 9, 10, and 11Update (08/16/06): Loren Baker has added Rules 12 and 13Update (08/17/06): Lee Odden has added Rules 14, 15 and 16Social Media OptimizationSocial Media Optimization is the next level in marketing. When you combine Social Media Optimization withtraditional SEO you have a scenario. You see, your product or service might not be presently known to the public andtherefore it doesn’t matter if you rank for that phrase or not. Enter Social Media Optimization, the new approach toWord-Of-Mouth marketing. SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION allows you to efficiently spread the word and generatean intense amount of interest for a relatively unknown product or service.Before your Social Media Optimization campaign gets into full swing an organized SEO campaign should be put intoplace to have the highest-ranking site for the terms that you will be promoting. Once you have ranked your site for allof your pertinent keywords you will be ready to receive all of the new searches.When you mate the two concepts above together you have what we call in the world of Social Media Optimization, “ASlam-Dunk”.Social Media Optimization is the be-all and end-all to Word-Of-Mouth marketing. Get in front of your peers andmarket sector with the innocence of a newfound friend. Then deliver the ultimate marketing punch before they see itcoming. They’ll never know what hit them and why they ordered it!Social Media Optimization goes on to other levels such as engineering videos to rank for specific terms and drivingtraffic to them. Can you think of a more measurable way to deploy your latest commercial than to put in places whereyou can literally count who has seen it? No more “mute” button fears. Your viewers are now of the engaged type. Thisis crucial for marketing budgets because we can measure user engagement.This is a no-brainer. Gone are the days when you needed to estimate how many people saw the commercial. Goneare the days of pre-roll video on websites when again you had to estimate if they turned away while your ad ran. Thisis a completely different approach. Let us figure out the direction for your new program material based on actual dataso that you can leverage a “new to you” but “previously existing” audience, which is ripe for the picking.Social Media Optimization enables us to position your brand to your customers on their own terms and in theirenvironment which results in a more authentic marketing message.
Social media optimization (abbreviated as SMO) refers to the use of a number of social media outletsand communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. Socialmedia optimization includes using RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as socialmedia sites, such as Twitter, and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to SEO search engineoptimization in that the goal is to create awareness and create a specific action, such as driving traffic to aweb site. Social media optimization refers to optimizing your websites and content in terms of sharingacross social media and network sites. Usually social search and social proof go hand-in-hand with social media optimization.Search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks such asFacebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank pages in the search engine result pages. The implication is thatwhen information is shared or “liked”, say a blog post you’ve written, by someone on a social network, likeFacebook, that information/content is of quality. Google doesn’t have to rack its brain trying to make up itsown mind about whether or not your blog post is quality or not because one of its own users gave yourcontent a thumbs up themselves. It’s more difficult to tip the scales or influence the search engines in thisway, and consequently search engines, like ng, are putting more stock into social search which is why weneed to make sure we’re effectively using social media optimization.While social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, it differs in several ways. Primarily,SMO focuses on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search rankingis also a benefit of successful social media optimization.Social media optimization is in many ways connected to the technique of viral marketing where word ofmouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in socialbookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. For example, with an effective socialbookmarking campaign, not only can website traffic be increased, but a sites rankings can be increased. In a similar way, the engagement with blogs creates a similar result by sharing contentthrough the use of RSS in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.Social media optimization is considered an integral part of an online reputation management (ORM)or search engine reputation management (SERM) strategy for organizations or individuals who careabout their online presence.Social media optimization is not limited to marketing and brand building. Increasingly, smart businessesare integrating social media participation as part of their knowledge management strategy (i.e.,product/service development, recruiting, employee engagement and turnover, brand building, customersatisfaction and relations, business development and more). Additionally, social media optimization canbe implemented to foster a community of the associated site, allowing for a healthy business-to-consumer(B2C) relationship.
Contents [hide]1 Origins2 Social media gaming3 See also4 ReferencesOriginsAccording to search engine expert Danny Sullivan, the term "social media optimization" was first used and described by Rohit Bhargava. Bhargavas original five rules for conducting social media optimization were: 1. Increase your linkability 2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy 3. Reward inbound links 4. Help your content travel 5. Encourage the mashup 6. Get communities connectedSeveral authors have added new rules to the original post. Today there are 16 rules, which weretranslatedinto French, Dutch, Italian,Spanish, German, Japanese, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew andrecently also in Thai. Four years after the initial post, Rohit Bhargava posted an updated set of five new rules. 1. Create shareable content 2. Make sharing easy 3. Reward engagement 4. Proactively share content 5. Encourage the mashupAround the same time, entrepreneur and blogger Ben Elowitz proposed as SMO as a broader set of online marketing strategies for all published websites in an era where social platforms are ubiquitous.In 2009, Frank Speiser and Mike Perrone accidentally started a social optimization business after theyhad a political podcast, which no one would listen to. They started trying to find a way to get people tointeract with their blog through Twitter. They examined the way in which people shared and consumedlanguage, and after a few implementations of this, had noticed that they were in this business of optimizing content - accidentally creating SocialFlow. SocialFlow is now considered one of the biggest social media optimization providers in the United States, Japan and Germany.