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  1. 1. uberVU White Paper May 2010 Page 1
  2. 2. uberVU White Paper May 2010Table Of ContentsWhat Is Social Media Optimization (SMO)? ..................3SMO vs. SEO - goals and differences ...........................6The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization.................8How to use SMO for your business - tips and tricks12 .Case Studies ..................................................................15Tools & Recommendations..........................................17About uberVU................................................................19 Page 2
  3. 3. uberVU White Paper May 2010What Is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?With the help of the world wide web, we have been tellingstories through video, audio and, now, we are doing it withthe help of interactivity. Discovering content has passedbeyond the old way we used to broadcast information. Ourability of steering all the influential conversations is nowenhanced by social networks, these living media throughwhich people exchange information, experience andexpectations. Page 3
  4. 4. uberVU White Paper May 2010 But how does it work? The ‘keyword’ is Social MediaOptimization, which is a method of search optimization that promotescontent through social features, allowing it to be streamed across third-party communities and networks. Optimizing for social media makesyour website more easy to link to and more visible in social mediasearches. Basically, this happens when you put an RSS feed on your blog, aRetweet or Facebook sharing button, and other such usabilityimprovements that will make your site more compelling for users. It alsoincludes designating specific tags, titles and descriptions to yourcontent so that it becomes ‘discoverable’. For example, using FacebookConnect and Twitter login means being present where the talk is alreadyhappening and arrive just in the middle of the conversation.‘SMO is defined by the distribution of social objectsand their ability to rise to the top of any relatedsearch query, where and when its performed.’ (BrianSolis) Think of it this way: these ‘mechanisms’ help get your socialobject liked, bookmarked, favorited, digged or stumbled upon. Andthrough these actions, your content is not only read, but becomessomething people return to and recommend to others, therefore ittravels, it gets reviewed, it becomes relevant. People are becoming more and more aware of the power ofsocial networks, therefore you need a more holistic strategy when itcomes to web search – it should integrate all the places people spendtheir time in and where they share content that is important to them.Social network search is different from traditional search and real timesearch, as it allows you to find elements inside social networks,elements that were deemed relevant by someone who linked to aspecific content. Page 4
  5. 5. uberVU White Paper May 2010The science of procuring attention is complementedby the delicate art of earning and cultivatingrelationships. (Brian Solis) We are now more interested in finding social content, not justcontent. What people say and think about a brand has become equallyas important as what the brand wants people to see. The prosumer (themix between producer and consumer) somehow helps shaping theonline persona of the brand. We’re dealing with the prevalence ofcollaboration over hierarchy, as Brian Solis puts in his book, ‘Engage!’.We live in a participatory culture. Whether we’re talking about blog posts and comments, Facebookevents and wall posts, YouTube videos, PDFs, slideshows, socialbookmarking or geo location sites, every social object is remixable andembeds conversations. Social objects ARE conversations, they areactivities that spur dialogue. And these social objects are directly linkedto SMO, because they consist of all the contents and media thatestablish connections in social networks. Page 5
  6. 6. uberVU White Paper May 2010SMO vs. SEO - goals and differences As opposed to SEO, which increases traffic coming from searchengines (by editing keywords and HTML codes) for a website thatbecomes the go-to place, SMO builds a web of interactions around yourcontent by making it available and shareable through a multitude ofsocial networks. Whereas in SEO you made changes in the site, SMO isabout getting the content from your site to travel outside of yourdomain. It doesn’t require people to get to you, but instead it transformsthem into carriers of your information.In the case of SEO, it was Google. In the case of SMOit is the people. While SEO is still extraordinarilyimportant, it is not enough to compete in a marketturning more and more toward new media forinformation and answers. (The Social Capitalist) Some other differences between SEO and SMO are: SEO SMO Site traffic, number of visits Number of quality visits, conversations Search engine results Social media search Exposure Buzz Measuring link conversion Building a community Marketing to search engines Marketing to targeted audiences Site structure Content On site optimization Off site optimization Metadata consists of HTML title Metadata consists of tags, titles tags, image titles, bolded text – and description that grab people’s ranking is based on coding attention Page 6
  7. 7. uberVU White Paper May 2010 Of course, they both require people to type in or click on a linkdirecting to your site aka they can both improve search rankings, butwhile SEO can bring irrelevant traffic (people that will not come backagain), SMO is based on trust and usefulness (people will not feel as ifthey were brought to you, but as if they discovered some great contentwhich they wish to share). It’s obvious that SMO is a more refined, qualitative method,because after all it’s not about how many people see your message, butWHO sees it. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you shouldrestrict your efforts to social media. As Solis puts it, ‘SMO should bepart of an overall SEO strategy (SEO + SMO = Amplified Findability inthe traditional and social Web).’ So use a combination of the two, if that suits your brand.Generate traffic to your site, but remember to always try to achieve amore personal touch: recommendations and popularity are possibleonly through organic growth. You want your ‘clickers’ to become acommunity. Page 7
  8. 8. uberVU White Paper May 2010The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization The ‘story’ of Social Media Optimization started in 2006, whenRohit Bhargava coined the term and delivered the first set of 5 rules.After that, Jeremiah Owyang added 2 more rules, Cameron Olthuis put 4more on the list, leaving numbers 12 and 13 to be inserted by LorenBaker, and the last 3 by Lee Odden. What a productive month of Augustthat was! And here is the full list of the 16 rules of SMO: 1.Increase Your Linkability 2.Make Tagging and Bookmarking Easy 3.Reward Inbound Links 4.Help Your Content Travel 5.Encourage the Mashup 6. Be a User Resource, Even if it Doesn’t Help You 7. Reward Helpful and Valuable Users 8. Participate 9. Know How to Target Your Audience 10. Create Content 11. Be Real 12. Don’t Forget Your Roots, Be Humble 13. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things, Stay Fresh 14. Develop an SMO Strategy 15. Choose Your SMO Tactics Wisely 16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices Page 8
  9. 9. uberVU White Paper May 2010 In plain English, what each of these rules is trying to teach you is: 1. Increase Your Linkability - add a blog to your site (it willhumanize your brand by showing people real thoughts of a person, nota company presentation), aggregate content from elsewhere (forexample, show people relevant blogs or Twitter lists you follow and getinspiration from, create a place where they can find useful informationconcerning your industry), create whitepapers (filter your knowledge ona particular subject and make it downloadable and storeable); 2. Make Tagging and Bookmarking Easy - add socialbookmarking buttons, add relevant tags and related articles (helppeople find other things they might be interested in, but also helpincrease the number of clicks they make on your blog – win-winsituation); 3. Reward Inbound Links - track inbound links to measurethe popularity of the site; use permalinks and list blogs that recentlylinked to your site or blog (people who pointed to you for writingsomething really liked it – you can compare this to a vote, so why notthank them for what they did?); 4. Help Your Content Travel - submit PDFs, audio files,video files, etc. for broadcast on social networks (this way, your contenttravels, people get tot learn from it, and it also brings links back to thesite – another win-win right at the tip of your fingers); 5. Encourage the Mashup - allow content to be shared (thisis done through YouTube embedding or RSS feeds – allow people toshow others what they liked, allow your content to go places you didn’teven think of); Page 9
  10. 10. uberVU White Paper May 2010 6. Be a User Resource, Even if it Doesn’t Help You - bybeing helpful (even if this means linking to competition), you willbecome a go-to point on the web, people will know that on your site/blog they can find important and trustful information, not justpromotional stuff; 7. Reward Helpful and Valuable Users - valuable usersare influencers of your community and you should give them credit fortheir work or rate their activity (together, you’re building your brand andyour community, so why not compensate your evangelists for theireffort, even if you do it symbolically?); 8. Participate - joining the conversation leverages yourmessage and gives it more credit (people will know that there is a realperson behind all the data and technology; sometimes, ‘thank you’ and‘please’ work wonders); 9. Know How to Target Your Audience - you can’t sell toeveryone – find your niche and own it; 10. Create Content - you can create relevant and spreadablecontent for any type of industry, just find the points of interests (don’tthink that your area of expertise is boring and you can’t make anythingof it – write something funny, put things in a new perspective); 11. Be Real - ‘the community does not reward fakers’ – it’sabout human contact, people will know you are not true, particularly ifyou use ‘tricks’ more than once; and remember, everyone hatesspammers, so use their time carefully; Page 10
  11. 11. uberVU White Paper May 2010 12. Don’t Forget Your Roots, Be Humble - respect isgained by not forgetting who helped you and not getting ahead ofyourself – always thank people who did something for you, respect yourcustomers and never think there’s no room for improvement; 13. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things, Stay Fresh -challenges are just around the corner in social media, it’s a constantlyevolving environment and you need to keep up with it; 14. Develop an SMO Strategy - put down objectives andgoals, whether they refer to awareness or sales – it’s important to knowwhere you’re going and what you’re striving for, it will help you focus onall the important things and never lose perspective; 15. Choose Your SMO Tactics Wisely - define yourdesired outcome (is it creating content, enriching it or consuming it-like90% of those involved in social media do?) and act upon it; 16. Make SMO part of your process and bestpractices - incorporate SMO tactics in your organization’s practices ofcontent creation and distribution – your employees are also brandambassadors and stakeholders, so get them involved in your strategy,let them also be carriers of your messages. After all, who can talk betterabout what the company’s values are, if not people who work there? Page 11
  12. 12. uberVU White Paper May 2010How to use SMO for your business - tips and tricks What you should use to make things easier for you are tools likeFacebook Open Search, Twitter’s real time search and all the searchboxes of social networks like Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious etc. Go toSlideShare if you want ideas put in slideshows, go to YouTube for a film.Google Social Search lets you use features such as ‘My social circle’and ‘My social content’ in an attempt to allow you to enjoyrecommendations from friends and family alongside with popularsearches in Google. Other stuff you can do include treating your audience andyourself as real people, as seen on Best Social Marketing Tips: •provide your target people with grounds like video, audio,mobile accessibility, widget – you should be present and availablewherever they might need you; Page 12
  13. 13. uberVU White Paper May 2010 •regularity in updating the content and providing them a freshcontent – this is how you become a permanent source of fresh ideasand inspiration; •expand your network of influencers (bloggers, digg etc.) andexpand your network of content too – show them you know how toevolve and learn; •focus on social media sites and know your target spectators –this way you will be able to properly filter your audience and also bepresent in places people are interested in what you have to offer; helpthem and help yourself; •track and measure the conversion to calculate ROI – it’simportant to know why you’re doing it, what results you get and if it’s okto continue; •position your brand to your customers on their own terms and intheir environment, which results in a more authentic marketingmessage – co-create your image together with your consumers; withinput coming from both sides, you will be able to crystallize the essenceof your brand. How do you choose what social media networks to use? Does aparticular network appeal to your audience or do you stream yourcontent on all of them? This one is easy: you should use networks andcommunities that are closely associated to your niche. Go where yourtarget audiences go. You don’t have to be everywhere, but in all therelevant places. To become ‘findable and shareable’ in social media, you need toknow that people now look for information directly on YouTube orFacebook, and tools like HootSuite or Seesmic are channels throughwhich content is striving for attention, you just need to make itavailable. And social networks are just the places where people’sattention is focused on things they really care about. Targeting wasnever easier. Information is now social, and you need to let it work foryou even in your absence. Page 13
  14. 14. uberVU White Paper May 2010 Every blog is someone’s NY Times, so become essential for yourreaders, create content and publish it regularly so that people will comeback. And when it comes to social networks, try and experimenttogether with your audience, be present where they are and where theyWILL be; add value wherever you go. And it’s not just about sharing, youshould also determine people to respond to what you’re asking. Evenmore, answer the questions that haven’t been asked. Surprise yourreaders! Page 14
  15. 15. uberVU White Paper May 2010Case Studies The Boston Celtics wish to drive traffic into their site and they useGameTime Live, an application that features real time scores, tweets,and blogging with supporters throughout the world, keeping their fansclose to the site during games (and not only). They also use a YouTubechannel which features locker room videos, a Facebook page with aninteractive stats prediction game and a 22,000 followers Twitteraccount which they use to give seat upgrades. The BlackBerry Geeks Twitter account, BBGeeks, has become aBlackBerry trouble shooter account, while also promoting the businessit was built for. They made small give-aways and even wrote a guide forTwitterBerry, a Twitter application for BlackBerrys. Joining conversations,helping people solve problems, incentivizing their attention, all theseare fine examples of what a simple Twitter account can do for you (alsonotice how they’re measuring their efforts). Georgia Aquarium shows people where their visitors are travellingfrom using a Google Earth-Flickr mashup and they offer ticketpromotions to people signing up on their social media networks. Let’s think of some particular case in which you can use SMO.How can a blogger optimize for social media purposes?Hereʼs a top 3 steps you can use to make the most out ofyour ʻonline diaryʼ: 1. Add a Facebook profile badge and a Twitter stream (and ask people to follow you there), these are the most important social connections you can have with your audience – you give them discussion boards they surely already use and you establish a more powerful and personal link; add LinkedIn if you blog about your professional work; 2. Use ratings and polls to get feedback from your readers on particular subjects; make them part of your talks and use their opinions to get better at writing and promoting your products; Page 15
  16. 16. uberVU White Paper May 2010 3. If you’re writing on a company blog, try linking to photo sharing accounts from customers and even employees; add video content if there are things you can explain better through this channel.How to optimize your Twitter content in (yet another) 3steps: 1. Never forget to share the most relevant information about your work in the bio line – 160 characters are not much, so be specific; maybe use a keyword related to your profession an area of interest, if you want to be easy to find by traditional search; 2. Be sure to use URL shorteners; some of them, like, can help you through their analytics service and, plus, they give you more room to expose your ideas; 3. Post interesting links and retweet things you like, but also engage in conversations, by giving support you will receive help when you’ll be in need.How to optimize your online shop for social networks: 1. Get a blog! If you sell organic products, start talking to people about what made you start this business, about the importance of using environmentally responsible products, biodegradable packaging and natural alternatives to everyday products – show people values you believe in, show them you’re human, tell your story and ask for theirs; 2. Implement a product review system – you’ll know what your customers like to buy, what caused them problems and what needs to be changed; if they win, you win; 3. Add social profiles to your blog and site, let people tag themselves in your pictures, organize contests – make it easy for your clients to recommend products they liked to their friends; build your brand together with the people that like it. Page 16
  17. 17. uberVU White Paper May 2010Tools & Recommendations Firefox has a great SMO-Social Media Optimization pack whichfeatures uberVU’s gReactions tool (allows to read comments to yourposts from inside Google Reader), Hootlet (a HootSuite Twitter Client),Social Media for Firefox (a status bar that will show you how many votescontent has at Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Delicious, Reddit, Mixx,Sphinn, and other social sites) and other ‘goodies’ that will make yoursocial media life much more pleasant. Use Social Media Releases: PressDoc lets you ‘write, edit andpublish your own social media release online and share it withjournalists, bloggers and your clients.’ Even your formal content can betransformed into a shareable one. Page 17
  18. 18. uberVU White Paper May 2010 Learn how to use the ‘anyone know’ search, a nice tip that letsyou understand what people need, but don’t know yet how to find. Here’s 11 Free Tools for Social Media Optimization, very nicewrap-up of tools that help you find your social visibility scores, analyzeinbound links or track social engagement.There’s
error Since we’ve discussed all the advantages of using social mediaoptimization, let’s take a step back and think of the implications. Is SMO a super-posibility? Are we supposed to sit around andwait for it to give us instant evangelists, extended traffic and globalawareness? Of course not. The main focus is on long term value,transforming your followers into extensions of the brand, gettinginsightful feedback from communities and building a strong reputation.These are not easily quantifiable points, but they build influence andcreate stronger buying decisions. People may not want to acquire your book if they got on your sitethrough SEO, but with SMO they might consider you for a good review-site, comeback for information and recommend you to all their socialnetwork. It’s a snowball effect and it stirs up talks and participation. People don’t fall for traditional marketing anymore, you have totake another approach to get to them. Besides, engaging ion socialmedia goes beyond getting people ‘on the hook’, it also helps youimprove your products and services (given that you receive realisticinput), understanding why it is that you do what you do and how toimprove your work and further develop it and please your customers.It’s an infinite loop of feedback that helps you grow and get better atwhat you do. You are not an island, you’re a link in the chain. Page 18
  19. 19. uberVU White Paper May 2010About uberVU uberVU helps small businesses connect with existing andpotential customers through social media. Our social media analytics solution is the easiest way for a smallbusiness to see who is talking about them, measure their progress andconnect with leads and influencers. uberVU is based in London, UK and is backed by one of UK’sleading venture capital firms, Eden Ventures. uberVU won Seedcamp in2008 and was named one of the Top 100 RealTime Web Companies byReadWriteWeb in 2009. URL: Email: Twitter: @ubervu Facebook: Page 19