After you read and understand (I hope) what SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about, I am going to explain next the meaning and nature of Social Media Optimization or SMO.
Like what I have done in my “What is Search Engine Optimization” post, I compiled meanings and details of SMO from the respective and authority sites and/or people in the Social Media Optimization field. So here it is.
What Is Social Media Optimization
If search engine optimization is about breaking down crawling barriers to help the engines fully index your site, social media optimization is about knocking down site walls so content can be easily found, distributed and shared by the community. This process may simply mean embedding a “Digg This” button on your site blog or it may mean spending hours to create a piece of compelling content, aka linkbait, that could either drive thousands of visitors to your site or have no effect at all.
What’s the benefit to SMO?
The benefits of social media vary depending on what you’re looking to do. For some sites, the greatest benefit to SMO is the instant exposure and influx of inbound links it creates. With any luck, a significant portion of your new links will be coming from quality sites in your field. However, if not, these effects are often short-lived and traffic alone doesn’t equal conversions and increased revenue for most sites. You need to be able to capture those first-time visitors and convert them into loyal site community members.
The real benefit to optimizing your site for social media is it inspires you to create excellent, keyword-rich content, which in turn can help build your online and offline brand, increase quality inbound links over time, make you a subject matter expert, and expose your content to thousands of new visitors. It reinforces what you should be working towards through your search engine optimization campaign.
Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, social news buttons, blogging, and incorporating third-party community functionalities like images and videos. Social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, but differs in several ways, primarily the focus on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.
Social media optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through 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 care about their online presence.
The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.
Pretty geeky? Uhmm, not much, I think.