Social Media Optimization (SMO) Strategies
You may have already heard how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to promoting your brand online but maybe you haven’t yet learned to leverage the power of Social media optimization (SMO). In order to understand the power of SMO, we must first revisit the definition of social media.
Wikipedia describes social media as…
The online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.”
As you begin to leverage social media as part of your online marketing strategy, you will increase your ROI by optimizing your social media content.
Optimizing your social media content means making it easier for content to be distributed, discovered and shared across various social networks and content directories. When social media optimization is done right, the benefits can make a huge difference in strengthening your brand and establishing credibility for your company. The biggest benefit of optimizing your content is the increased traffic to your website and the inbound links this new exposure brings to your website. If these new inbound links are from sites with strong Google ranking in your industry, the ranking of your site will increase as well which means you will get better placement in Google’s search results.
Here are several strategies to help you leverage the power of social media optimization (SMO) to help you promote your brand online, establish you as an expert and thought leader, drive more traffic to your site and increase the number of inbound links:
Know your top keywords – research your marketing and product/service offerings to determine the top keywords you will use to promote your brand online. Selecting the right keywords is very important and you might want to utilize a keyword research tool such as to help you find 5-6 keywords that have moderate to low competition (the number of merchants also vying to top positioning for that keyword) and high monthly search volume (the number of people searching on that keyword during the last month).
Optimize your social media profiles – review each of your social media profiles and incorporate your top keywords as often as possible without detracting from how well the profile describes your brand. For example, the title for my Facbook Fan Page is “Lethia Owens – Personal Branding and Social Media Strategist.” You’ll notice that I have my top two keywords and my name in the title which helps with my search engine optimization and social media optimization efforts because each of my Fan Page posts will begin with this title and the post swill be indexed by Google. This makes my online footprint larger for these two keywords.
Create content worthy of sharing – A step you cannot overlook is the need to ensure that what you are saying is worth saying. By this I mean making sure your content is relevant and valuable. The best way to help a message turn viral is to write something that people either care about, are inspired by or have a strong opinion about. Your content is more likely to be shared by your readers if the content meets this criterion.
Make your content easy to share – Digg, StumbleUpon and del.icio.us are the top social networking sites. One of the easiest ways to make your content shareable is to add buttons to your website that makes tagging and bookmarking quick and easy. For example you could add a Digg.this button so readers can quickly Digg your content.
- Digg allows members to vote, bury or comment on stories submitted by other members. If you manage to get onto the front page of Digg, you have hit the jackpot. Well maybe not the jackpot but you can expect to have a large number of new visitors to your website.
- Del.icio.us, a Yahoo owned site, allows members to save bookmarks with descriptive tags and then share their bookmarks with others. You can tag your own content without fear of negative feedback from the Del.icio.us community.
- StubmleUpon helps members discover and share websites with others who have similar interests.