Social Media Marketing Strategies:

What is SMO (Social Media Optimization): Social Media Optimization is a method for attracting visitors towards website content by promoting or publicizing it through Social Media such as: blogs, forums, social networks, RSS etc. The other method to promote content is SEO.

According to Wikipedia there are 2 categories of SMO methods:

(a) Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, social news and sharing buttons, user rating and polling tools, and incorporating third-party community functionalities like images and videos

(b) Promotional activities in social media aside from the content being promoted, including: blogging, commenting on other blogs, participating in discussion groups, and posting status updates on social networking profiles

Rules of Social Media Optimization:

  1. Increase your 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.
  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: 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. Syndicating your content through RSS also makes it easy for others to create mashups that can drive traffic to your content.
  6. Be a user even if it doesn’t help you. Add value to users, including outbound links to areas that could help them with their goals and purposes. Deployed corrected, even if you link to competitiors you stand to gain as the communities first source of information finding. How will this help SMO? Folks will link to your social site and tag is as helpful or the ‘ultimate’ guide in that space. As this adds up, it will become more and more relevent in search engine results.
  7. Reward helpful and valuable users: Often helpful or popular users will be influencers and champions within your social site, devise ways to elevate them buy promoting their works on the homepage, or develope a rating system. Sometimes a quick email or note in private telling them you appreciate them can go a long way. Some folks have done that to me, and for communities I run, I do that as well. Only do if sincere. Perhaps this is not truly SMO, but it will help to keep the most valuable members of a community closer to your site.
  8. Increase your network as much as you can. Find people in different categories and add them as your friend or followers. Some of them will revert back and in this way you can increase your network over such sites. Remember the more friends/followers you have, the more chances you have to drive traffic on your site.

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