An Introduction to Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Social media, specifically focusing on the social networking sites, is rapidly becoming the staple form of content online – user generated content is also some of the most valuable, as it is the honest voice of the public.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among the more popular and profitable social networks. They’re freely available for anyone to use, and are challenging the convention of traditional media. Social media optimization, or SMO, involves using this new form of media to increase your web presence and overall credibility.

Clever Content
Optimize for your keywords, but always try and use fresh content rather than replicating old copy across the internet. Include the appropriate keywords, but not so much that the reader finds it repetitive.

Blog Above All Else
Blogging is the best way to create content on an ongoing basis, as there is always a new angle to take or industry news to relate – it’s not like setting copy into stone on your formal website; it has the potential to be much more personal and interactive than that.

Even more uncomplicated, personal and interactive, micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter are great ways to increase search engine visibility through the community of users.

Create Profiles Across Social Networks
Scour the internet for areas where you can create a presence. You don’t necessarily have to be an active member, but by creating profiles with your chosen keywords you can claim the online address before someone else does and increase your search engine visibility while you’re at it

Share and Share Alike
Everything you do online should be easy for users to share. Chicklets are the little buttons which are inserted added to blogs and websites making social bookmarking possible at the click of a button. Use them in your content, and bookmark your new blog posts. We will be looking at how to use social bookmarking sites to increase your web presence in the future, so remember to keep an eye out on this blog.

Interact and Be Part of the Gang
Possibly the most important aspect to SMO is social discussion and commentary. It’s no good being silent or stagnant online – the internet is way too interactive for that. Comment on blogs, ask questions, provide answers and generally just use your pulpit wisely.

Manage Your Online Reputation
If you don’t have any online reputation management services, it may be a good idea to invest in – or at least set up some simple reputation management tools like Google Alerts, Yahoo! Alerts and Twitter notifications to inform you of any content containing your keywords.

With ORM you can not only monitor your online presence, but also attend to it efficiently during times of both good and bad publicity.

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