SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION
Social media optimization (SMO) was originally designed to drive traffic from social media sites such as bookmarking sites and social networks. However, SMO is now significantly more important and not simply because social networking has grown but because SMO also improves SEO performance. Good SMO will drive traffic from both direct social site referrals and from search engines.
Social media optimization (SMO) is a subset of search engine optimization (SEO). SMO optimizes your business site by advertising through social media sites, blog sites, online communities, podcasts, and message boards.
SMO is accomplished through really simple syndication (RSS) feeds, video and photo sharing, social bookmarking, blogging, and social news buttons. The concept is to drive traffic without spending money on search engine advertising. SMO creates links to a site by creating more visibility through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Youtube, Linkedin, Squidoo, Google+, Instalgram, Pinterest, Blogger, Hubpages, Digg, or Delicious, etc.
Two categories of SMO strategies:
(1) Social media features added to the content itself, including: RSS feeds, social news and sharing buttons, and incorporating third-party community functionalities, such as images and videos.
(2) 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.
SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION GUIDELINES
GETTING LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE: The popularity of your website is determined by the amounts of links that are pulled through. An analogy to this would be the number of votes that a political candidate receives from the public, which would demonstrate the popularity of the candidate.
CREATING INBOUND LINKS : When it comes to search engine ranking, inbound links are essential to the popularity of the site and its content. You should create links to sites and blogs that contain links that lead back to your site and thus, increase your online presence and building authority on the keywords or key phrases you are promoting.
BOOKMARKING AND TAGGING : Bookmarking and tagging can be accomplished more easily by employing content features, such as buttons like “add to Facebook” and other bookmarking sites. Also, you can include appropriate tags to your pages in addition to your home page for popular bookmarking sites.
ALLOWING OTHERS TO MAKE USE OF YOUR CONTENT : YouTube is a perfect example of this. YouTube allows you to download videos to your site(s) in order to jazz up your content. Another way is by syndicating your content through RSS feeds so that other people can use it to their own advantage. The positive result of this for you is that it will drive increased traffic to your website.
MAKING YOUR CONTENT TRAVEL : Within your niche area, you can make changes to your site that will allow it to drive your content all over the place. You can accomplish this by including PDFs and audio and video files so that you can submit them to your list of members and also to sites that are related to your niche market. This will help you to create back links to your site so that your website traffic is increased.
SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION STEPS
REPUTATION BUILDING : Build your reputation as a reliable qualified source. This means undertaking thorough research and producing original content or creating quality content. This will make you a respected and qualified source. Your reputation will be enhanced if you openly share your content and expertise including content that is not your own, engage with others through discussions and commenting, and if you are friendly and helpful to people. In other words, your reputation is enhanced by engaging, supporting and simply being helpful to people
ENGAGEMENT : Encourage more engagement, sharing & reciprocate. You need to actively engage with your audience. This can include commenting, mentions, shares, likes, and plus ones. No one is as smart as everyone so share other peoples’ content and provide a good user experience by providing feedback and comments. You need to target the networks with which to interact and make it easy for people to interact. It may be that people will interact with content on your site but you may find a far greater number of people willing to interact in their existing communities such as Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups. You can combine these by using say Google+ comments on your blog. You can also encourage people to engage with a call to action, for example if you find this article helpful please share it. If you think I have missed anything please add your comments below.
AUTHORITY : Become a notable authority in your field of expertise. There are many aspects to authority. Search engines are interested in ascertaining what individuals and brands are seen as authoritative and trusted by real people on the Internet. The most obvious example of a move in this direction is Google Authorship. Setting up Google Authorship can help establish you as an expert and show your profile prominently in search results. You can also enhance your authority and the value of content through social proof. In essence the more your content is shared through plus ones, retweets, bookmarks or likes the more it indicates the value and usefulness of your content. It may also encourage others to read your content.
LEADERSHIP : Harness originality and creativity, be a Thought Leader. Leadership is about high quality research, thinking and original content production. A leader will research everything they can about their areas and share thoughtful insights which will add value to your audience. Poor quality content will be perceived as such and as a consequence will not be shared. As a leader you can also create value for your audience through content creation. This means adding value to content by providing a summary, adding context or a perspective to the content you are sharing.
MEDIA PLATFORMS : Know your social media platforms to maximize influence. It is important you focus on the right platforms and communities. Where does your audience hang out? Find and focus on the platforms, communities and groups where your audience hangs out. Some platforms are far more effective in improving the SEO benefits of SMO than others.
OPTIMIZATION : Improve technical aspects to increase optimization
Share buttons – make it easy to share for users by adding share buttons to your content. You should also show the numbers of shares to demonstrate social proof.
Social Icons – group and display your social icons in a prominent place on your site.
Subscription options – group together subscription options such as email, RSS, and newsletters.
Shareable content – some content is more readily shareable such as infographics or 5 top tips articles. I think this is partly because it is short and scannable. However, longer but well written content will also be shared.
Social login – use social login options to make it easy for users to comment.
Rich snippets – social networks pull in rich snippets, data designed to summarise the content of a page. These are very useful for users. The different social networks pull in this data in different ways. Facebook uses OpenGraph, Twitter uses Twitter Cards and Google Plus will take values from OpenGraph, you just need to set up your authorship profile for your rel=”author” tag to work correctly. If you use WordPress you can use the Yoast plugin to manage and optimise these rich snippets
Title tags – Optimize your title tags for sharing, especially on Twitter where there is a character limit and include your name.
Images – they really do say more than a thousand words. Include images that add value and include an image that can be used as a thumbnail for your content.
And if you’re looking for help, Bellviv Professionals can take the wheel for you and optimize your social media for better visibility and ranking