SME – What is Social Media Optimization?

October 25, 2009

Filed under: Social Media Optimisation by Nick on October 23rd, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

You may have seen the acronym ‘SMO’ floating around the net recently, often without any explanation of what it stands for. Social media optimisation, or SMO, has taken a couple of years to take off as a concept, but is now a term that is increasingly being mentioned in connection with SEO. This is because of the increasing awareness of most businesses of the need to branch out into social media networks as a part of their participation on the net.

The term was coined in around 2006, and is commonly attributed to marketing writer Rohit Bhargava. It describes the methods in which social media networking can be used to promote your business. This usually, although not always, is a part of your general search engine optimisation campaign.

The social media we’re talking about here is sites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter, as well as the various blogs and forums around the net. The idea is for a business to solidify its image on the net and build up a community. The term covers a broad swathe of online communications. You can now promote your business through RSS feeds, images and videos, news buttons, blogs, podcasts, forums and just about anything you can think of. The concept of viral marketing is closely linked to social media networking.

Unlike traditional search engine marketing, social media optimisation has a dual focus. Not only does it aim to drive traffic to a site through the social media networks themselves, it also aims to boost a site’s ranking by garnering mentions all over the web. This is why social media optimisation is currently considered a smart way to optimise.

Social media optimisation is important not just for your SEO strategy, but also for your business to manage its online reputation. As more people come to rely on the net for social interaction as well as a source for information, no business can guarantee that it can avoid bad reviews. Social media can be used to manage an online reputation by direct interaction with consumers. Participation in social media also allows a business to answer any bad reports directly, sending the message that it cares about consumer opinions and wants to build relationships.

The downsides? Social media networking can take up a lot of time. Constant updates are the key to success, both with search engine attention and with the participants in your network. Some sites, such as Twitter, require daily or even hourly participation to really catch people’s attention. Furthermore, if you want to optimise your social media campaign properly, it’s a good idea to get the experts on board, which can also take time.

You can pursue social media on your own, but it is important that your social media optimisation campaign meshes well with your search engine optimisation strategy. The idea is to create a single brand image that solidifies your company’s role in the social world of the net. Talk to our consultants at SEO Consult for advice on how to integrate social media optimisation into your strategy, and how to best pursue social media networking.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 2:53 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed.

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