Social Media Optimization

The idea of creating content to target social media is nothing new. Terms like “Made for Digg” have been coined, and many people have created a basis for a successful site by focusing on attracting social media. When discussing the term Social Media Optimization (SMO) I consider it to be the optimizing of content on your site, this doesn’t cover your actions in social media environments away from your site, which are also important. Take a look at some existing information on this topic:

    Rohit Bhargava’s 5 rules for social media optimization:

  1. Increase your linkability
  2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
  3. Reward inbound links
  4. Help your content travel
  5. Encourage the mashup

    Web Strategist adds:

  6. Be a user resource, even if it doesn’t help you
  7. Reward helpful and valuable users

    Cameron Olthuis adds:

  8. Know how to target your audience

    What I would like to add:

  9. Make your content attractive in appearance – people are shallow, especially when browsing social media, if it looks rubbish, it has much less chance of getting read.
  10. Make sure your site is optimized for a fast loading time – if it takes too long to load, people won’t bother. If your site is poorly optimized, large spurts of traffic will crash it.
  11. In your face ads, placed where your content should be will hurt your success. It will help your earnings placing ads in key spots, but social media visitors will hate it, and none of them are going to click ads anyway.

Is it really worth it?

Visitors from social media have a short attention span. They drop in, look at what they came to see, if it is attractive they scan over it, if something catches their eye, they may even read it. They will hardly ever click on other content on your site, they won’t click your ads, and very few will subscribe to your feed. So why bother?

Good content for social media is good content for anyone. If you can catch the attention of visitors that are sent your way from social media sites, you can catch the attention of anyone.

Rand Fishkin from SEOMOZ also discusses the value of Social media traffic for gaining incoming links, a very important SEO factor for increasing overall traffic of your site.

This is the main reason why you see so many top 10 type  list posts and other viral content when browsing social media. These types of posts tend to attract people to link to them (linkbait). This should be a key goal in your aim for success on social media sites.

Images used in this article are copyrighted by their original websites.

15 thoughts on “Social Media Optimization”

  1. Nice top 10, erm… 11, list. 🙂
    Another very important one is “Learn how to write” – nobody wants to read, or link to, a poorly written post.

  2. I don’t know that social media is all about writing. I mean, sure it helps, but I see people who can’t write, but are prepared to put in the hours and research topics, who create great…top 100 … type articles which tend to do very well on social media sites. You really don’t have to be able to write to make loads of top lists and resource posts.

  3. Simon, in all these articles, the focus is on numbers. How to get the maximum traffic by baiting the SU,Digg,Sphinn users. Well and good. I wish if I was an expert in it.

    I’d also like to add that there’s another side to the whole thing. Whether the Digg/SU users are aware that you are baiting them or not.

    As a result of increasingly baiting them, they are now aware of the strategies we SEO/SEM/Bloggers employ and has started fighting them.

    Without real good content, that could even mean a photography or a glitter bunny (to them), they are not going to digg/thumbs up you.

    It’s high time we SEO/SEO aware bloggers studied the situation and change our strategies.

    Hope it all makes sense.


  4. That makes complete sense Mani. I find some sites are more forgiving than others too. When you look at the front page of Digg plenty of the articles are obvious linkbait, then again I think success on Digg for bloggers is more about who you know and how many friends you have, than how great your content is.

  5. The rules were really good. I think I have a better perspective about Social Media Optimization now.

    The point about content is very true, as we all know content is the king!

  6. Social media optimization is something that not many people are cashing in on and this is because of ignorance. I think this is one really good way to generate traffic and also brand value.

    Rewarding helpful users is very effective because in the end referrals do matter more than search engines.

  7. I have always got some good traffic from social medias. If you ca target the readers well, you will succeed. I think its more of an art, to encourage people to spread your contents virally.

  8. This sure is the new way forward.

    I think this can lead to a lot of referrals and that is surely what we all want now.

    The best part is that they are cost effective.

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