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.

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