Social Media Optimization: Emergence Media’s 5 Themes to SMO:
Or “How to Win Friends and Influence People” on the Internet
Sometimes, there’s an idea so simple you kick yourself for not thinking it first. Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy Public Relations is doing that to me with his new term: “Social Media Optimization (SMO)”
“While I believe in the power of SEO, there is a new offering we have started providing to clients which we call Social Media Optimization (SMO). The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs”
The Term “SMO”: Simple. Brilliant. Sexy. I’m Jealous. I’m not sure if SMO is the best term for what we are all experiencing in the area of Social Networks, Search, WoM, SEO etc, but it sure is a darn sexy one.
The Rules: From 5 to 16
Rohit initially posted 5 rules towards SMO, but others have contributed to the list and as of time of this writting, we have 16 Rules for a successful Social Media Optimization. Here they are in total (read the full post of each contributor):
- Increase your linkability (Rohit’s Rules 1-5)
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy
- Reward inbound links
- Help your content travel – Content Diverification Beyond Web Pages
- Encourage the mashup – E.g. Portability of YouTube Videos on MySpace
- Be a User Resource, even if it doesnâ€™t help you (By Jeremiah Owyang)
- Reward helpful and valuable users (By Jeremiah Owyang)
- Participate (By Cameron Olthuis)
- Know how to target your audience (By Cameron Olthuis)
- Create content (By Cameron Olthuis)
- Be real (By Cameron Olthuis)
- Donâ€™t forget your roots, be humble (By Loren Baker)
- Donâ€™t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh (By Loren Baker)
- Develop a SMO strategy (By Lee Odden)
- Choose your SMO tactics wisely (By Lee Odden)
- Make SMO part of your process and best practices (By Lee Odden)
Emergence Media’s Thematic Approach to Social Media Optimization
Loren Baker, Lee Odden, and Cameron Olthuis have well contributed to Rohit’s original Top 5 list, but now at a total of 16 Rules, its getting a bit unruly. Taking in everyone’s contribution, I’m going to jump into the fray and give “5 Main Themes of SMO”, as opposed to specific rules.
I think my approach to SMO Success falls under two underlying assumptions:
- The New Ruleset: If the Social Media is about “Engaging People” and “Conversation” why are we reading still reading just the Cluetrain Manifesto? We should be reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” as well. Read up on it. Can you see how it applies online?
- The Equation: “engagement + authenticity x audience reach”. Logic+Marketing has covered this and so has Scott Meyer at SES San Jose.
The 5 Themes of Search Media Optimization (SMO)
- Understand, Cater, and Help Your Audience
What is your audience like? Who are the influencers? How can you cater to them while still “keeping real” to both your audience and to what your website is about? And yes “keeping real” may even mean linking to your competitor in your resource guide.
- The Internet is Alive, Make Your Web Site Alive Too
Is your website static? Is is it fresh and engaging? Are you putting forward new content – be it published by you or UGC? How is it dynamic?
- Treat the Audience Like People!
Treat your audience as you would you would your acquaintances and friends. Be friendly, be real. For those that heckle at you, engage them in an honest conversation and find common ground. With those that love you, empower them – make them Evengelizers with “digg this” links to letting them borrow your stuff (“portable content” like YouTube).
- Social Media is Not a Tool, It’s Today’s Internet Culture (and the Future’s?)
Beyond SMO as a Strategic Plan, we see from blogs to MySpace to Digg that the Internet is become more social, interactive, and open than ever before. So “Social Media” is not just a term du jour, Social Media is becoming a part of the Internet Culture. If you’re on the Internet, it should be yours too.
- The Internet is More than a Webpage on a Computer, What about You?
Do you have useful and engaging content beyond the pages on your website? Video, Audio, Mobile-Accessibility, Widgets, downloadable PDF Whitepapers etc. Expand your network of influencers (bloggers, digg etc) and expand your network of content (PDFs, Video, allowing others to “port” your content elsewhere ala YouTube).
Thoughts? Let me know.