Social Media Optimization: Emergence Media’s 5 Themes of SMO

Welcome Social Media Optimization!

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):

  1. Increase your linkability (Rohit’s Rules 1-5)
  2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
  3. Reward inbound links
  4. Help your content travel – Content Diverification Beyond Web Pages
  5. Encourage the mashup – E.g. Portability of YouTube Videos on MySpace
  6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you (By Jeremiah Owyang)
  7. Reward helpful and valuable users (By Jeremiah Owyang)
  8. Participate (By Cameron Olthuis)
  9. Know how to target your audience (By Cameron Olthuis)
  10. Create content (By Cameron Olthuis)
  11. Be real (By Cameron Olthuis)
  12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble (By Loren Baker)
  13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh (By Loren Baker)
  14. Develop a SMO strategy (By Lee Odden)
  15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely (By Lee Odden)
  16. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Related Links

  1. 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)
    By Rohit Hargava
  2. Rules of Social Media Optimization
    By Jeremiah Owyang
  3. Introduction to Social Media Optimization
    Cameron Olthuis
  4. New Rules for Social Media Optimization
    Lee Odden
  5. Social Media Optimization : 13 Rules of SMO
    Loren Baker




16 responses to “Social Media Optimization: Emergence Media’s 5 Themes of SMO”

  1. Cameron Avatar

    Daniel, Good stuff man, that’s a very solid contribution.

  2. Lee Odden Avatar

    Excellent insight Daniel. I have added a link to this post over at the SMO Wiki.

    16. should actually be, “Make SMO part of your process and best practices”


  3. Rohit Avatar

    Great themes Daniel – and I love the logo! You’re right that SMO may not be the ideal term for all this, but as with book marketing – the title matters, right? The best thing to see is the quality of discussion from all the smart folks in the industry about this. Thanks for offering a different and highly useful “big picture” perspective.

  4. Rohit Avatar

    By the way, there’s a slight typo in my name at the end of the article. Feel free to delete this comment once you have a chance to amend. Thanks!

  5. Valentin Chirosca Avatar

    Intelligent optimization criteria!
    By this way for shure will result “The Flat World”!
    Please use images!

  6. […] But at the same time, SoaP shows “Social Media Optimization” and highlights the need to embrace it. Instead of sending crease-and-desist letters for people making their own trailers and ads for SoaP, New Line Cinema embraced them, engaged them, invited them to screenings and talked to them. […]

  7. david wilson Avatar

    Daniel, do you see SMO as something that crosses all industry groups or is it limited to just a handful of sectors?

  8. […] Social Media Optimization: Emergence Media’s 5 Themes of SMO – 2006-08-17 […]

  9. […] Yes, SMM/SMO has rules and a good port of call to kick things off is with Rohit Bhargava’s well publicised 5 SMO Rules of Social Media. These rules seem to have gone down well in the SEO world, with a variety of bloggers adding to the growing list. Loren Baker supplies 8 more SMO rules and Lee Odden develops the list further with 3 more of his own, to bring the tally up to 16. Moving away from the rules for a moment, I really liked Daniel Riveong’s take on the rules and how to get SMO success. He assumes there are two underlying SMO success assumptions: […]

  10. […] I will sign off today with a “mashup” or “aggregated” list of the 16 new rules of “SMO” as defined by a group discussion of this article! […]

  11. […] As PR agencies – even cutting edge ones like Edelman (See the Vista/Vista/Blog Issue) – struggle to come to terms with how to engage social media, PR must have a mindset of shift away from pushing material into engaging, learning and shaping the conversation more intimately. Remember, its less “Old School PR” or “Cluetrain Manifesto” but “How to Win Friends and Influence People“. […]

  12. Introduction to Social Media Optimization…

    Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a new term that was recently coined by Rohit Bhargava and has since been taking on life of its own. In his introduction to SMO, Rohit draws similar comparisons to SEO. SMO tactics can drive huge amounts of people to a…

  13. […] Black hat SEO is meant for machines. The optimization strives to manipulate search engine algorithms. Social media sites, however, have much lower dependence on algorithms. Posts are organized by tags and categories created by human beings. Social media marketing, then, must focus on influencing people. And people are not won over by cloaking trickery and onpage optimization factors such as keyword density. […]

  14. manish Avatar

    I really find this interesting would like tohave indepth knowledge about SMO and and how to go about it

  15. […] in the comment thread of the post, Daniel Riveong pointed me to his own 2006 article about Social Media Optimization: If the Social Media is about “Engaging People” and “Conversation” why are we reading still […]

  16. […] Ugaz ha trabajado el tema en su blog. Yo empecé a leer sobre esto en Emergence Media. Categorias: Comunidades online, Marketing buscadores, Marketing social, Social Media […]

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