Figuring out social media optimization

This was initially an email, but I figured it’d be useful to repost it on my blog, in case I left anyone out of my mailing list who might like to reply.

I’m sketching out a blog post on SMO (social media optimization) eclipsing SEO as a focus for online marketing.

If you have brains and some experience in “social media marketing,” whether it’s getting active on Twitter, pimping your site on social networks, starting Meetups, etc., would you mind leaving a comment with your responses to the following questions?

  1. Do you think SMO is all hype? Is SEO (or even traditional marketing) still more relevant?
  2. Can you name any other valuable SMO “placements,” such as Digg’s front page, FB feeds, etc.?
  3. Getting integrated into FB Connect so your platform’s activities are written into FB feeds seems like a must-do for any serious web app. If you were trying to define SMO best practices, what other practices would you recommend for grabbing a social media spotlight? Email bloggers? Reply to tweets that match keywords of interest?
  4. What tools (if any) do you use for SMO (e.g. TweetDeck, email campaign management, link marketplaces, web rings)?
  5. Anything else? Do you think SMO can be outsourced? Does SMO have to be the product of passion?

This stems from my realization that it’s probably more valuable to have a link to your site appear in 100 peoples’ activity feeds on Facebook than on a page of Google search results, particularly if you’re going for something more than simple traffic (trying to sell something, for instance). My own experience building’s membership reinforces this belief, though there’s an obvious bias, because DnR is a socnet rather than a brand, vendor, or media outlet. This has been reinforced though, with Justin’s recent launch of LAMP Security – he’s seen a jump in traffic thanks to posting security advisories to niche mailing lists and being reblogged within the space.

Thanks for any help and insight you have on this topic. I’m happy to compile and share the responses – in addition to synthesizing the information into a blog post – if you want to read them, and I’ll credit contributors in the post itself. I’d also be happy if you forwarded this to anyone else who is knowledgeable and might respond, especially social thought superheroes.

Peace out

1 comment

  1. I don’t know that SMO will eclipse SEO, as SEO continues to transform as the world does also, but it is certainly something that is important, whereas it was unknown just a couple of years ago.

    SMO has a great trust factor, at least for now. A friend commenting on something or recommending a service typically carries more weight than a result set from an organic Google search. But…to reach the masses, SEO can’t be beat quite yet. WOM marketing/SMO may reach hundreds or thousands at a time, but popular SEO work can reach ten or hundreds of thousands very quickly.

    Since I do SMO work, I would like to think that SMO is the wave of the future, but for now at least, I think it’s just an important factor, not THE future itself.

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