Relevance of the 16 Social Media Optimization Rules for Web Presence
Social media is here to stay, and organizations that understand how to use it to attract new customers while continuing to attract existing ones will get ahead of the competition. Social Media Optimization helps companies use social media and other online communities to increase visibility and highlight a specific product, brand, or event. This can be achieved by creating content that is easily shareable via online social networking via RSS feeds, social networking sites like FaceBook, social bookmarking sites like Delicious or Digg, microblogging sites like Twitter or Tumblr, blogs, wikis, and media sharing websites like YouTube, Pinterest.
As more and more people interact through social networks, the power of virtual “word of mouth” can become a great advantage for a savvy organization. The term “Social Media Optimization” was first coined by Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy Public Relations and became popular through his blog post listing 5 Social Media Optimization (SMO) Rules. Jeremiah Owyang, Cameron Olthius, Loren Baker, and Lee Odden updated the list, adding it to 16 rules.
16 rules for designing a social media optimization strategy –
- Increase link visibility: Creating a dynamic website, as opposed to one that is static and rarely updated, is a fundamental step in increasing your web presence. Adding a blog to a website is even more useful.
- Simplify tagging and bookmarking: Making it easy for users to tag, bookmark, and share content via buttons to tweet or retweet, like on Facebook, share on LinkedIn, or add to Google+ means they’re powering your content for you.
- reward inbound links– Finding a way to reward people for linking to your website, either by linking to them or by posting comments on your sites, further increases your social network presence.
- Help travel content: Making it easy for users to stream content over your network is key. This can be through PDF, video or audio files, which can be shared through the media.
- encourage the mash-up: Being open to the idea of content being used creatively across the social network (within reason of course) means that users will be more willing to share.
- Be a user resource, even if it doesn’t help you: Adding value to users is a great technique to increase visibility, regardless of the medium used. Becoming a go-to resource for users can only result in creating a better presence.
- Reward valuable and helpful users: Encouraging users who add value to your social site is a great way to build a loyal user base, who will feel comfortable sharing their information with your network.
- Participate: A big part of social networking is the aspect of participation and dual interaction within the community.
- Know how to target your audience: Being everything to everyone is impossible, so understanding your target audience is critical to success.
- create content: The importance of creating relevant content cannot be stressed enough. If the content doesn’t speak to your target audience, the chances of it going unnoticed are much higher.
- Be real: Authenticity is, as always, the very foundation of interactions within social communities, online or otherwise.
- Don’t forget your roots, be humble: This tip is relevant in all areas of life, not just social media optimization!
- Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh: Staying up to date on new tools, products and challenges will only improve your SMO strategy.
- Develop an SMO Strategy: Any marketing initiative must have a strategy behind it with clear objectives that define the desired result. It is no different for an SMO strategy.
- Choose your SMO tactic wisely: Adapting social media optimization techniques to the desired results is very important to use resources wisely. What works for one site may not work for another.
- Make SMO part of your process and best practices: And finally, integrating social media optimization into the way you do business can pay off big rewards as you encourage content sharing across your organization.
Although these 16 rules were created almost 6 years ago, they are still highly relevant to any business looking to use social media optimization in today’s connected world. Creating relevant content that speaks to a target audience, but does so with authenticity and a fresh perspective, is almost guaranteed to pay off in terms of increased reach to a broader audience on the social network.