SMO: Social Media Optimization
A term being frequently tossed around in the contemporary Internet marketing circles is SMO or Social Media Optimization. As evident from the full form, SMO has everything to do with social media such as blogs, wikis, vlogs, forums and the likes.
The term SMO involves consistent and enduring implementation of all necessary changes in a website that may optimize it to render it more easily linkable and more vastly noticeable in the online social media. The essence of SMO is to provide such good quality content, design and usability that people should wish to link to your website. Accordingly, SMO focuses on designing, developing and maintaining a website to suit the social media applications like Wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube, Second Life, Digg, Flickr, Miniclip et al, such that the pertinent social sites would want to stay connected to the website on their own.
Being a rather nascent concept, Social Media Optimization (SMO) still needs to be groomed into a full-fledged subject with exhaustive strategies and rules all laid down. Presently, there are few rules, coined by few Internet marketing experts, which dictate the scene in defining precise strategies.
The basic strategy involves giving up static web content in favor of dynamism. The tactics favor inclusion of blogs or white paper etc. to widen the scope of linkability and putting in quick buttons like add to del.icio.us / Digg this and ask a friend to facilitate tagging/ bookmarking, as well as, help the content travel. Supporting mashups is considered another fine strategy, wherein webmaster allows prudent reuse of his web content by others, so as to work in teamwork towards enhanced and augmented content. Further, rewarding inbound links is also a recommended strategy to encourage the links in the long run.
SMO, in essence, calls for being a user resource that is genuine and unpretentious. It is a good idea to keep trying new things and put across a fresh face forever. Active participation in activities of interest to ones target audience is a definite must.
If done properly, SMO can be your ticket to convincing and long-term commercial success. Effective SMO can fetch you highly desirable web traffic and significant brand recognition. The tale of extraordinary growth and glory of YouTube in a matter of mere 18 months is a striking instance of successful and innovative SMO.
Though SMO can drive crazy traffic to your website, it may also prove to be nasty, as you constantly run the risk of negative publicity. Therefore, it is utmost important to choose your tactics carefully and target the right audience.