The ultimate purpose of SMO just like Search Engine Optimization, is to draw visitors to a particular website and increasing its visibility on the internet. However, how SMO differs from SEO lies in the fact that although Search Engine Optimization concentrates on redirecting traffic from search engines, Social Media Optimization targets driving traffic from sources other than just search engines. However a successful Social Media Optimization strategy leads to an improved search engine rating for the website.
Social Media Optimization methods can be implemented in two ways:
• Features added to the website directly in the form of RSS feeds, sharing, polling and rating polls and including third party functionalities such as Images and Videos.
• Promotional activities such as blogging, discussion forums, commenting on other blogs, micro blogging sites such as Twitter as well as using social networking websites such as Orkut, Facebook etc.
Social Media Optimization can be understood simply as “word-of-mouth” publicity, done through the use of social networking websites, blogs etc. SMO is also a form of viral marketing, where the publicity is done not using family or friends but through tools such as blogs and social, image and video-sharing websites.
Social Media Optimization has much more applications than just gaining more visibility on the internet. Companies are using it to expand their horizons and use SMO for product development, recruitment, brand building, business development, customer relationship as well as public relation exercises. It allows for a more healthy relationship between the company and the consumer, allowing direct interaction and transparency.
Smart businesses resort to not just Search Engine Optimization for their growth but also throw in a healthy balance of Social Media Optimization to leverage the most out of their resources. Some healthy practices to make the most of your SMO strategy are as follows:
• Boost your linkability: Make it easy for visitors to reach you by establishing links with various websites.
• Make tagging easy: Your webpage should be easy to tag and bookmark for future references.
• Help your content travel: Use social media to make sure your website easily to view for the target base.
• Be a user resource: Even if it doesn’t help your cause directly, make sure your website is useful to all its visitors.
• Reach out: Social media works best with communication from both ends. Interact to receive more visitors.
• Create content: Ensure that your website is interesting and relevant to your target base.
• Reward inbound links: Links leading to your website should be encouraged and rewarded for their help.
Social Media Optimization is considered to be an integral part of an Online Reputation Management (ORM) or Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) strategy for organizations, which care about their online presence. To sum it up, SMO is an integral part of emerging businesses. To thrive in today’s highly competitive market, it is the need of the hour.