Social media optimization (SMO) was originally designed to drive traffic from social media sites such as bookmarking sites and social networks. However, SMO is now significantly more important and not simply because social networking has grown but because SMO also improves SEO performance. Good SMO will drive traffic from both direct social site referrals and from search engines.
If I may be allowed to stand on the shoulders of a giant I would add my thoughts to each of these seven steps as follows:
Your reputation in my view starts with ensuring you are either an expert or you act as an expert curator. This means undertaking thorough research and producing original content or curating quality content. This will make you a respected and qualified source.
You need to actively engage with your audience. This can include commenting, mentions, shares, likes, and plus ones. No one is as smart as everyone so share other peoples’ content and provide a good user experience by providing feedback and comments.
There are many aspects to authority. Search engines are interested in ascertaining what individuals and brands are seen as authoritative and trusted by real people on the Internet. The most obvious example of a move in this direction is Google Authorship. Setting up Google Authorship can help establish you as an expert and show your profile prominently in search results. For example. I have spent many years researching the elearning market and writing a monthly market update. Thus when you search for ‘elearning market’ you will hopefully see my result (image below) with my picture and a link to my profile.
To me leadership is about high quality research, thinking and original content production.
A leader will research everything they can about their areas and share thoughtful insights which will add value to your audience. Poor quality content will be perceived as such and as a consequence will not be shared.
You also need to build high quality networks, quality potentially matters more than quantity. Seek out the experts in your field, read what they say, engage them in debate and share your ideas.
- Media platforms
It is important you focus on the right platforms and communities
Where does your audience hang out? Find and focus on the platforms, communities and groups where your audience hangs out.
I have included below some of my thoughts on the practical and technical aspects of optimizing your SMO below.
Share buttons – make it easy to share for users by adding share buttons to your content. You should also show the numbers of shares to demonstrate social proof.
Social Icons – group and display your social icons in a prominent place on your site.
Subscription options – group together subscription options such as email, RSS, and newsletters.
Shareable content – some content is more readily shareable such as infographics or 5 top tips articles. I think this is partly because it is short and scannable. However, I hope and believe longer but well written content will also be shared.
Social login – use social login options to make it easy for users to comment.