Social media optimization
|Search engine marketing|
Social media optimization (SMO) refers to the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Twitter, and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website. In general, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content in terms of sharing across social media and networking sites.
Relationship with search engine optimization 
Social media optimization is becoming increasingly important for search engine optimization, as search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank pages in the search engine result pages. The implication is that when a webpage is shared or "liked" by a user on a social network, it counts as a "vote" for that webpage's quality. Thus, search engines can use such votes accordingly to properly rank websites in search engine results pages. Furthermore, since it is more difficult to tip the scales or influence the search engines in this way, search engines are putting more stock into social search. This, coupled with increasingly personalized search based on interests and location, has significantly increased the importance of a social media presence in search engine optimization. Due to personalized search results, location-based social media presences on websites such as Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare, and Yahoo! Local have grown increasingly important. Rob Reed, founder of location-based marketing platform MomentFeed, has stated that, moving into 2013, local optimization on social platforms is now a "strategic imperative" rather than a "luxury".
While social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, it differs in several ways. Primarily, SMO focuses on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful social media optimization.
Social media optimization is in many ways connected to the technique of viral marketing or viral seeding where word of mouth is created through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. An effective SMO campaign can harness the power of viral marketing; for example, 80% of activity on Pinterest is generated through "repinning." Furthermore, by following social trends and utilizing alternative social networks, websites can retain existing followers while also attracting new ones. This allows businesses to build an online following and presence, all linking back to the company's website for increased traffic. For example, with an effective social bookmarking campaign, not only can website traffic be increased, but a site's rankings can also be increased. In a similar way, the engagement with blogs creates a similar result by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.
Further applications 
Social media optimization is considered an integral part of an online reputation management (ORM) or search engine reputation management (SERM) strategy for organizations or individuals who care about their online presence.
Social media optimization is not limited to marketing and brand building. Increasingly, smart businesses are integrating social media participation as part of their knowledge management strategy (i.e., product/service development, recruiting, employee engagement and turnover, brand building, customer satisfaction and relations, business development and more). Additionally, social media optimization can be implemented to foster a community of the associated site, allowing for a healthy business-to-consumer (B2C) relationship.
According to technologist Danny Sullivan, the term "social media optimization" was first used and described by marketer Rohit Bhargava. Bhargava's original five "rules" for conducting social media optimization were:
- Increase your linkability
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy
- Reward inbound links
- Help your content travel
- Encourage the mashup
- Get communities connected
Several authors have added further rules to Bhargava's original post, for a total of 16 rules.
Four years after the initial post, Bhargava posted an updated set of five new rules.
- Create shareable content
- Make sharing easy
- Reward engagement
- Proactively share content
- Encourage the mashup
Around the same time, entrepreneur and blogger Ben Elowitz proposed as SMO as a broader set of online marketing strategies for all published websites in an era where social platforms are ubiquitous.
In 2009, Frank Speiser and Mike Perrone accidentally started a social optimization business after they had a political podcast, which no one would listen to. They started trying to find a way to get people to interact with their blog through Twitter. They examined the way in which people shared and consumed language, and after a few implementations of this, had noticed that they were in this business of optimizing content - accidentally creating SocialFlow. SocialFlow is now considered one of the biggest social media optimization providers in the United States, Japan and Germany.
Social network games 
Social media gaming is online gaming activity performed through social media sites with friends and online gaming activity that promotes social media interaction. Examples of the former include FarmVille, FrontierVille, and Mafia Wars. In these games a player's social network is exploited to recruit additional players and allies. An example of the latter is Empire Avenue, a virtual stock exchange where players buy and sell shares of each other's social network worth. In Empire Avenue a player's worth is linked to their social media influence and activity as well as that of the other players they have invested virtual currency in. This game design promotes social media interaction as a means to attaining higher value in Empire Avenue market rankings.
See also 
- Roeder, Laura. "Social Media Optimization – Bring It On!". Roeder Studios. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Enge, Eric (30 November 2010). "Search Engine Optimization in an Increasingly Social World". Search Engine Watch. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Fong, Richard. "Crash Course on Location-Based Social Marketing". Bliss Drive. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Tate, Alexis. "How Foursquare affects SEO". SEO Hacker. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Reed, Rob (27 December 2012). "Social-Local Optimization: A Strategic Imperative in 2013". iMedia Connection. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Leimgruber, Jesse (11 July 2012). "Viral Seeding – Are You Maximizing Your Social Media?". SEO Biology. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "5 Free Tools for Going Viral on Pinterest with Awesome Original Infographics". IM Devin. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Diversify Web Marketing Platforms". Bosmol. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "Search Engine Optimization Tips for 2012". FreshRankings. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "Importance of Social Bookmarking in SEO or Website Marketing and Promotion". Social Bookmark Submission. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Sullivan, Danny (August 29, 2006). "Social Media Optimization: It's Like SEO, For Social Sites". blog.searchenginewatch.com. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- Olthuis, Cameron (15 August 2006). "Introduction to Social Media Optimization". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Bhargava, Rohit (August 10, 2006). "5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)". rohitbhargava.typepad.com. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- Bhargava, Rohit (August 10, 2010). "The 5 NEW Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)". rohitbhargava.typepad.com. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- Ben Elowitz (October 27, 2010). "SEO Is Dead, And The New King Is SMO". digitalquarters.net. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- Gallagher, Freyja (12 October 2010). "Interviews with Smart People: Frank Speiser, Co-Founder of Social Flow". Zeitgeist NYC. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-manhattanoffice-techbre83h1ao-20120418,0,302426.story
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- "Social Media Optimization". Mojo Creator. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Why Social Media Gaming Is Big Business for Your Business". Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- Kaevand, Raul (18 March 2011). "Social Media Gaming Infographic". Dreamgrow. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- Johnson, James (24 August 2010). "How Big Is Social Media Gaming? How About 56 Million Strong". The Blog Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Empire Avenue, the stockmarket where YOU’RE for sale". Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Empire Avenue". CrunchBase. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Empire Avenue creates a stock market to measure your social influence". VentureBeat. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "What Americans Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity". Nielsen Wire. Retrieved 22 March 2011.