Social Media Optimization : 13 Rules of SMO

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Social Media Optimization : 13 Rules of SMO

Cameron Olthuis at Pronet Advertising has a nice write up on optimizing for social media, dubbed Social Media Optimization (SMO) by Rohit Bhargava.

The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.

There has been some cross blogging back and forth between Rohit, Cameron, and Jeremiah Owyang on the rules of Social Media Optimization, and I’ll add a couple more.

Here’s a summary of what they’ve put together to date:

1. Increase your linkability : Think blogs, content, aggregation & linkbait.

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy : Include calls to action for users to tag, bookmark and Digg your stuff. I’d suggest the Sociable Plugin if you have a WordPress powered blog.

3. Reward inbound links : List blogs which link back to you via permalinks, trackbacks or recently linking blogs (like the Yahoo & Google blogs do).

4. Help your content travel : Content diversification can lead to mobility of your content beyond the browser.

5. Encourage the mashup : Let others use your content or tools to produce something a bit different or outside of the box with your stuff, even RSS.

6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you : Add value and outbound links, even if it doesn’t help in the short term, it will in the long.

7. Reward helpful and valuable users : Give your contributors and readers the recognition they deserve.

8. Participate : Get in there and get involved in the discussions going on among the blogs and sites of others, and do it organically. Earn your rep on Digg.com, don’t try and force it.

9. Know how to target your audience : Understand your appeal and those people you wish to attract.

10. Create content : A little bit of rules 1 & 4 here, but the underlying message is know the form of content working for you.

11. Be real : Transparency pays off and no one likes a fake.

And mine:

12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble : Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away being a BlogStar or industry talking head. Remember those who helped you along the way, and that respect will help all involved.

13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh : Social Media is changing and morphing by the minute, keep up on new tools, products and challenges in your social sphere.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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