4 Winning Strategies for Social Media Optimization

by Jim Tobin

This article first appeared on MASHABLE.

Jim Tobin is president of Ignite Social Media, a leading social media agency, where he works with clients including Microsoft, Intel, Nike, Nature Made, The Body Shop, Disney and more implementing social media marketing strategies. He is also author of the book Social Media is a Cocktail Party. Follow him on Twitter @jtobin.

Social media optimization (SMO) is the process by which you make your content easily shareable across the social web. Because so many options exist for where people can view your content, the content model for the web has shifted from, “We have to drive as much traffic to our website as possible,” to the more pragmatic, “We have to ensure as many people see our content as possible.”

You’ll still want most people to see your content on your site — and if you’re doing it right they will — but helping people view content through widgets, apps and other social media entry points will accrue positive benefits for your brand. The more transportable you can make your content, the better.

If you’re ready to get started with a social media optimization plan for your organization, read on for an overview.

Why Social Media Optimization Matters

Before we get to the practical, let’s start with the “Why,” as in “Why you should care about SMO?” As you can see from the chart below, social networks are driving an increasing amount of traffic to an increasing number of websites. Sites like Comedy Central, Forever 21 and Etsy are seeing more traffic from social networks than they see from GoogleGoogle. How social referral traffic is performing for you most likely depends on two factors:

1. How interesting your content is; and

2. How easily shareable you have made that content across a variety of networks.


chart image
Image credit: Gigya

In other words, SMO can lead to increased traffic to your site, as friends encourage their friends to digest specific content. If you can appeal to a given person, their friends are statistically more likely to be interested in the same thing, so you’re likely reaching a well-targeted audience.  Further, it also leads to improved search engine optimization, as major search engines count links as if they were votes for your site.

SMO isn’t just about building a bigger social media presence for your brand. Whether or not your organization has a strong social network presence, the social networks of others can be leveraged to great effect.

Read more . . .

Forget Community. Forget Conversation. Business Blogging Is About SEO.

By Rick Burnes

This article originally appeared on HubSpot.

If you don’t blog, you’re probably tired of people telling you why you should.The blog-pushers who insist it’s a great way to create a community around your product.

The evangelists who argue blogging is a great way to create conversation.

The practical folks who tell you blogging is a better way to publish your press releases.

You don’t dispute any of this. You just find it wishy-washy.

Your business is a data-driven machine. You live and die by leads and sales. You don’t have time for unmeasurable, time-consuming concepts like community and conversation.


Forget community. Forget conversation. There’s a far simpler, far more measurable reason to blog: search engine rankings.

If you publish a regularly updated, well-written blog on your company’s site, it will show up more often in search engine results.

Most marketers miss this. They focus on the sexier social, networking and thought-leadership aspects of blogging. These are all very important reasons to blog (you can’t really forget community and conversation), but they’re complicated to measure.

Great search engine ranking is easier to measure. Just consider how much you’d have to pay to get equivalent ranking on a pay-per-click basis.

If you write a post about your fantastic windmill consulting firm and it shows up in the search results for “new windmills” your blog will get lots of new traffic and leads that you’d otherwise have to pay to for.

This blog is another great example. It drives three times as much traffic from Google to HubSpot as HubSpot’s traditional company site. To purchase the same kind of traffic (and the leads that come with it) we’d have to pay Google millions.

Think about that — our blog is giving us millions of dollars worth of free advertising and generating leads we can count.

There’s nothing wishy-washy about that.