Understanding Social Media Optimization
Posted by Elmer in Digital on May 13, 2009

After Google started to display search results that include multiple media such as news, images, maps, blogs and the like, we realize the importance of getting every single media asset in our website appear prominently on its own individual domain.

For example, I post a blog and on every blog entry I make, I also include a related photo. Traditionally, I want to rank my blog well for related keywords. I may be happy to rank for my blog in the past, but now I also want my photos to rank in Google Images. Moreover, I'd like to provide convenience to my readers by setting up RSS feeds, submit to social news website Digg to distribute content, and maybe include my images in image hosting service Flickr. Such combination of actions constitute the idea of social media, in our effort to generate publicity using these tools, collectively referred to as social media.

Originally coined by Rohit Bhargava, social media optimization becomes part of the mainstream marketing efforts. He defined the five rules that govern social media optimization:

  1. Increase your linkability
  2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
  3. Reward inbound links
  4. Help your content travel
  5. Encourage the mashup
  6. Get communities connected

Social media optimization is related to search engine, but differs in focus. Search engine optimization aims to generate traffic from high search engine visibility, while social media optimization aims to generate traffic from a broader spectrum of sources.

If we haven't started doing so, we can now start incorporating tools available online to leverage our presence, among them are the following:

* Interact, post links and repost messages  using Twitter
* Submit videos to YouTube and MetaCafe
* Submit blog feeds to Feedburner
* Use social bookmarking tool Delicious
* Be part of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn
* Submit sites to Digg and StumbleUpon
* Submit blogs to Technorati and BlogCatalog
* Upload images to Flickr, Fotki or PhotoBucket

 There could be more and are categorized according to type of websites we own. For example, komoo.cn is the Chinese Twitter service, catster is for cat lovers and dogster is for, you know, dogs. Explore social media and be more prominent online. Just a piece of advice: share and don't be selfish.

Image credit: Gary Hayes and Laurel Papworth

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