Social Media Optimization (SMO) – Is it the new buzz word?

I know many of you are very familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but the new guy on the block relatively is SMO (Social Media Optimization).  While both share many of the same tactics there are a few things you need to consider when optimizing your Social Media campaigns.

Wikipedia describes SMO as  a set of methods for attracting visitors to website content by promoting and publicizing it through social media.

Today Social Media is taking the industry by storm and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Active Rain are gaining increased authority in the major search engines.  Google a few years back blended their search results into one unified stream and called it “Universal Search”.  Universal Search simply lumped together blogs, videos, news and other similar social content together.  By doing this blog posts and other social media sites gained instant influence. Yahoo and Bing have all added similar search schemes.  In fact Bing even has a Twitter search.

Because of this optimizing your social media sites has now become ever so important.

Social media optimization does not replace your current SEO efforts but enhances it.   By using blogs, videos, and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, you can capture a greater number of organic positions.

I have outlined below some distinct things you should always keep in mind when engaging in any SMO effort.

Identify – The success of Social Media is in the niche markets.  Identify yours and concentrate on it.  Agents most likely niche is the community.  You can certainly think of others but becoming a niche expert in a community or development is a good place to start.

Linking – Social Networking by definition is the connecting to people of similar interests.  So social media’s success is built on having as many sites link to you as possible.  This increases your sphere of influence and helps you spread your exposure. Encourage people to link, tweet, re-tweet, bookmark your posts.  Giving them a button or using something like Share-It can help.  If you are blogging, have your posts shared on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Authority – As a REALTOR the success of your blogging efforts hinge on the idea of your becoming a resource in a area or specialty.  If you for example become the authority in Northern NJ and concentrate your efforts on building quality content around this, people in time will see you an authority.  Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Outbound Links – As you post more information you will become more authoritative in your specialty.  But any good expert should share resources and other sites.  So link liberally outside of your posts.  This will help establish you as a real authority in your area or specialty.

We at RE/Advantage use Google Alerts and Analytics to track my keywords and to see if my posts are reaching the search engines.  I also use them to measure the success of what I am doing.

Google Alerts –  allows me to track keywords that are important to me.  Then either daily or weekly Google will email me a report of where the keywords are being found in their news or web search.  This allows me to see how effective my efforts are as well as my competitors.

Google Analytics – Analytics is a statistics application that allows me to see where my traffic is coming from, what keywords are being used to reach my sites, how many visitors I am getting.  You can also setup goals where I can track certain actions.  For instance when someone uses a lead form.

If you use the tips above and incorporate good general SEO practice and your efforts will surely be rewarded.  Remember this does not replace  good SEO practices but enhances it.  You still need to write rich and engaging content with keyword optimization in mind.  SMO simply identifies some extra considerations you need to think about.

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