SMO requires social media research

Posted on April 3, 2010

 

Social media optimisation, or SMO, is something that many companies are doing with their websites as part of SEO without even knowing it. With the incredible rise in popularity of social media in the last few years, a site needs to be active to get any reaction. As your site’s users become more enmeshed with their online social communities, the best way to approach them is through their community spirit.

The methods of SMO, just like search engine optimisation, vary from site to site. You might want to simply feature a couple of affiliation buttons on your homepage. You might want to get your site into social bookmarking circles. You might install some of the numerous widgets that social media networks are now offering to participants. All of these moves are going to reap very little reward, however, if you haven’t managed to track down what your target users actually need.

Different social media sites appeal to different groups of Internet users. Digg, for instance, has a predominantly technical leaning. Twitter tends to attract users who are into mobile communication. Facebook, of course, has a broad range of users, but is so big that a little definition is needed to reach the right people.

It’s best to research your options before putting a social media plan into place. It’s not much use featuring a Digg bookmarking button on your pages if your site or your users have absolutely no technical knowledge.

If you’ve already got a few social media buttons on your pages, they probably came from the pursuit of your own interests. In most cases, these will match up quite neatly with the needs of your site users, but it is worth doing a little research. It’s just as important to have the right focus for your social media optimisation as it is for search engine optimisation.

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