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Social Media Marketing 101 - Is SMO the Next SEO?

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Just when everyone’s figured out SEO, in comes another buzz word acronym: SMO, aka social media optimization. While the discipline of social media optimization is not nearly as advanced as SEO, it still holds a wealth of potential for the website owner. How can a business begin to optimize their site for social media?
Below are some tips.

What are Social Media Websites?

First, what is social media? The quintessential social media site is myspace. Myspace is completely user generated, in other words, all the content comes not from some mega corporation, but the users themselves. Other examples of social media sites are Facebook, Digg, del.icio.us, and Squidoo. Basically, a social media site creates a community of people with similar interests, and allows them
to network and communicate on any given topic.

 
  The very reason social networking sites exist is because their users trust each other rather than advertisers.  
 

How Can I Advertise With Social Media Sites?

So how can a business use social media for their advantage? Banner ads? Text ads? – Not a chance. The very reason social networking sites exist is because their users trust each other rather than advertisers. They are skeptical of traditional media, and would rather read a review from a group member than the hyperbole of a copy-writer. So can you still use social media to advertise? Absolutely, but you must go about the process much differently.

Give If You Want to Get

In order to get your name out with social networking, you must become one of the community rather than an advertiser to the community. Create a profile on myspace and link up with people of similar interests. If you have a well branded product or a faithful customer base, encourage your myspace members to spread the word. One of my clients posts html banner code on their myspace and encourages members to copy and paste it into their own profiles.
 

 
  Once you've developed a recognized profile, people will pay attention to what you post. The more buzz your posts create, the more traffic and inbound links your site will receive.  
 


Become involved in sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Once you've developed a recognized profile, people will pay attention to what you post. The more buzz your posts create, the more traffic and inbound links your site will receive.

The Bottom Line

Don’t try to exploit social media by shamelessly promoting your product. The most effective way to succeed in this area is become involved in a relevant community and wait for the users to embrace your product or service. This concept may seem foreign to most business owners marketing their business, however it’s absolutely essential and is the only way to succeed with social media marketing.
 

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