Friday, December 8, 2006

Social Marketing Optimization

I've been reading the occasional blog/article about Social Marketing Optimization, and it has a lot in common with Search Engine Optimization. Basic guidelines such as good usability, link strategies, and of course the content is king mantra.

Social Marketing Optimization is the name for that thing you do to make sure your website is getting lots of attention in the Social Media. Places such as youtube, blogs, etc. are your target publishers.

The most important factor is to have something worth talking about. Be it a product or content, if it isn't interesting it's not going to work out no matter how many special features and gimmicks you have on the site.

I've heard this interestingness refered to as linkability. Linkability is a little more complex than the interestingness of the content.

Linkability should take into account how easy you make it for the user to link to the target content. You should have important features such as rss feeds, nifty buttons that generate the link code (which is great for SEO and making sure your keywords are in the link), del.icio.us buttons, and pretagged content. You will also need to let your content go. If you set it free, the links will come back to you.

There are traditional marketing strategies that you should take into account as well. Your social media optimized content should be aimed at your target audience. There should be a end marketing goal for each social media campaign. Be it increasing traffic to a specific widget or gaining links for SEO, your approach will be different.

There are ways to buy your social marketing, but for it to be effective you will need to keep in mind that like any social group, online social groups have a set of morals in effect. You need to keep everything on the up and up. Paying bloggers to post or having a fake blog with posts, these things can easily backfire. Take the walmart sponsored blog where a couple travelled across the US staying at walmarts and saying nice things about walmarts in each post. When it was discovered that the blog was created by walmart there was a backlash. Now all those people Walmart reached with the campaign have a negative idea about walmart.

So, to sum up.

Social Marketing Optimization simplified:

1. Interestingness
2. Linkability
3. Target Audience
4. Integrity.

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