Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, a “Digg This” button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is a form of search engine marketing, as stated by Wikipedia.
Rohit Bhargava was credited with inventing the term SMO. His original five rules for conducting Social Media Optimization are:
Increase your linkability
Make tagging and bookmarking easy
Reward inbound links
Help your content travel
Encourage the mashup
How can these rules be followed?
Increase you linkability. Your site has to be attractive to link to and have static pages and compelling content, allowing the Search Engines to pick up on it.
Make tagging and bookmarking easy. Today, it is easy for a site to have the “add to” features or buttons, making it simple for the user to bookmark or tag the site.
Reward inbound links. Spread the use of the site which has given you an inbound link by placing a link from an article of theirs to your blog or press release.
Help your content travel. Apply the use of this rule by using podcasting as an example. Users or visitors that go to your site can take a video or news article anywhere they like and download at a later time such as an ipod.
Encourage the mashup. Allow others to use your content, work upon it, recreate it and expand it. It is not only flattering but allows you to be a reference to someone else’s point of view.