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.
We have all heard the term and think we understand it, but what is viral marketing? According to Wikipedia, Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to “marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.” Viral marketing is today’s electronic equivalent of old-fashioned word of mouth. It’s a marketing strategy that involves creating an online message that is entertaining enough to prompt consumers to pass it on to others, at no cost to the advertiser.
Still, viral marketing success depends on the rate at which the idea can be passed along person to person. It becomes a free marketing system that works around the clock 24/7. It is claimed that a satisfied customer tells an average of three people about a product or service he/she likes, and eleven people about a product or service which he/she did not like.
Social Media has taken off over the past year and a half. MySpace, FaceBook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Second Life, Digg, Flickr, TripAdvisor etc. just to name a few, all bring users together to share media, insight, opinions and perspectives. Each network shares text, images, video, and audio. As social networks continue to evolve, niche groups like High School sports, Mothers and Doctors are now participating in vertical networks.
Since most of my experience is in paid search and contextual advertising, Social Media is still a fairly new thing to me. As I continue to learn about the basics of this new media; I am sure many of you are in the same boat as I am. So here’s a little background on Social Networks. Basically, it’s a website which brings users together to share anything those users have in common. As per my examples above; high school athletes can demonstrate their skills on Takkle.com, doctors can share diagnosis and cases on Sermo.com, and mothers can share their experiences on Maya’sMom.com.