Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO (Social Media Optimization)

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I’ve never written for SEO but chose to write about what I was passionate about and for people. I always have a reader in mind for my articles. They could be based on a conversation with a friend or question that someone asked me on social media. Sometimes these questions lead to a longer form answer which I put on my blog so more people can find the answer. The human interaction is what I love most about social media.

I recently had a Google+ Hangout with Joshua Berg who is an SEO/SMO thought leader. I’ve read his blog but we hadn’t “met” each other before so this was really fun. I did a little research to see what Joshua’s background was and was excited to ask some questions about social media, blogging, SEO, and most importantly SMO or social media optimization which is Joshua’s specialty. The hangout led to more thinking (imagine that!) and I had a few more questions which Joshua was kind enough to answer for me.  Google’s Hummingbird update has made a few changes but not to worry.

Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO
A few quick tips from the Hangout:
#1 tip Be yourself and act natural.
#2 tip Great content spreads and builds with conversation around the web circling back to your original post.
#3 tip Diversity is good.
My questions for Joshua:
Q:  I haven’t discussed SMO on my blog before. Can you give us an explanation of what that is and why it’s important?
A: I couldn’t give you a better answer to this question than the article I wrote a few months ago, Social Media Optimization for SEO. The Future of Search. Which Mark Traphagen referred to as, “a Master Class in how you can fine tune your use of social media to vastly build your audience and influence.” In this article I laid out my all new principles for Social Media Optimization (as the earlier references to it were long outdated).
Very briefly they’re condensed as follows, but it is necessary to read the article to get the full picture:

The all new principles of SMO, Focus on the user and all SEO will follow. 

ⓐ Create – Maximize your creativity with original quality content.
ⓑ Relate – Create relatable content, or make your content relatable.
ⓒ Captivate – Fun and interesting content, stand out from the noise.
ⓓ Arouse – Arouse an emotion, it is the constant of all viral success.
ⓔ Enjoy – Have Fun! All the most popular media personalities enjoy it.
ⓕ Share – Seek shareable content, Reciprocate sharing with movers.
ⓖ Acknowledge – Acknowledging others encourages engagement.
ⓗ Contribute – Find ways to contribute desired value to audience.
ⓘ Influencers – Identify key influencers to foster connections with.
ⓙ Communities – Existing communities can expand your reach .
ⓚ Reputation – Build personal reputation & brand, as a reliable source.
ⓛ Engagement – Tag – Cite – Reply – Comment – Proactively engage.
ⓜ Authority – Become a notable authority in a field of expertise.
ⓝ Leadership – Lead in social with original ideas, be a Thought Leader.
ⓞ Social – Be sociable, try to visualize & reach the individual person.
ⓟ Media – Learn to master the media platforms you need to reach.
ⓠ Optimization – Target, optimize content/keywords integral to SMO

Q: You mentioned diversity several times. Do you mean diversity in blog content or social media platforms? Why is diversity important?
A: My reference to diversity in our hangout, was regarding building authority from backlinks to your blog. There has been considerable evidence to suggest that Google values a good diversity of backlinks to a blog, over a lot of backlinks from a handful of websites, or particular social platform. To expound on this idea, I’m referring mostly to the source of these backlinks coming from many different sites throughout the web & not just from what we’d call a particular neighborhood. As well as the source diversity, hyperlinked word diversity and surrounding content is also important. In the old SEO too many sites used exact match keywords in all of their backlinks, or used tools to post identical links on thousands of forums & these became spam flags

Q:  We talked about acting naturally and you teased be about making it look easy. Can you share what things create good SMO for bloggers?
A: It would have to be my article above. If a blogger, or social media marketer follows the above ideas and principles, you really can’t go wrong.

The bottom line is: be yourself. Share content that you feel is interesting and have fun. That’s the best recipe for your blog and social media. Write about your passions, share your interests. People will love it!

If you are having a hard time finding your voice in social media or with your writing, I recommend reading If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit by Barbara Ueland. Guy Kawasaki recommended this book in APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book and it really helped me reach another level in my writing and how I felt about writing.

Here’s the full video conversation that Joshua and I had with Chef Dennis Littley and Nikol Murphy.

What do you think about SEO vs. SMO? Will this change your social media at all? Love to hear your thoughts or answer questions in the comments below.

We are having a follow up hangout to discuss blogging, SMO and Google authorship. Make sure you sign up to receive updates below so you don’t miss it!

Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Article Name
Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO (Social Media Optimization)
Why SMO or Social Media Optimization is the new SEO based on Google's Hummingbird update.
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Writer & Social media strategist
Co-author of The Art and Science of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Guy Kawasaki. Social media is my passion. And my job. I'm here sharing my professional experience working day to day in the trenches of social media, marketing, and blogging. I work with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere every day. I've spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Motorola, Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels. I work with the best brands and make them even better! I'll share tips and tricks, provide positive inspiration and answer social media questions through the content that I create and curate. What sets me apart? I'm an innovative idea girl that follows through and gets the job done. Social media is my career, not just a hobby.

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