Listening to Rand Fishkin of MOZ.com's Whiteboard Friday sparked the social media optimization idea in my head again. Social media optimization or SMO is the principle of using social media instead of SEO to help build your blog. What I love is that SEO experts, social media pros, and SMO thinkers all come up with the same types of advice. I've used social media optimization for my blog since day one and starting building my social network before I wrote a word. Of course I had never heard of social media optimization, it was just the path that fit for me as a blogger. As Jay Baer says, “content is fire and social media is gasoline.” Building a solid social media presence will help spread your ideas.
This is Rand's Whiteboard Friday video:
1. Connect with others to build a network.
From Rebekah Radice, “Social media is a lot like the dating process. I want to be wooed before receiving the direct message or wall post pushing a product or service. I want a first date before they try to round second base. I want flowers and chocolates and all the fun repartee that goes along with a new relationship. What I don’t want is to be sold by a canned response to my Follow on Twitter or LIKE on Facebook.”
2. Mention, quote, include, and reference influencers in your content.
See what I did there? I love using references from other sources to boost my ideas. What I don't like is people writing posts and hounding people to share it since they were mentioned in it. If you write good content and link back to their post, they'll find you. You can also mention them on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ but don't assume that just because you shared their post or quote that they will share or respond. Boost your content with smart references to help make your content better, not to try to force interaction with influencers. Sincere sharing of others content can build relationships with others.
3. “Better content is outweighing more content.”
If you only have time and ideas for one great post per week, then only post once. From Rand, “I have actually found that those blogs today that are earning outsized influence, outsized voices can often be those that are only producing content once a week, once every month, couple times a month.”
4. “Experiment with home grown or self-created visuals, and in addition to visuals, data.”
“Reason being, visuals and data are the two things that I find most in the content world, the blogosphere included, but the entire content world that get referenced and reused. This is kind of the way that I've found most effectively to earn links in what I'd say are link saturated and content saturated fields, is you want to have that stuff that other people are citing, other people are including in their work, visuals and data. Especially by visuals, what I do not mean is go onto, you know, Meme Generator or Cheezburger or something and, you know, take an image and then edit it a little bit; I mean, truly creating your own visuals even if they suck.” Of course, I'd recommend that you make beautiful graphics in Canva. I created the images on this post in Canva and will use them to share this post on Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
5. Create an email list.
“If you're building a blog, one of the best ways to get repeat engagement and consistently have your voice out there is to have people who are subscribing to your blog via email.” If you haven't signed up for my blog via email, I'd be honored if you did. Hint: you need to ask people to sign up and put easy to use forms on your blog so people can find it.
If you aren't sure how to set up an email subscription, my friend Becca wrote a great post on how to set up a branded RSS email.
6. Don't fire your social media posts and forget about it.
Share your content and repeat your sharing process at different timezones and with a different message. Look at how things work with your own social networks and sharing but please don't autotweet your post from WordPress once and call it done. From Rand, “This is the right way to think about social sharing. It is not fire and forget; it's being thoughtful about messaging in a timely fashion to different audiences because remember that time delta means that you're capturing different people via social and creating unique messages, unique formats.”
More reading: 8 Smart Tips to Maximize your Blog Content
The principles of social media optimization from Joshua Berg of RealSMO:
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.
Communities – Existing communities can expand your reach.
Reputation – Build personal reputation & brand, as a reliable source.
Engagement – Proactively engage by tagging, citing your sources, and replying to comments.
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
The “SEO” advice that I follow is from straight shooter Guy Kawasaki who simply says “write good shit.” Rand Fishkin echoes this saying that quality is more important than quantity.
For me, social media optimization works and is the way that I like to blog. Using some SEO within my Genesis theme and adding keywords along with social media has brought readers to my blog. These are the ways that I've used to help spread the word about my blog. Are you using social media optimization for your blog? What ways have you found to share your content?
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos