SMO: Social Media Optimization

Aug 23, 2007 - 1:00 pm 4 by

Community-built web sites, Wikipedia and new sites allowing content being shared through "tagging" can be a great way to tap into links and search driven traffic. This session looks at SMO services and strategies to tap into them appropriately.

Moderator: Detlev Johnson, Position Technologies


Neil Patel, ACS Rand Fishkin, SEOMoz Todd Malicoat, Consultant (aka "Stuntdubl")

It's the last day for sessions and, sigh, the night after the WebmasterRadio Search Bash, where everyone who was there sounds like a frog this morning. That includes me. The room fills up. This is a fun session because Todd, Rand and Neil give good presentations with humor, funny pictures and lots of resources.

Detlev starts. Asks for show of hands to see how many are here for the first time and want to do it again. Half the room responded. Asks how many people use Linkedin. It's been around for years and is just now starting to become really hot.


Do something that people feel. Gives a quote by Kid Rock. You must have a human voice to market with social media. The Cluestrain Manifesto the 95 thesis. It was social media before Linkedin, before the second or third generation of SM. You'll understand link baiting and marketing better if you read it.


attack humor contraian (contrary opinion) news resource ego picture/movie

These are ways to write to attract readers. Links come with something resourceful and a human voice.

Top Titles

Think of your title second Copy blogger over promise and deliver action words alliteration social proof cliched titles work for a reason

Come up with 10 titles based on the type of hook. At least one keyword for good anchor text. Make sure content is focused, make it pretty (bullet points, short paragraphs), make it "magazine good," link out generously. Link out to a variety of areas. Be prepared for failure. Some linkbait will bomb. Ex: The cheating spouse guide - what every guy should know. It was funny. Did well with exposure. Cheating was the anchor text that helped. Stretch relevancy. A new twist onan old topic is the only to get an old topic to new eyeballs. Ex. 8 diseaes that give you super human power - an example of an extreme angle and it did really well as link bait.

Prepare launch date for your piece that you want to market. Use a trusted account. Digg is a 24 hour period. Cram all promo efforts into a short window. Don't always submit to the same sites. Digg, Netscape, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc. as examples

You can ask people for links to your SM article. This is one area where emailing friends for links does work. Cache your content, host images on alt host, search diggslashdot effect. You can get 30-40,000 "nearly worthless" visits, lots of scrapers, tons of backlinks What you really want is trusted links from high profile industry sites. You may only 10 of them out of the thousands of junk links. Track your links. You won't sell to social media. It's not adSense. You want to establish your "flagship" content. Global links. Increased link pop and trust. RSS subscribers.


How many of you had heard of SEOMoz. Show of hands. Never did any advertising or marketing. They just did social media marketing.

What is SMM? Social media marketing. Creating web 2.0 profiles on web 2.0 sites. Why? Goal is to build friends and relationsips in the blogosphere and online social sites. Not same demographic as customers.

You can't sell to social media like you do to customers. You can control your market by participation in conversations. What do you people think of your business? You can go and partipate and correct information if you wish to. Some people don't expect the response. Reputation management and link building is done via SM. You can control your brand better in Google and Yahoo better. You get mindshare and branding.

People will see your brand on the social media sites they use. You need to be playing in those spaces.

Where to conduct SMM?

YouTube, Stumbleupon is the 2nd driver of traffic for SEOMoz. They don't have to submit to it or thumbs up there anymore. It's a discovery engine. People want to see something new and different. Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers. Has 3.5 million users now. Broad population there. Digg, Yelp -for local business reviews. Reddit is good for linkbaiting. It's more "Serious" than Digg, Linkedin for business networking. Flicker can expose image content if you brand it well. Netscape, same as Digg and Reddit. is a bookmarking site. People share their links there. Facebook and MySpace. Craigslist has forums and "best of" Craiglist is popular. Amazon, is where you can leave comments and if you provide content like a book they have a blog in Amazon. Technorati is for if you have a blog. Get people to "favorite you". Newsvine is serious, newsy, you can submit stores, top of the vine, Sphinn (screenshot shows Cre8asiteforums 5th birthday, thank you Rand!~),City Search is another site to submit to. Helium has good editorial quality. Wikihow for some good quality content. SecondLife is at the bottom of the list for a reason. It's a game. But the fad is ending. Twitter can be useful to help communicate that you have something they can link to.


Leveraging Digg and Stumbleupon. You need to know the user base. The audience is young. 4525 diggs for "Pictures of the craziest urinals from around the world". Digg users are "retards like me". (audience laughs) Massaging your content. Ex. The angle was an article targeted to those who hate to pay taxes but a popular piece was how to spend the money if you do pay them.

Number of votes, time, voters, submitter, friends - these are important factors. Power submitters do better than random submitter. You can be banned for having too many friends. Stick to a few thousand.

Do not self promote. Add biased. Pay for votes. Break community rules. SPAM. This stuff can ruin your reputation and you will banned for good. If you get caught paying for votes, can be banned. He experimented with submitting with his own site, created 30 accounts on the same IP and he paid for votes. It got pulled and banned.

Do: Add tons of friends Participate in communities - same interests; before submitting you want to help the community grow before leveraging it for yourself Use great titles and descriptions Become a top user - Do this by submitting to quality stories Submit during the right time - submit when people are on the web and not sleeping

Q - Someone wanted examples of using the SM sites and how it relates to business. Rand gave a lot of detailed examples, using different sites and methods. The possibilities are endless. The method has to fit your business. Every situation needs its own plan.

Q - What are tags? Tagging is used to identify content or images. There are no guidelines for using spaces or dashes. Everybody does tagging and entering the differently. You can tag your own stuff. Readers who post your content can tag it when they submit it. Todd suggests mixing broad and specific tags. Detlev says user generated tags can be helpful and instructive. Be aware that words have different meanings.

Q - How does SM effect search results/behavior (ie. Universal Search)? High ranked video and podcasts are getting more click thrus than text results.


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