Marketing TV Brands with Social Media Optimization

By Graeme Newell 

You’ve probably heard of SEO, search engine optimization, but there is a new term you should be familiar with, SMO, which stands for social media optimization. SEO is the science of influencing search engine results from the big services like Google. SMO is the science of generating on-line buzz. It is about optimizing a website so it can be more social media friendly. Sites that use SMO make it easy for readers to pass along their favorites to friends and coworkers. It is the sophisticated science of understanding how readers adopt, personalize and share web content.

This is more than just putting “e-mail to a friend” links on the website. SMO sites offer readers sophisticated tools that let them easily communicate with as many other sites as possible. One site becomes a tacit social media partner allowing both to tap the other’s fans.

SMO has really caught on with the traditional search marketing community. Google is a fairly recent phenomenon and in the past ten years, SEO specialists have primarily focused on the algorithm mechanics of search. It has been more about math than psychology.

Great social media techniques will not necessarily affect your search engine ranking, but it can drastically increase site engagement. These days, it is becoming increasingly hard to compete using just search engine optimization. Social media optimization is becoming increasingly important because it gives small companies a chance to compete with the big boys through the sheer art of buzz. The little guys can’t compete with big company search engine algorithms, but they sure can get some attention by sparking vast amounts of gab about their products.

SEO specialists know that a personal referral holds much more weight than a bot’s recommendation, and they are trying hard to integrate these relationship drivers into their tactics. Part of the problem is that the metrics for social media have yet to be worked out. Facebook is an environment where friends and family have meaningful interaction with the most important people in their lives. It just makes sense that a click here is worth more than a click on some other random web site. But we have yet to figure out how to measure this kind of engagement.

Right now we live in a world of page views, uniques, and time spent on site. But how do you quantify buzz? How do you place a value on a casual but highly trusted referral comment left by a friend? There are a tremendous number of social media conversations about our products that have yet to find a metric that assesses their true value. There are some real gems but we just haven’t found a way to measure them.

Social media optimization is about passing content along, and a unique connection with customers that goes beyond just product features. Companies that rely heavily on social media build a community and a team of brand ambassadors who truly believe in their product. For these fans, it isn’t just a product, they incorporate the brand into their own identity. These groupies are willing to share their beliefs with other people. More importantly, they carry their message to the nether regions of the internet where traditional advertisers might never venture. They recruit new fans in places you’d never expect.

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Graeme Newell is a broadcast and web marketing specialist who serves as the president and founder of 602 communications. You can reach Graeme at gnewell@602commu