What exactly is SMO?

Social Media Optimization, or SMO, is simply taking advantage of the many social media sites which have gained great popularity in recent years. These include social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook and VIRB; social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia and Stumbleupon; and video sharing sites such as YouTube, Google Video and Metacafe.

Some sites, such as Digg, combine these features to provide extremely powerful tools.

How do I take advantage of these sites?

The primary way in which writers can benefit from these sites is by leveraging some of their enormous traffic flow. Each time you publish an article, help spread the word by notifying these sites. An example procedure might be :

  • publish article
  • submit article to DIGG, Stumbleupon
  • bookmark the article using del.icio.us and Ma.gnolia
  • point to it via a Myspace bulletin

Presence applications

Throwing presence applications such as Jaiku or Twitter into the mix can be a powerful way to help get the word out. In the case of Jaiku, simply add the site’s RSS feed to your collection or post a 1-liner encouraging people to ‘look here’.

What sort of traffic should I expect?

The traffic flow from social sites varies (as you’d expect), but it’s usually in the form of a spike. This is nothing more sinister than a sharp increase for a day or so; and that increase could be 20,000 or more visits per day.

For more information on some of the individual sites (Digg is referenced several times, but the logic is similar for many social sites), take a look at the following :

Examining traffic from Digg, Slashdot and memeorandum

Stumbled!

How to Build a ‘Digg Culture’ on your Blog

How to Surf Blog Traffic Tsunamis

Where do I start?

Try the process outlined above. Tweak it a bit according to your results, and enjoy the increase in traffic. Spread the word!

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