Social media optimization is a recent phenomenon and is similar to search engine optimization. The only difference between the two is that social media optimization is directed towards social sites. The need for conducting social media optimization arose with the rise in popularity of social networking sites.
Another distinction between search engine optimization and social media optimization is that– in search engine optimization the emphasis is to ensure that the search engines fully index the content of your sites. While in social media optimization, the emphasis is to ensure that knowledge about your product or service is easily found, distributed and shared by the community.
Social Media optimization is another form of viral marketing which relies on the marketing of goods and services through social networks, communities, discussion forums etc. In simple words, if a few users book mark your web page to del.icio.us. Digg, StumbleUpon or any such platform, then your web page will get higher visibility leading to improved rankings in search engines.
It is an established fact that social media sites have a very high number of daily visitors and they are a very potent platform for generating hype about your brand. On social media platforms, visitors aren’t searching for commercial product or services; instead, their focus is to get personal gratification by interacting with their peer group.
However if they find a product or service interesting they will definitely forward the link amongst their peer group. A good product or service that offers an interesting proposition may get unprecedented popularity through this medium. Organizations looking to expand their reach on a global scale find it imperative to obtain a high ranking on social media searches.
Optimizing your products or services through social media involves activities like addition of RSS feeds, bookmarking, blogging and incorporating features like photo galleries, videos in your submissions to capture the attention of web surfers. Other social media platforms which can be leveraged to optimize your product or service include: Wikipedia, Flickr, MySpace, Reddit, Spurl, Blinklist, Shadows, Simply, Ning, 43 Things and Frappr. Others like LinkedIn, Facebook help users in peer-to-peer networking.
There are still others, which are purely dedicated to sports like football– for example, Joga Bonita. Social Networks like ANOBII are dedicated purely to book lovers while there are some community-specific networks, which serve as a means for expatriates to connect to their homelands. These community-specific social networks like Biip, Blackplanet help people find people of the same nationality if they choose to settle in a foreign country. Other social networks which are dedicated to hobbies like music (Buzznet) and investing (Cake Financial) have also acquired a critical mass of subscribers and benefit immensely from a loyal fan following.
These social networks have been found to be quite addictive and users tend to visit these portals quite religiously. As such when you make use of the high volume of traffic on these social media sites, it can have an immaculate boost to your branding and web presence, and connect with your target audience more directly than any other form.