10 Social Media Optimization Tips

Sherry Maxson, Guest Contributor

1) Increase your links - This is the first and most important priority of your blog or website. Many sites are "static" - meaning they are rarely updated. To optimize a site for social media, it is important to increase the "linkability" of your content, often called "linkbaiting".  Give your audience something to link to to help boast your popularity. Adding a blog is a great step, however there are many other ways such as creating white papers, or even simply organizing and aggregating content that exists elsewhere into a useful format, such as articles, consumer reports, and video reference materials.

2) Make tagging and bookmarking easy - Use quick buttons on your material to make tagging and bookmarking a cinche.  Sites like "technorati" "del.icio.us" and "digg" have a large user base.  Get to know the sites and how their users are using their sites.

3 ) Help your content travel - Social Media optimization is not just about making changes to a site. When you have content that can be portable (such as PDFs, videos, podcasts, photos), submit them to relevant sites to help your content travel further.  This also helps in driving back links to your web site.

4 ) Encourage the mashup - Its now a world of co-creation.  Let others use your content. A great example of this is YouTube providing code to cut and paste so visitors can imbend video from their site.  Syndicating your content through RSS also makes it easy for others to create mashups that can drive traffic.

5 ) Participate! Get in there and get involved in discussions going on. Earn your reputation on Digg.com and other sites. Social media is a two way street. Converse with your community on a regular basis. Find your niche and work it!

6 ) Be a Resource - Even if it isn't of immediate help, provide valuable information on your web site.  One client ,who sells poison ivy skin care created an FAQ on poison ivy facts and remedies, some of which were competitive treatments.  While users may not convert to a purchase, this page is critical to help brand their product and to  gain links from other sites.  Though it may not yeild short term benefits, the long term effects will be worth the effort.

7 ) Reward valuable users - If you have created a Wiki or are using another tool on your site to encourage visitors to add content, recognize and thank them for their efforts.

8 ) Know your Audience - First ,understand who you are targeting, then figure out where they "hang out". Creating a page on mySpace may not always be the best route if you are not trying to target a young demographic with a heavy focus on music.  Perhaps creating a Squidoo Lens for your subject would be better or if you are a shopping site, try StumbleUpon.  For your business, get some PR with timely articles on Digg.  

9 ) Be Overt - Stay real in your efforts.  Do not create a fictious name for your marketing.  Users can sniff you out like a rat and they don't like to be fooled.  It will do you more harm than good.  Be overt and direct.

10) Stay fresh - Social media is changing minute by minute. Keep up on new tools, products and challenges and keep your pulse to the beat.


Sherri Maxson, SEO/Internet Marketing Consultant
PrairieWeb Internet Marketing