Why practice social media optimization (SMO)?

As a PR student standing on the outskirts of the practice and occasionally getting my feet wet, I feel that some of the most influential trends within the industry have been rapidly emerging online.

Just as hard as some people are trying to stay out of the Google search, there are billions more making more than conscious efforts to try and get in. One of the best ways to do this while simultaneously receiving recognition through social media sites is through appropriately aligning yourself with the tools of SMO.

Here is a diagram which demonstrates appropriate spaces in which one can practice SMO

SMO diagram

 For those that still don’t get it (don’t worry, you are a lot like me) the definition from wikipedia is as follows

Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a “Digg This” button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is a form of search engine marketing.SMO is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogsphere and special blog search engines such asTechnorati.  

In other words, SMO allows people to do things like bookmark your website through tagging websites such as Allowing people to save / tag your online resource in a public space allowing them the opportunity to see who else is reading and tagging your online resource. This process of tagging in some ways is much like the interactive process confronted when visiting the SMO home page wiki at

To learn more about the starting process of SMO consider this helpful blog “The beginners guide to Social Media Optimization” .

And for aditional information check out this article in BizReport “Must Do Marketing for 2008” or maybe this one, “Corporate communities” in Marketing magazine.


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