What is Social Media Optimization?

From ESB Journal

Social media optimization or SMO is yet another method for search engine optimization of your site.

As the name implies, you optimize your site by advertising it through the social media sites, online communities and community websites such as blog sites, message boards, podcasts, wikis and blogs.

The methods for social media optimization involve the use of RSS feeds, social bookmarking, video and photo sharing, social news buttons and blogging etc. The basic idea is to drive traffic to your site without spending money on search engine advertising.

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Five Strategies for Customer Service Social Media Excellence

As consumers are rapidly adopting social media to voice their disdain about companies, Forrester has surveyed companies on how best to harness the power of the “cloud” to transform those customer experiences. They examined trends for benefits, costs and risks.

In an upcoming teleconference on the topic, Forrest will explain that savvy executives found that smart companies use five emerging best practices:

  • Begin by taking ownership of the social media initiative.
  • Determine your customer social media goal.
  • Keep a laser focus on the customer experience.
  • Understand the fast-changing social technology landscape.
  • Build a strong business case for change.

By following these best practices, companies can use social media to enrich customer experiences, reduce customer service costs, and transform their businesses.

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Public Relations Measurement 2010: Five Things to Forget & Five Things to Learn

social-media-model-pptxFrom a terrific post on public relations campaign measurement by Don Bartholomew, Principal of Acumentics Research,  a social media and public relations research and measurement consultancy.

“Public relations measurement is at a crossroads.  Old techniques are no longer sufficient.

Old metrics are no longer applicable.  Old thinking must be replaced by new.

The need for accountability,and to prove the value of PR and social media programs,

has never been greater.

As we look to the next year, here are five things to forget and five things to learn about

public relations measurement in 2010.”

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Is that blogger review really a paid ad? The FTC wants you to know.

050727_mb_Payolacolor_tnThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is stepping into the practice of paid posts on the blogosphere and it’s about time. I have personally been solicited by mommy bloggers willing to write for cash.  Pay to play schemes among mommy bloggers have been commonplace, it is akin to payola in the record industry, and it does a disservice to other bloggers.

Decades ago there was a crackdown on payola in the music industry as record promoters paid off radio DJs to spin their records and popularize artists. The practice has largely been curtailed, although payments are still made under the table to DJs in major markets. Brands have been willing to shower freebees on bloggers in exchange for editorial coverage that fails to attribute the gifts and their influence. It stinks and it’s corrupting the blogosphere.

According to Consumer Reports:

“The FTC is updating its “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” which were last refreshed in 1980. What this has to do with bloggers is a new form of advertising, called word-of-mouth marketing, in which advertisers pay your favorite bloggers to “review” their products. The bloggers get paid, for example, with free product samples; gift certificates for JCPenney shopping sprees; cash payments; or the loan of a $30,000 Ford Flex for a year.

The bloggers are supposed to write whatever they want about the product—pro or con—but the payments put into question whether they would be inclined to seriously bite the hand of a “friend” lending a car or giving other valuable goodies or cash.

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New Twitter Stats

tf-tweetstatsSysomos Inc., one of the world’s leading social media analytics companies, conducted an extensive study to document Twitter’s growth and how people are using it. After analyzing information disclosed on 11.5 million Twitters accounts, we discovered that:

  • 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.
  • 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day
  • 21% of users have never posted a Tweet
  • 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people.
  • 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity
  • New York has the most Twitters users, followed by Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston; while Detroit was the fast-growing city over the first five months of 2009
  • More than 50% of all updates are published using tools, mobile and Web-based, other than Twitter.com. TweetDeck is the most popular non-Twitter.com tool with 19.7% market share.
  • There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)
  • Of the people who identify themselves as marketers, 15% follow more than 2,000 people. This compares with 0.29% of overall Twitter users who follow more than 2,000 people.

“We wanted to take an extensive snapshot of Twitter that goes far beyond anything done to document Twitter’s use, growth and demographics,” said Nick Koudas, Sysomos’ co-founder and chief executive. “While Twitter’s growth has been well documented, we wanted to put the spotlight on how people use Twitter, as well as identify many of the key trends in their backgrounds, demographics and activity. Our study, based on the most comprehensive dataset of Twitter users, provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in getting in-depth details about Twitter.”

More Social Media Monitoring and Measurement Tools

Excerpted from Jon Bishop’s excellent post, “Keeping Conversations on Your Radar,” which includes links to several interesting social media monitoring and measurement tools.

Social Media

SocialMention.com allows you to easily track what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 80+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

KeoTag.com searches some of the most popular social media sites for tags that match your search term.

BackType is a “conversational search engine”. They index conversations scattered across the web to make following comments on a post or article a lot easier to manage.

CoComment is a service for managing, powering and researching conversations online. When using coComment, you can keep track of your comments across any site, share them with friends, and get notified when you get a response.

YackTrack lets you search for comments on your content from various sources or other blogs that talk about your content.

Blog Flux is a service that watches comments/follow-ups on Blog posts, Digg submissions, Flickr galleries, and many other types of content. When ever there is an update, i.e a new follow-up, Commentful notifies you instantly.

Trackur is an online reputation monitoring tool designed to assist you in tracking what is said about you on the internet.

Twitter

Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through the Twittersphere.

Backtweets finds all Tweets linking back to an article or blog post. Site does a good job of archiving older tweets where tweetmeme only shows more recent tweets.

Twitrratr helps you distinguish negative from positive tweets surrounding a brand, product, person or topic.

Tweetmeme is similar to Backtweets except it only shows tweets that link to a post from the last 7 days.

Facebook

Facebook Lexicon lets you compare up to five different words or two-word phrases and see how many people talked about that term on Facebook each day.

Discussion Boards and Forums

BoardReader was developed to address the shortcomings of current search engine technology to accurately find and display information contained on the Web’s forums and message boards.

BoardTracker is a search engine that only displays information from their extensive database of forum threads.

Blogs

Blog Search is a Google search technology focused on blogs. You can do a lot of the normal advanced Google search commands to get optimal results.

BlogPulse is a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere

Trendpedia finds the articles online that talk about your topics. It organizes the articles in a trendline that shows the popularity of the topic over time up to three months ago up to today.

A Little Something Extra

I’ve been using the free version of FiltrBoxG2 which has been amazing. It’s very slick and easy to use. I highly recommend checking it out, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Jonathan Bishop is an Internet Marketing Specialist at Magicomm, LLC in Amesbury, MA.  He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies.