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Optimizing optimization

Last week I heard yet another addition to the ever expanding, acronym-based vocabulary for online marketers: Social Media Optimization, aka SMO.  One definition of SMO is “Internet 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” – which to me sounds like our general understanding of Interactive marketing and e-communications, but with a fancy name that includes “Optimization.”

A lot of people consider SMO to be SEO but applied to social media techniques and tactics (e.g. blogging, facebook, twitter, etc). I do think that if we can continue to “optimize” everything that we do, then we are taking away the essence of social media  – which is an authentic community where people share real, honest opinions and ideas. If this becomes too contrived and opportunistic…I mean optimized…then what is the real value here? And how long will consumers pay attention to it?

Anyway, I wanted to share the term in case you missed it too –  apparently this concept has been around since 2006 when Rohit Barghava came up with five rules for social media optimization.  These rules include:

  1. Increase your linkability
  2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
  3. Reward inbound links
  4. Help your content travel
  5. Encourage the mashup
  6. Get communities connected

Now the real question we need to figure out is how we do those things…

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