Social Media Optimisation – just linkbaiting?

When I went to SMX Seattle I was sitting in the session on SMO shaking my head, and in the end I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to stand up and comment =)

Mostly I agree with the whole concept of Social Media Optimisation and I think it’s a great opportunity to increase traffic and also search engine visibility. BUT what I do disagree with is the terminology SMO for some of the examples that were given at conference. The problem I find with Social Media Optimisation is that more often than not people use it to target an audience that is IRRELEVANT to the website they are optimising for.

In the dictionary the word “optimising” is defined as = to make as effective, perfect, or useful as possible. So shouldn’t social media optimising your clients website (or your company’s site) be for conversion purposes. Let me give you an example: digg!! I really don’t think SMO for one of my B2B websites targeting digg users has any relevance; I’m talking relevant traffic here!

I know loads of people that disagree with me on this one, but the restrictions, brand guidelines and the core of b2b clients does not really relate to the early twenties Californian digg users!! Getting to the homepage of digg takes a very special angel, usually a stupid/curious/or bizarre story or article, like “My rabbit morphed into a monkey”Ok I seem a bit anti digg now, and I’m not really, digg is fun , I just don’t agree with the relevance in targeting digg for a b2b market.

On the other hand Social Media Optimisation as a link baiting technique is genius, and very possible for any audience (even b2b..) But that’s what it is link building… A great example of a very successful viral campaign targeting the Social Media Networks is what MyHeritage Celebrity Look-alikes campaign, what they did was upload (on their domain) a program where people upload a picture of themselves and get a montage of what celebrities they look like (face recognition apparently), then at the end you can choose to post the montage straight to your facebook, MySpace or Beebo homepage. Although I question the accuracy of this so called face recognition, as I apparently look like Hilary Clinton lol


The idea is perfect for the Social Media Network. It hit facebook in a few weeks, and the result?? They now have 140,000 links going to their domain! Sweet!

So what is your opinion on Social Media Optimisation?, how do YOU define it, and do you have any success or horror stories you would like to share?

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8 Responses to “Social Media Optimisation – just linkbaiting?”

  1. Julie Joyce says:

    My celebrity lookalike is the American serial killer Ted Bundy. At least it wasn’t Hilary Clinton. Hahahaha!

  2. Julie Joyce says:

    OK here is a serious comment…I’m over the Bundy thing now. Does anyone have a good example of how social media marketing can help a B2B client? I am struggling to present a good case for pursuing social media with a client who is strictly B2B.

  3. Apparantly I look like Darren Hayes from Savage Garden and Chinese film director Ang Lee. Nee haow Ang Lee :)

  4. DaveDavis says:

    Seems I look like Chad Michael Murray. I thin they are quite generous with their “algo” as who wants to put up a widget saying they look like say… Penélope Cruz? Nobody, that’s who.

    Anyway, I agree with what you are saying. Smart move on their part I think. I believe they recruited a small army of “seeders” and it went from there.

  5. Hey Julie,

    I’m not sure how you’d use it for B2B – a good question though.

    Maybe if you could present a case for enhancing the end user demand indirectly – like if you raise awareness of the fact that ford engines are actually also in renaud cars, maybe more people will want a renaud which pushes up demand for ford and renaud… so you’d say you can influence end user indirectly.

    But how you’d track it, or how you’d justify the time spent… not a clue… but not impossible either I’d presume.

    Hope this makes snese – it seems to, to me ;o)

  6. [...] Since it’s taken me a week to write this up she’s actually gotten up a post about it Social Media Optimisation – just linkbaiting?. It’s a question I hear fairly often I asked Lisa if it would be OK to respond in a blog [...]

  7. mvandemar says:

    You do not look like Fred Savage imo. :D

    Did better than me though, according to closest male & female matches, it seems as if I look like the love child of David Boreanaz and Wis?awa Szymborska. Go figure. :D

    As to Social Media Optimisation being nothing more that an avenue for Link Baiting… that may be true in the vast majority of the current implementations, but that doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there. Just because the vast majority of Digg users might not be the target of your particular B2B audience does not mean that there isn’t a social network out there that could be tapped (or created, for that matter) effectively.

  8. kimber cook says:

    i’ve always had this problem too – trying to figure out how some of my clients fit into SMO. glad to see i’m not alone.

    and that pic of hilary isn’t so bad – what i wonder is why you look like fred savage???

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