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 couldnt take it anymore, I had to stand up and comment =)

Mostly I agree with the whole concept of Social Media Optimisation and I think its 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 shouldnt social media optimising your clients website (or your companys site) be for conversion purposes. Let me give you an example: digg!! I really dont think SMO for one of my B2B websites targeting digg users has any relevance; Im 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 monkeyOk I seem a bit anti digg now, and Im not really, digg is fun , I just dont 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 thats 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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