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uberVU WhitePaper - Social Media Optimization

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					uberVU White Paper   May 2010




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uberVU White Paper                                                           May 2010




Table Of Contents
                                        ..................3
What Is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?


                                   ...........................6
SMO vs. SEO - goals and differences


The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization
.................8

                                                  .
How to use SMO for your business - tips and tricks
12

            ..................................................................15
Case Studies


Tools & Recommendations
..........................................17

About uberVU
................................................................19




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uberVU White Paper                                  May 2010




What Is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

With the help of the world wide web, we have been telling
stories through video, audio and, now, we are doing it with
the help of interactivity. Discovering content has passed
beyond the old way we used to broadcast information. Our
ability of steering all the influential conversations is now
enhanced by social networks, these living media through
which people exchange information, experience and
expectations.




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uberVU White Paper                                              May 2010




      But how does it work? The ‘keyword’ is Social Media
Optimization, which is a method of search optimization that promotes
content through social features, allowing it to be streamed across third-
party communities and networks. Optimizing for social media makes
your website more easy to link to and more visible in social media
searches.

      Basically, this happens when you put an RSS feed on your blog, a
Retweet or Facebook sharing button, and other such usability
improvements that will make your site more compelling for users. It also
includes designating specific tags, titles and descriptions to your
content so that it becomes ‘discoverable’. For example, using Facebook
Connect and Twitter login means being present where the talk is already
happening and arrive just in the middle of the conversation.

‘SMO is defined by the distribution of social objects
and their ability to rise to the top of any related
search query, where and when its performed.’ (Brian
Solis)
       Think of it this way: these ‘mechanisms’ help get your social
object liked, bookmarked, favorited, digged or stumbled upon. And
through these actions, your content is not only read, but becomes
something people return to and recommend to others, therefore it
travels, it gets reviewed, it becomes relevant.
        People are becoming more and more aware of the power of
social networks, therefore you need a more holistic strategy when it
comes to web search – it should integrate all the places people spend
their time in and where they share content that is important to them.
Social network search is different from traditional search and real time
search, as it allows you to find elements inside social networks,
elements that were deemed relevant by someone who linked to a
specific content.




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uberVU White Paper                                                May 2010




The science of procuring attention is complemented
by the delicate art of earning and cultivating
relationships. (Brian Solis)
       We are now more interested in finding social content, not just
content. What people say and think about a brand has become equally
as important as what the brand wants people to see. The prosumer (the
mix between producer and consumer) somehow helps shaping the
online persona of the brand. We’re dealing with the prevalence of
collaboration over hierarchy, as Brian Solis puts in his book, ‘Engage!’.
We live in a participatory culture.




        Whether we’re talking about blog posts and comments, Facebook
events and wall posts, YouTube videos, PDFs, slideshows, social
bookmarking or geo location sites, every social object is remixable and
embeds conversations. Social objects ARE conversations, they are
activities that spur dialogue. And these social objects are directly linked
to SMO, because they consist of all the contents and media that
establish connections in social networks.




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uberVU White Paper                                               May 2010




SMO vs. SEO - goals and differences

       As opposed to SEO, which increases traffic coming from search
engines (by editing keywords and HTML codes) for a website that
becomes the go-to place, SMO builds a web of interactions around your
content by making it available and shareable through a multitude of
social networks. Whereas in SEO you made changes in the site, SMO is
about getting the content from your site to travel outside of your
domain. It doesn’t require people to get to you, but instead it transforms
them into carriers of your information.

In the case of SEO, it was Google. In the case of SMO
it is the people. While SEO is still extraordinarily
important, it is not enough to compete in a market
turning more and more toward new media for
information and answers. (The Social Capitalist)


       Some other differences between SEO and SMO are:

                  SEO                               SMO

 Site traffic, number of visits       Number of quality visits,
                                     conversations

 Search engine results               Social media search

 Exposure                            Buzz

 Measuring link conversion           Building a community

 Marketing to search engines         Marketing to targeted audiences

 Site structure                      Content

 On site optimization                Off site optimization

 Metadata consists of HTML title Metadata consists of tags, titles
 tags, image titles, bolded text – and description that grab people’s
 ranking is based on coding        attention




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uberVU White Paper                                             May 2010




       Of course, they both require people to type in or click on a link
directing to your site aka they can both improve search rankings, but
while SEO can bring irrelevant traffic (people that will not come back
again), SMO is based on trust and usefulness (people will not feel as if
they were brought to you, but as if they discovered some great content
which they wish to share).

       It’s obvious that SMO is a more refined, qualitative method,
because after all it’s not about how many people see your message, but
WHO sees it. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you should
restrict your efforts to social media. As Solis puts it, ‘SMO should be
part of an overall SEO strategy (SEO + SMO = Amplified Findability in
the traditional and social Web).’

      So use a combination of the two, if that suits your brand.
Generate traffic to your site, but remember to always try to achieve a
more personal touch: recommendations and popularity are possible
only through organic growth. You want your ‘clickers’ to become a
community.




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uberVU White Paper                                            May 2010




The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization

       The ‘story’ of Social Media Optimization started in 2006, when
Rohit Bhargava coined the term and delivered the first set of 5 rules.
After that, Jeremiah Owyang added 2 more rules, Cameron Olthuis put 4
more on the list, leaving numbers 12 and 13 to be inserted by Loren
Baker, and the last 3 by Lee Odden. What a productive month of August
that was!

       And here is the full list of the 16 rules of SMO:




   1.Increase Your Linkability
   2.Make Tagging and Bookmarking Easy
   3.Reward Inbound Links
   4.Help Your Content Travel
   5.Encourage the Mashup
   6. Be a User Resource, Even if it Doesn’t Help You
   7. Reward Helpful and Valuable Users
   8. Participate
   9. Know How to Target Your Audience
   10. Create Content
   11. Be Real
   12. Don’t Forget Your Roots, Be Humble
   13. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things, Stay Fresh
   14. Develop an SMO Strategy
   15. Choose Your SMO Tactics Wisely
   16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices




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uberVU White Paper                                                 May 2010




       In plain English, what each of these rules is trying to teach you is:

       1. Increase Your Linkability - add a blog to your site (it will
humanize your brand by showing people real thoughts of a person, not
a company presentation), aggregate content from elsewhere (for
example, show people relevant blogs or Twitter lists you follow and get
inspiration from, create a place where they can find useful information
concerning your industry), create whitepapers (filter your knowledge on
a particular subject and make it downloadable and storeable);



       2. Make Tagging and Bookmarking Easy - add social
bookmarking buttons, add relevant tags and related articles (help
people find other things they might be interested in, but also help
increase the number of clicks they make on your blog – win-win
situation);



      3. Reward Inbound Links - track inbound links to measure
the popularity of the site; use permalinks and list blogs that recently
linked to your site or blog (people who pointed to you for writing
something really liked it – you can compare this to a vote, so why not
thank them for what they did?);



       4. Help Your Content Travel - submit PDFs, audio files,
video files, etc. for broadcast on social networks (this way, your content
travels, people get tot learn from it, and it also brings links back to the
site – another win-win right at the tip of your fingers);



      5. Encourage the Mashup - allow content to be shared (this
is done through YouTube embedding or RSS feeds – allow people to
show others what they liked, allow your content to go places you didn’t
even think of);




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uberVU White Paper                                                May 2010




      6. Be a User Resource, Even if it Doesn’t Help You - by
being helpful (even if this means linking to competition), you will
become a go-to point on the web, people will know that on your site/
blog they can find important and trustful information, not just
promotional stuff;



        7. Reward Helpful and Valuable Users - valuable users
are influencers of your community and you should give them credit for
their work or rate their activity (together, you’re building your brand and
your community, so why not compensate your evangelists for their
effort, even if you do it symbolically?);



      8. Participate - joining the conversation leverages your
message and gives it more credit (people will know that there is a real
person behind all the data and technology; sometimes, ‘thank you’ and
‘please’ work wonders);



      9. Know How to Target Your Audience - you can’t sell to
everyone – find your niche and own it;



        10. Create Content - you can create relevant and spreadable
content for any type of industry, just find the points of interests (don’t
think that your area of expertise is boring and you can’t make anything
of it – write something funny, put things in a new perspective);



      11. Be Real - ‘the community does not reward fakers’ – it’s
about human contact, people will know you are not true, particularly if
you use ‘tricks’ more than once; and remember, everyone hates
spammers, so use their time carefully;




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uberVU White Paper                                               May 2010




      12. Don’t Forget Your Roots, Be Humble - respect is
gained by not forgetting who helped you and not getting ahead of
yourself – always thank people who did something for you, respect your
customers and never think there’s no room for improvement;

       13. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things, Stay Fresh -
challenges are just around the corner in social media, it’s a constantly
evolving environment and you need to keep up with it;



        14. Develop an SMO Strategy - put down objectives and
goals, whether they refer to awareness or sales – it’s important to know
where you’re going and what you’re striving for, it will help you focus on
all the important things and never lose perspective;



      15. Choose Your SMO Tactics Wisely - define your
desired outcome (is it creating content, enriching it or consuming it-like
90% of those involved in social media do?) and act upon it;



       16. Make SMO part of your process and best
practices - incorporate SMO tactics in your organization’s practices of
content creation and distribution – your employees are also brand
ambassadors and stakeholders, so get them involved in your strategy,
let them also be carriers of your messages. After all, who can talk better
about what the company’s values are, if not people who work there?




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uberVU White Paper                                              May 2010




How to use SMO for your business - tips and tricks




      What you should use to make things easier for you are tools like
Facebook Open Search, Twitter’s real time search and all the search
boxes of social networks like Stumble Upon, Digg, Delicious etc. Go to
SlideShare if you want ideas put in slideshows, go to YouTube for a film.
Google Social Search lets you use features such as ‘My social circle’
and ‘My social content’ in an attempt to allow you to enjoy
recommendations from friends and family alongside with popular
searches in Google.

      Other stuff you can do include treating your audience and
yourself as real people, as seen on Best Social Marketing Tips:

      •provide your target people with grounds like video, audio,
mobile accessibility, widget – you should be present and available
wherever they might need you;




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uberVU White Paper                                               May 2010




      •regularity in updating the content and providing them a fresh
content – this is how you become a permanent source of fresh ideas
and inspiration;

      •expand your network of influencers (bloggers, digg etc.) and
expand your network of content too – show them you know how to
evolve and learn;

      •focus on social media sites and know your target spectators –
this way you will be able to properly filter your audience and also be
present in places people are interested in what you have to offer; help
them and help yourself;

       •track and measure the conversion to calculate ROI – it’s
important to know why you’re doing it, what results you get and if it’s ok
to continue;

       •position your brand to your customers on their own terms and in
their environment, which results in a more authentic marketing
message – co-create your image together with your consumers; with
input coming from both sides, you will be able to crystallize the essence
of your brand.

       How do you choose what social media networks to use? Does a
particular network appeal to your audience or do you stream your
content on all of them? This one is easy: you should use networks and
communities that are closely associated to your niche. Go where your
target audiences go. You don’t have to be everywhere, but in all the
relevant places.

       To become ‘findable and shareable’ in social media, you need to
know that people now look for information directly on YouTube or
Facebook, and tools like HootSuite or Seesmic are channels through
which content is striving for attention, you just need to make it
available. And social networks are just the places where people’s
attention is focused on things they really care about. Targeting was
never easier. Information is now social, and you need to let it work for
you even in your absence.




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uberVU White Paper                                              May 2010




      Every blog is someone’s NY Times, so become essential for your
readers, create content and publish it regularly so that people will come
back. And when it comes to social networks, try and experiment
together with your audience, be present where they are and where they
WILL be; add value wherever you go. And it’s not just about sharing, you
should also determine people to respond to what you’re asking. Even
more, answer the questions that haven’t been asked. Surprise your
readers!




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uberVU White Paper                                                 May 2010




Case Studies


       The Boston Celtics wish to drive traffic into their site and they use
GameTime Live, an application that features real time scores, tweets,
and blogging with supporters throughout the world, keeping their fans
close to the site during games (and not only). They also use a YouTube
channel which features locker room videos, a Facebook page with an
interactive stats prediction game and a 22,000 followers Twitter
account which they use to give seat upgrades.

       The BlackBerry Geeks Twitter account, BBGeeks, has become a
BlackBerry trouble shooter account, while also promoting the business
it was built for. They made small give-aways and even wrote a guide for
TwitterBerry, a Twitter application for BlackBerrys. Joining conversations,
helping people solve problems, incentivizing their attention, all these
are fine examples of what a simple Twitter account can do for you (also
notice how they’re measuring their efforts).

     Georgia Aquarium shows people where their visitors are travelling
from using a Google Earth-Flickr mashup and they offer ticket
promotions to people signing up on their social media networks.

       Let’s think of some particular case in which you can use SMO.
How can a blogger optimize for social media purposes?
Hereʼs a top 3 steps you can use to make the most out of
your ʻonline diaryʼ:
              1. Add a Facebook profile badge and a Twitter stream
          (and ask people to follow you there), these are the most
          important social connections you can have with your audience
          – you give them discussion boards they surely already use
          and you establish a more powerful and personal link; add
          LinkedIn if you blog about your professional work;
              2. Use ratings and polls to get feedback from your readers
          on particular subjects; make them part of your talks and use
          their opinions to get better at writing and promoting your
          products;




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uberVU White Paper                                                May 2010




              3. If you’re writing on a company blog, try linking to photo
          sharing accounts from customers and even employees; add
          video content if there are things you can explain better
          through this channel.


How to optimize your Twitter content in (yet another) 3
steps:
              1. Never forget to share the most relevant information
          about your work in the bio line – 160 characters are not
          much, so be specific; maybe use a keyword related to your
          profession an area of interest, if you want to be easy to find by
          traditional search;
              2. Be sure to use URL shorteners; some of them, like
          bit.ly, can help you through their analytics service and, plus,
          they give you more room to expose your ideas;
              3. Post interesting links and retweet things you like, but
          also engage in conversations, by giving support you will
          receive help when you’ll be in need.


How to optimize your online shop for social networks:
              1. Get a blog! If you sell organic products, start talking to
          people about what made you start this business, about the
          importance of using environmentally responsible products,
          biodegradable packaging and natural alternatives to everyday
          products – show people values you believe in, show them
          you’re human, tell your story and ask for theirs;
             2. Implement a product review system – you’ll know what
          your customers like to buy, what caused them problems and
          what needs to be changed; if they win, you win;
              3. Add social profiles to your blog and site, let people tag
          themselves in your pictures, organize contests – make it easy
          for your clients to recommend products they liked to their
          friends; build your brand together with the people that like it.




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uberVU White Paper                                             May 2010




Tools & Recommendations




       Firefox has a great SMO-Social Media Optimization pack which
features uberVU’s gReactions tool (allows to read comments to your
posts from inside Google Reader), Hootlet (a HootSuite Twitter Client),
Social Media for Firefox (a status bar that will show you how many votes
content has at Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Delicious, Reddit, Mixx,
Sphinn, and other social sites) and other ‘goodies’ that will make your
social media life much more pleasant.


       Use Social Media Releases: PressDoc lets you ‘write, edit and
publish your own social media release online and share it with
journalists, bloggers and your clients.’ Even your formal content can be
transformed into a shareable one.




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uberVU White Paper                                               May 2010




      Learn how to use the ‘anyone know’ search, a nice tip that lets
you understand what people need, but don’t know yet how to find.


      Here’s 11 Free Tools for Social Media Optimization, very nice
wrap-up of tools that help you find your social visibility scores, analyze
inbound links or track social engagement.

There’s
no
conclusion,
just
trial
and
error
      Since we’ve discussed all the advantages of using social media
optimization, let’s take a step back and think of the implications.


       Is SMO a super-posibility? Are we supposed to sit around and
wait for it to give us instant evangelists, extended traffic and global
awareness? Of course not. The main focus is on long term value,
transforming your followers into extensions of the brand, getting
insightful feedback from communities and building a strong reputation.
These are not easily quantifiable points, but they build influence and
create stronger buying decisions.


       People may not want to acquire your book if they got on your site
through SEO, but with SMO they might consider you for a good review-
site, comeback for information and recommend you to all their social
network. It’s a snowball effect and it stirs up talks and participation.
       People don’t fall for traditional marketing anymore, you have to
take another approach to get to them. Besides, engaging ion social
media goes beyond getting people ‘on the hook’, it also helps you
improve your products and services (given that you receive realistic
input), understanding why it is that you do what you do and how to
improve your work and further develop it and please your customers.
It’s an infinite loop of feedback that helps you grow and get better at
what you do. You are not an island, you’re a link in the chain.




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uberVU White Paper                                             May 2010




About uberVU


      uberVU helps small businesses connect with existing and
potential customers through social media.

      Our social media analytics solution is the easiest way for a small
business to see who is talking about them, measure their progress and
connect with leads and influencers.

      uberVU is based in London, UK and is backed by one of UK’s
leading venture capital firms, Eden Ventures. uberVU won Seedcamp in
2008 and was named one of the Top 100 RealTime Web Companies by
ReadWriteWeb in 2009.



                               URL:          http://www.ubervu.com

                               Email:        hello@ubervu.com

                               Twitter:       @ubervu

                               Facebook:      facebook.com/ubervu




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Description: What are the 16 rules of Social Media Optimization and why should you use them to become a resource hub and to curate your community? Engaging in social networks may help your brand and business even more than traditional ranking methods. It’s not about getting people to click and add one more unit to your viewers’ counter, it’s more about letting customers who actually use and like your brand be your evangelists. And, to spice things up, we’ve also got: * Case Studies - how companies are using SMO to reach their marketing goals; * Tips and Tricks - how to quickly and easily kick-start your SMO and get results immediately; * Tools and Recommendations - some nice add-ons and tools to optimize your work on the web.