Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on December 15th, 2009

Social Media Optimization Tips For Businesses and Brands

Social media picked up significant momentum in 2009, especially with businesses and brands seeking new ways to strategically communicate with consumers. This is the time of year that everyone gazes into their crystal balls, or for those hit hard by the recession, they are shaking their Magic 8 balls. Most social gurus, ninjas, wizards, and mavens are predicting that the social media phenomenon will only grow more important in 2010.

If your business or brand has a profile on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, or any other social site, there are different ways to accelerate a profile past just pictures and comments. You can optimize your business profile on social media sites to effectively drive traffic and potential customers to your website. Here are some Social Media Optimization (SMO) tips to make your 2010 social life a lucrative one.

Creating Link Bait

A significant percent of Google’s algorithm is based on links. Likewise, Facebook is now allowing Google to index status updates and other social profile information that will wind up in the SERPs. The more relevant links and information you have on your social profile, the better the chances are you will improve your rankings. The first step you need to take is creating content that people will want to link to, i.e., videos, stories, and pictures. Try adding a blog to your profile or creating white papers for download. Update your content frequently on all your social profiles, people check their profiles several times a day, thirsting for new content to consume.

Bookmarking Options

Make it easy for people to tag and bookmark your content. You can add a sharing tool to your content, whether it be your blog, website copy, or articles, and users can instantly bookmark it on Twitter, Digg, Delicious, etc.

Increasing Content Accessibility

Not only do people want to share content, they want to be able to hold it in their virtual hands and send it out en masse. Have your content in different formats like PDFs, video files, podcasts, slideshows, etc. that can be downloaded and shared. This will definitely increase the accessibility of your content on the web.

Offering Value

If your accessible content appropriately appeals to your audience, it will spread over industry and niche networks like a California wildfire. Focus on free content that provides value to your audience and establishes your reputation in the market. Although this might not directly translate into links, you will gain value yourself in other ways.

Researching Your Audience

The only way you can provide value to your audience is to understand what they are looking for. Needs and requirements change quickly in today’s lucrative landscape, be sure to research what your audience needs and wants going into 2010.

Use these SMO tips to maximize your brand’s social profiles in 2010 and to ensure that you are maximizing your investment in social media. Is your brand or business already trying out these tactics? Did I miss any lucrative lessons in social media? Let us know how SMO is working out for your business or brand in a comment below.