Social media and user-generated content were quite the surprise sensation last decade. Very few experts with their fingers to the wind felt its popularity and social impact coming from a distance. There is no argument that the influence of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are widespread. Just ask Greyson Chance, the sixth grader in Edmond, OK who just performed Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” on the piano at his Sixth Grade Festival. He has currently made over 20 million people forget who Justin Bieber is... Justin who?! Now that social media platforms have proven its effectiveness to businesses and brands in engaging with potential customers, growing brand awareness, and spreading marketing messages strategically across the expanse of the Internet, people with pencils behind their ears are trying to quantify its use. APIs, ROIs, and FYIs are being developed for businesses to justify investing in the most effective platforms, while others are still gun-shy on launching an extension of their traditional marketing initiatives to a digital format. If you have been reading or following my blog for the last year or so (THANK YOU!) then you’ve noticed I discuss social media optimization quite a bit. Although we do advise our clients on social media benefits and strategic usage, Volacci currently doesn’t offer professional Social Media Optimization (SMO) services. Volacci surely isn’t Mashable, but we do know a thing or two about social media. Join me after the jump for more on the conversation around the definition of “going viral”.