Social media optimization: Continuity and Change

Social media optimization is getting a lot of attention at present, and especially in relation to how it can complement conventional SEO efforts. The massive audiences which frequent the likes of Facebook and Twitter are proving irresistible magnets to firms. Social media marketing experts are keen to offer their advice on what has become an exciting commercial frontier. However, the actual results which have been obtained through targeting users on the social media networking sites have been mixed. Numerous campaigns have foundered and failed to deliver positive outcomes. Monitoring of the shifting sector is absolutely essential if campaigns are to be pursued on solid foundations. When the sector is fluid and subject to periodic transformations, there are some principles of SMM which have stood the test of time.

At www.searchengineoptimization.co.uk we place considerable emphasis on research with our SEO packages. This research enables us to pursue campaigns which are tailored to the specific needs of the online firms concerned. This recipe for success is supplemented by the provision of a key ingredient. This ingredient is flexibility in response to ongoing changes in the new social media.

Several basic principles which enable firms to exploit the opportunities associated with the social media have endured for some time. They remain of considerable relevance and failure to appreciate them can easily spell failure. There may be exceptions to these informal ‘rules,’ but not being aware of them is not likely to be of practical assistance and can derail a campaign at an early stage in its development.

It is best to engage with users as users like to be engaged with. In terms of the new social media, this means not being too blatant with marketing approaches to users. Subtlety often succeeds where overt advertising fails. It also implies that users should be given inducements to pay attention to a campaign. These can be ‘material’ as in access to special offers, or less substantial as in convenient pointers to high quality content, or a mixture such as information about a competition with prizes. The main thing, arguably, is that campaigns which ‘give a lot out, get a lot back.’ Another thing to bear in mind is that campaigns which are generous to the activities of others can be particularly successful. Taking advantage of the reciprocal tendency in human nature is obviously an astute move. One of the major positive points of using the new social media is to zero in on a target audience, but it is also a brilliant way of learning more about the different parts of that target audience.

There have been big changes in the relatively recent history of the new social media which underline how campaigns have to incorporate flexibility. Firstly, the advent of new players in the social media game always demands attention. Secondly, shifts in market share and popularity of the social media sites often necessitate scrutiny. Thirdly, changes to the internal formal or informal rules of a social networking site always have to be registered and responded to appropriately. For example, when Twitter introduced its no follow aspect, this required tactical adjustments. Facebook often alters the way it does things, and studying these changes is simple prudence.