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Thread: Online Media Optimization (Post 100)

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Cape Town
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    Online Media Optimization (Post 100)

    About 2 years ago I wrote an article about “Designing a portal site” which I published early in 2006. This article was inspired after I made a study about online loyalty programs we could impliment at a client’s website. The problem they were dealing with from their point of view was that their average retention was at most 33 days per customer before they lost them. They had your normal refer-a-friend facility which was a new page loaded from a link in their main menu. The problem was discussed with them that their website was completely designed around what they wanted from the customer. They wanted to generate income from the customer and that was the core focus. They bombarded the visitors with special promotions, rewards programs and prizes. The entire site was filled with signup offers. But one thing was a problem. One major problem! Their site offered no value! The thinking behind it was that most people come to their website ultimately because they were interested in some promotion or the end product, so why offer valuable information?

    In July 2006 I published this article about "Online Marketing – Retention" The main idea of this article was two fold. In order to achieve retention you need to understand what it is! In order to accomplish loyalty from visitors, you need to understand what it means.

    Now you are probably saying, shame Chat! You are confused! Your header said “Online Media Optimization”, what are you on about! Well lets look at the definitions that confuses many people when it comes to “Social Media Optimization” and “Social Media Marketing” Here are a usefull blog post by Glen Allsopp I think can help understanding the difference between SMO and SMM.

    In short.

    SMO – Technologically designing a site that is Social Networking friendly.
    SMM – Using social networking sites to infiltrate certain social networks getting your product known.

    The topic being discussed here is Social Media Optimization. As stated before there are several factors that should form part of planning a website. SMO is a very important part of the entire onpage planning a compiling to maximize online marketing. SMO is the key to have record levels of retention and unmatched visitor recency. SMO is the ultimate super weapon to ensure visitor loyalty and a dream in PR handling. SMO is the ultimate online marketing strategy, that once it is in place, you never ever have to look back to, or spend any more effort on. It has the best ROI and requires no or little maintenance. SMO is the ultimate acquisitions tool, no better conversion tool like a friend telling you it’s cool.

    Does all of this sound great? Well it should! Because it is all the truth.

    Think lateral

    SMO will require you to think lateral.

    I have heard it all before! “But Roelof I have a Estate Agency, what on earth can I offer people, and why would they want my site to be social media friendly” shacking head vigurously from side to side...

    Or how about... “My visitors never go to my site once they have subscribed! They go into my software, so I just need to get them to download it” Eyes staring at the stupid Online Marketing Specialist, that knows nothing about marketing.

    Place yourself in your visitors shoes

    What do you look for on a site?
    What will convince you to contact this service provider, join their network or purchase the product? (In terms of content on the web site)
    What will make you refer a friend to this website?

    So lets stick to the 3 WWW’s

    If your product is for example a forum. (An information forum)
    What would you as a visitor be looking for when ariving on the site? Would you possibly be looking for? Information?
    • OK, so you get the information.
    • Do you just leave?
    • Or do you scratch around?
    • So you do not get the information.
    • What will make you post the question or request the information?
    • What will make you leave instead?
    • What will make you scratch around?

    Then the biggest question to now ask yourself is...
    “What will make you tell your friends about this forum!”

    SMO in practice

    The following can be seen as a rough guideline for SMO
    • What data capturing techniques do I make use of for my website.
    • How do I utilize this data to interest people.
    • How do I protect the privacy of my visitors but still get them to share all this information.
    • How do I make it as simple as possible for visitors to share information on my site with their friends?
    • How easy do I make it for people to stay in touch with latest updates on my site content? This is a very common mistake made by people, they miss the importance of Editorial Marketing, Social Bookmarking and RSS feeds in SMO. Always remember, information that the visitor or subscriber see at a later stage might innitiate the process of sharing it with his network of friends if the first article didn’t do it for him.
    • Keep it simple!
    • Do I keep demographics of my visitors?
    • Do I log user behaviour to more accurately determine recency and possibly identify stages of urgency to initiate retention strategies? “Are you possibly loosing a visitor”
    • Do you provide information to a visitor to provide the information that will most likely entice him or her to bring their friends to the site, using the profiles compiled with the behavioural data?

    I certainly hope that the above mentioned points gets you to think out of the box, in order to see what the true potential of Social Media Optimization is. Go to Facebook and see what they did! Now go to your site and ask yourself what am I not doing?

    Lets learn from Facebook!

    Ask yourself the questions... Why would Facebook make almost every word a hyperlink? Why would all of these hyperlinks act like a filter of people? What is it that gets Facebook to identify these specific words to become hyperlinks.
    Now, ask yourself the following questions.. What gets people to talk to each other? Why would people want to click on the links on Facebook? If these people feel they have something in common, would that make them click on these links?

    The next step...

    How does Facebook remind me of inviting my friends? Is it rude? Is it spammy? Is it in my face all the time? Is it a natural process that is no hassle at all?
    How easy does facebook make the referal process? Does it utilize other technologies like MSN chat to import friend lists? Does it make it just as easy for the visitor NOT to refer a friend?

    Now look at your site

    So your website is not a Facebook, but do you at least offer a Facebook bookmark, making it simple to tap into their huge social network? Do you at least allow friends to tell each other easily about your site? Do you make it easy for your subscribers to find people with similar interests? There are many more to mention, but are you at least thinking by now... “This makes sense, common sense aghhhh, I knew that anyway!”


    Ask yourself the following question. How does online marketing techniques effect each other? Specifically, what effect will SMO have on SEO, Viral Marketing, Promotional Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and Public Relations. Ask yourself how much time it will take you to add content to your site all by your lonesome. Will this benefit your SEO? How long will it take if a solid SMO strategy gets people to network and add content for you? How easy is it to get your viral campaign going? How easy is it to handle PR issues with a strong social network to back you? How much of your time does it take? How much money does it cost you? What will the effect be of a solid SMO campaign on your Viral Campaigns?
    SMO is better than gold and if planned properly it is better than diamonds!
    Last edited by Chatmaster; 19-Sep-07 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Forgot to add the link to Glen Allsopp's Blog
    Roelof Vermeulen (Entrepreneurship in large organizations)
    Roelof Vermeulen| Rock flaps south africa

  2. #2
    Full Member Ann Williams's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Centurion (behind the Boerewors curtain), Pretoria.
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    SMO can take time- but it's worth it

    Oh amen to what you have said in this posting! Most online marketing is like a pushy encyclopeadia salesman trying to push your door down.

    With some many free articles available for use any size company of almost any nature can put some solid content onto their site with a little bit of time and a ridiculously low cost. It's worth it.

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