Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a rather new buzzword as compared to SEO or SEM. However, many of us – involuntarily or knowingly – already get involved in many of the social media optimization activities such as social sharing and promotion widgets, social login and discussion plugins etc. But, is that all what SMO is all about?
In this post, let me spend some time to analyze SMO with an example website that I think is highly social media optimized though ethically speaking I never liked their style of journalism and content creation strategies. We are talking about the Indian news portal NDTV.com here.
What is Social Media Optimization?
Before jumping into the case study, let us first understand what SMO is all about.
Social Media Optimization of a website is all about the promotion of your content across various social media channels to drive massive traffic and visitors using the viral nature of the content promoted.
Just like Search Optimization, the SMO has two aspects to it as well:
Onsite SMO is all about in-content social media features. E.g. Social widgets, sharing features such as RSS, social login, social comments promoting plugins, video and photo channels integration.
Offsite social promotion – This is nothing but the webmaster’s or SMO persona’s activities of promoting the content across social networks (via fan pages, profile pages etc), participation in other content networks, forums, brand news propagation etc.
If you want to summarize the keywords that describe a highly SMO optimized content, they would be: viral, sharing, linking, tagging, social, engaging etc. And highly accessible and link baiting would be further specialties of such content.
NDTV.com – On-premise SMO
Though New Delhi Television’s offsite promotion activities are equally good, I would like to focus more on the onsite social media optimization aspects of NDTV.com with the help of a few screenshots (Please click on the images to view them in full size)
1. Social Sharing
The social sharing options on the NDTV.com homepage as well as individual pages are so inviting that you can hardly escape without clicking them. On the main page, they are placed on top right of the page while on individual pages it is found in multiple places with different forms. Right below a news headline (single news), there is a neat collection of those social widgets and pretty much the same options are available right after the reader has done with the article or news item.
(Check out the red rectangles in the screen shots below. Click the images to zoom in)
There are a lot of shareable content and channels such as Apps, Photos etc on right on top (above the fold) itself.
In addition, at the end of the page, there is an array of large icons plus the RSS options and NDTV apps for mobile devices. Overall, neatly designed and well optimized social media integration there!
2. Viral Content
As I mentioned a little while ago, NDTV is all about sensational news that people – especially the younger crowd – tend to notice, get excited and share. It is quite natural that keywords such as Aishwarya Rai, Kim Kardashian, Kingfisher Calendar girls etc will be always figuring on the front page itself on any given day. Moreover, whenever there is a trending about a particular person, they bound to be a news headline with at least one of the following titles:
Who is Yeddyurappa?
Aishwarya Rai’s life in pictures
The rise and fall of Reddy brothers
These are the kind of news that people readily click, search a lot as typical search phrases and even read many times. Hence all those great goals such as social optimization, link baiting, search optimization, bounce rate reduction for site optimization and viral traffic generation is achieved here.
Also, note that ‘Now trending‘, ‘449 reading‘ kind of status updates that create a sense of urgency to click and/or call for further action.
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