It is an important question these days. My own article “The Algorithm Apparently Killed Jeeves” reached the homepage of digg, bringing down my servers with thousands of hits a minute. While such traffic growth is rarely sustained beyond a day, the buzz, links created to your site, and broad reach awareness generated are immeasurably valuable.
SEOs are all familiar with the concept of link bait, the ideal way to generate links to your site is to ensure your content is unique, popular, well written, and relevant. “Entertaining” comes to mind as well. Your goal is to create compelling content to which others happily link, endorsing your site and brand. Link bait is much more important in SMO (social media optimization) and the the web is already littered with success stories:
- File Sharing site Zero Paid continues to benefit from their highly viral blog post “Tips on how to not get busted for file-sharing“
- Social Networking News site Mashable ran away with traffic due to their Top 15 Google Street View Sightings – a personal favorite due to their reference to Woz Way (right up the street from me)
- In need of some more recognized brands as example? Dell has caught on and benefited from their popular support of Ubuntu while Men’s Journal article “25 Best Beers in America” is one of the most valuable resources on the internet. Which by the way, while highlighting my poor grammar, raises the question, exactly how does one write the possessive form of Men’s Journal? Mens’s Journal? Men’s Journal’s? Menses’s Journal’s??
Your goal is to find still relevant content which is highly viral, popular, and entertaining so as to take advantage of the Social medium.
Advantage Consulting Services (ACS) is, almost without question, the leading agency supporting this emerging form of marketing. CTO Neil Patel’s case studies (Neil Patels’es’?) rank as some of the most popular topics at search and online marketing conferences as they have not only support SEO, SEM, paid inclusion, and other forms of online marketing but have refined the part art, part science balance that goes into leveraging Digg, del.ico.us, reddit, Facebook, and other platforms.
Most importantly, those that excel in SMO are those that recognize the critical core competency in social media optimization: as much as “Search” defines your goal in SEO, Social Media Optimization requires the “Social” network, that core of active peers who too blog, use StumbleUpon, and contribute to the optimization of the internet. Social Media can be managed as effectively in house as SEO; that is, there are a select few experts who understand the intricacies of the Social space to really help you leverage those networks. In most cases, you should bring in the experts for guidance, ideas, and resources to get it done right.