SEO Geeks, Meet Content Nerds. SMO and Search.

I’ve been hyped up on the concept of social media optimization since I listened to a webinar from Brian Solis in May.

I love that Google is now incorporating live results from channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube into its search returns. Not only does this up the ante for the importance of opinion leaders in these online spaces, it also challenges companies to become media producers instead of simply marketers.

While this feels like a basic concept, it’s still new too. I attended a Social Media Club meeting last night. Social Media Optimization was on the agenda for discussion. But the panel of really smart SEO gurus talked primarily about SEO. Not shocking.

Also not shocking was hearing the three savvy individuals reiterate that there’s no exact formula for enhancing SEO. One panelist offered a really great analogy. He said that SEO is a lot like life. “There’s no exact formula for leading a highly successful life, but a lot of highly successful people express the same traits and tips for conducting themselves.” Thus, there’s no exact formula for strong SEO, but follow the practices of industry leaders and you might get somewhere.

The ambiguity still attached to SEO is exactly why I love the concept of SMO (not that it’s a completely clear concept either). While search engines’ algorithms for delivering results will probably remain forever unknown, I belive that social media optimization offers great opportunities for companies to start producing their own content and media. Ideally then, they can really engage with consumers and provide them with content that (should be) full of added-value. From there, they can listen to consumer response, monitor, gauge and engage, etc.

It gives those of us who love things like copywriting and content development the chance to play Content Nerd and hang in the same world as the SEO Geeks.

While I might stress for hours-on-end over what keywords to buy and which keywords to stuff my tags with, it doesn’t take me that long to jam-out a blog post, assign some keywords, post some pictures on Flickr and tag them with relevant keywords too. Tah-dah. And if the content is badass, well, all the better.

One thing I don’t understand yet is what type of content search engines give more weight….a website, blog, image, or video? Although Google’s new search options let the consumer choose what form of media they’re looking for. Which is sweet.

So “yay” for social media optimization and the opportunity it provides for companies to become media producers: create cool, useful, entertaining, informative content that your audience(s) will value and enjoy; do it often; apply appropriate keywords; presto.

Whether it’s that simple or not – I’m nerdishly excited to find out.

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