Whether you’re a casino affiliate or poker affiliate, social media optimization (SMO) is something every gaming affiliate is going to have to learn. That’s what Google’s Penguin update was all about and you can expect them to press that point in the months and years ahead.
The good news is that SMO is affordable, easy-to-learn, and can drive plenty of traffic to your sites, and ultimately top affiliate programs.
What Is SMO?
Simply stated, SMO is the process of fine tuning your social media presence to become a tool for driving traffic to your website.
This is done by increasing presence, and activity, on social sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as by making your content easily sharable.
SMO is similar to SEO but it’s aimed at building page rankings and traffic through increased social shares rather than page views or keywords.
Developing an effective SMO strategy should not, however, come at the cost of your SEO strategies. Link building and other traditional SEO techniques are still valid, but expect SMO to occupy ever increasing amounts of your time.
There are a couple advantages to emphasizing SMO that should make learning this new skill more palatable.
For starters, SMO is fairly cheap to implement. You won’t need any special software or even really need to hire a consultant to guide you through the process and starting a Twitter feed is free.
SMO optimization also levels the playing field between huge corporations and smaller, more entrepreneurial operations because it’s tougher to manipulate. The person with the best, most sharable content is the one who’s going to get the shares.
That’s what’s behind the push to social in the first place.
(For a great rundown on the differences between SMO and SEO, check out this article from emediavitals.com.)
The biggest drawback to developing a major social presence is that can be very time consuming. Building a large Twitter following or Facebook friends is a very hands-on process, but it does build momentum over time.
Social media is also, as the name implies, very social. If you’re not comfortable interacting with strangers online, you might want to hand this off to someone who does.
How effective is your social strategy? Check out How Wide is Your Social Media Reach?
Share and Share Alike
Successful SMOs are the ones who liberally hand out Facebook likes and shares; re-Tweets and Google+ shares. That’s a big part of what’s meant by being socially active.
Active social users definitely enjoy a reciprocal share effect from their social networks.
Make It Easy
Be sure you’ve got your (easy-to-use) social share buttons in prominent locations. Remember, you don’t need every social network on your site, just the ones your readers will use.
Get on Google +
Google + is the weirdest, most important social network that no one, except SEOs and SMOs use. Still, posting items on Google’s preferred social network has obvious benefits.
Don’t be shy about adding lots of people to your Google+ circles. You might not get a lot of shares from this one, but Google bots pay close attention to this site.
Maintain Your Brand
Keeping your brand identity across social networks isn’t easy, but it’s very important. You may have to tweak things a little from network to network, but try to keep your message consistent throughout.
Be Socially Diverse
In this case social diversity means spreading your SMO efforts across a variety of social media networks. The more places your content shows up, the more likely it is to get shared, so spread yourself thin!
SMO is here to stay, so the sooner you get familiar with it the better off you’ll be. The key points in getting started are simply getting active on social networks, create sharable content, and make then make it easy to share.
Are you incorporating SMO into your affiliate marketing strategy? Share your tips in the comments section below.