Social Media Optimization – leveling the playing field.

Social Media has forever changed the way businesses and customers interact (yes, they now actually interact with each other – part of that Web 2.0 thing becoming reality).  Social Media is also changing the way businesses interact with and hire employees.

Social Media and the advances in search engine technology, indexing blogs, LinkedIn, and other Social Media, has also changed the way companies look for employees and make hiring decisions.  Ditto for clients and customers.  For many the first thing they do is a Google search on the person or company they are considering hiring or doing business with.  In fact, a NY Times article cites results from a Harris poll show that 45% of companies now do Social Media background checks as part of their hiring process and 35% have decided not to hire a candidate based on information from a Social Media background check.  Bill Grunau, @own_your_future, recently blogged about this on in a blog titled, “Will Social Media Background Checks Turn Free Speech into Secret Speech?”.  Social Media is now part of the hiring process and it will absolutely affect your job prospects, career, customer acquisition, and business.

So what is SMO?  SMO is Social Media Optimization which is using SEO techniques on your Social Media accounts like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc.  The coolest thing about SMO is that it makes it possible or regular people to get found on the web.  SEO techniques have become increasingly complex and getting a website to rank high on the search engines requires a high degree of expertise, especially if it is in a competitive market, but SMO is based on content, not on back-links to your website, keyword optimization, and having thousands of pages indexed which is all part of website SEO.  With SMO you can develop a web persona and get found based on your content and contributions.  Granted, this will not replace SEO for branded websites selling product, but it absolutely works for individuals and small businesses and even the big brands are adopting SMO as part of their search optimization strategy.

If you didn’t try our challenge on the home page, here are the links again.  Go ahead and do a search for Alex or Bill and check out the results.  Our SMO techniques will do the same for you.

Google Search Alexander Conroy

Google Search Bill Grunau
Now try this, Google your name and see what the results are…