Most Internet users have heard of Search Engine Marketing (SEO) but the new "buzz word" in the Internet Marketing world is Social Media Optimization (SMO). SMO tactics are used to drive large amounts of people to a web site through new channels. Google and Yahoo, while still major players, are not the only sites that push traffic anymore. The basis of Social Media Optimization lies in creating a community that brings interested users together. Wikipedia describes social media as... "The online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs."

The old version of online marketing and the new have one very important rule in common: content is king. Writing a blog (online web log) that does little more than advertise your services or products will not create a community. Writing a blog that shares your expertise, opinions, latest industry news, and your insights has the potential to bring in interested visitors and gives them a reason to come back. Linking your blog to sites like Digg (, (, and Facebook ( will spread your message across the Internet faster than any search engine. This is the Internet's version of "word of mouth" marketing. People will have the opportunity to read your posts, visit your site and learn more about you and your business.

Vlogs (video based blogs) and Podcasts (audio blogs) operate the same way, only in a different medium. If you happen to own a digital camera and your computer is less then 2 years old, you should have no problem recording and uploading your video to blast your message (voice, face and all) across the Internet. Most blog packages support audio and video posts; I recommend WordPress to my clients. If your hosting company does not offer WordPress as part of your hosting package, you can visit WordPress and set up one for free ( In addition, videos can and should be uploaded to YouTube ( with links back to your web site. Audio podcasts can be submitted to ITunes for visitors to subscribe to.

If this all sounds like a lot of work, in some respects you are correct. Your web site is graduating from a static, online brochure which was rarely updated, to an interactive, information portal which will require your time on a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis. The cost associated with getting your message out in multi-media form? Only your time. Each of the above sites, including the blog software, is free. The cost of not using SMO tools to promote your expertise and business? Opportunity.

Basic sales logic tells us that the more prospects we get ourselves in front of, the more people we will be doing business with. Let's assume for the moment that your company has a 40% success rate in "closing the deal." If you get out and see ten people in any given month, you can assume that four of them will become customers. Now, if you get your web site working for you properly by investing 2–3 hours a month and bring in 500 people a month, suddenly that same 40% takes on an entirely new meaning. This is a simplified example, but I think you understand my point: increasing your exposure properly increases your sales. If you are not into writing or not ready to plaster your face across the World Wide Web, you do have the option of providing fresh content by creating news and media feeds within your web site. All blogs and online news portals have an RSS (really simple syndication) feed. That feed can be programmed into your web site to bring in the latest industry news from papers, other blogs or other link collection sites. You can do this without bringing your competitor to your front door, but pay attention to where you pull your data from. In doing this you are creating a mashup, a term that means pulling in content and media from third party sites to create one interactive user experience. This is becoming a very popular trend in web development and application design.

Throughout this entire process, you need to keep your visitor front and center. Know who you are targeting your message to and beam it to them with laser focus. It is their experience you are looking to enhance, their thirst for knowledge you are striving to quench, their problem you are attempting to solve. In doing so, it is your business that will win.

For more information please contact NewWard Development, LLC at or 518.899.5855

Author's Bio: 

With a B.S. in Computer Science, an MBA and over a decade of Web Development expertise, Melissa knows the Internet. More importantly, she knows what it takes to make your business successful online. Specialties include: Web Development, Graphic Design, Customer Service Specialist, Internet Market Analyst. Learn more about Melissa and NewWard Development, LLC at