Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods to generate exposure through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of social media optimization include adding social news buttons, RSS feeds, blogging, and incorporating third-party community functionalities like images and videos. SMO is related to search engine marketing, but differs in several ways, primarily the center of attention on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.
SMO is in many ways associated as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking sites, video sites and photo sharing websites. In a related way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of Real Simple Syndication (RSS) in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.
SMO or Social Media Optimization is considered an essential part of an online reputation management (ORM) or Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) tactic for organizations or individuals who care about their online presence.
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is not limited to marketing and brand building. Increasingly smart businesses are integrating social media contribution as part of their knowledge management strategy (ie. product/service development, recruiting, employee engagement and turnover, brand building, customer satisfaction and relations, business development and more).