Writing a kick-butt post alone is not enough to win the hearts of your social media visitors.
In pre-social media days, webmasters wrote and optimized content for search engines. Now things are different. Traditional SEO has got a competitor: which is called SMO (social media optimization). Social media optimized content not only attracts high amounts of traffic from social media sites, but also invariably translates into high search engine rankings.
No matter how sophisticated search engine algorithms may have become, authority of a certain page is still mostly determined by the links pointing towards it.
And what better way to build links than with social media? Optimizing your posts for social media ensures that you get the best of both worlds.
Here are some on-page social media optimization tips you can use to maximize the social media attractiveness of your posts.
An unnecessarily long, meaningless title tag not only looks bad in search engine results page, but it is also a guaranteed way to make you look like a newbie/spammer on social media sites.
Using cluttered titles is a guaranteed way to make you look like a newbie/spammer on social media sites.
It’s often your readers/visitors/well-wishers who submit your content to social media sites. As a result, if a particular site automatically fetches the title of your post (all Pligg based sites do as well as del.icio.us), chances are the submitter won’t take a second look at the title even if it looks screwed up.
Now imagine if the title look like this: My personal blog: my random rants and stuff > archives > 5 ways to wash your cat without her scratching your face
Horrible. You just missed an opportunity to go hot on any social media site.
After the title, description is the second most important element that can determine how well a particular post will do on some social media sites.
Social media users are a busy lot. They won’t spend too much time crafting a killer description for a post they are submitting. You have to do it for them, or they’ll pick a random paragraph from your post and paste it as description, even if it doesn’t describe your post at all.
I highly recommend placing a well-written summary of your post in the first or second first paragraph, so it can be copy and pasted in story submission/bookmark forms.
Reminding your readers to promote your post on social media is a great way to double your chances of success.
On-page voting buttons will get you a few extra votes from those of us who aren’t obsessed with our social media profiles.
Often when I am done reading a post, I survey the post’s nearby areas just out of habit (and I am sure everyone else does that) If there is a FeedBurner FeedFlare proudly displaying something like Stumble it (5 reviews), I am reminded to click the thumbs-up button on my own StumbleUpon toolbar. And if the author has provided a good descriptive paragraph, I slap it in my review of the post.
Therefore, social voting buttons can give you a few extra votes from those of us who aren’t obsessed with our social media profiles.
Social bookmarking/voting buttons also provide one click submission method to the casual social media users who haven’t integrated their browsers with all kinds of social media sites.
Despite some major similarities, all social media sites have users with unique interests. There are niche specific social media sites where users are only interested in certain kinds of content.
So it’s vital to determine which of the many social media sites you are targeting.
It’s unwise to clutter your post with all sorts of voting buttons in case you write something that interests the users of one of those social media sites. Instead, decide which site you are going to target with a particular post and place its button only in that post.
I can’t stress the importance of this practice enough. People say that first paragraph of a post should be powerful because it decides whether your readers will read the post or not.
But when you are targeting social media audience, first paragraphs are the least important. In my experience, they get read last.
How many times have you started reading a post from the start while stumbling? Don’t you first scan the subheadings and the text immediately below the headings to see if they interest you?
Make your subheadings as descriptive and catchy as possible. Social media users are ultimate scanners, so use the bold attention-grabbing text to your advantage.
In short, make your posts easy to submit, easy to vote on, and easy to read for maximum social media success.
What is your favorite way to attract social media attention?