Guest Blogger: Erin Everhart
Don’t just SEO (search engine optimization) your website — SMO your Facebook and Twitter.
There’s been a definite shift in the Web marketing industry. Before, it was all “SEO SEO SEO.” Now, you’re hearing more of an “SMO SMO SMO” tune.
Social media optimization is the new way to position yourself to your audience (and search engines) to better increase your visibility. With one tiny swap of one tiny letter, you’re left re-engineering your web marketing strategy to better service your content with the social media channels your audience is on.
Because we’re the visually orientated types, I’ll summarize what I’m talking about in an artistically pleasing chart before going into a tad more detail.
Some have gone as far to say that SEO is dead, but I’m not that much of an extremist. Besides, SMO derived as a part of SEO, so if one part dies, both parts die.
But SMO is slowly creeping up on the important factor scale when it comes to how visible and attractive a website — nay, a brand — is going to be. This has even further been intensified with the recent announcement of the Facebook/Bing partnership to integrate social results into search results.
We’ve all seen the power of a breaking news tweet or a trending article that’s been passed around Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere more times than the number of words in said article. More likely than not, there’s good, quality content at the crux of what goes viral. Take something like Atomic Tom’s iPhone Subway Performance. Or Andrew Wyeth’s “Helga.”
This new paradigm is good news for artists, especially those who aren’t technically inclined.
Instead of focusing more attention on manipulating your website’s coding and tags, you can ease back into doing what you do best: producing quality, visually appealing content (whether it’s a blog post, photograph, oil painting, whatever) that will grab your audience’s attention and encourage them to further spread your content to their network. They pass it on to theirs, people in their network discover a new person to connect with (you), and just like that you’ve built up a greater following.
In addition to using your already established social networks, there’s also a new website specifically for artists to better connect them to the right people in the art industry.
Artrise is an art social network for all types of artists — photographers, musicians, digital artists, sculptures, you name it — that lets you upload your art and get feedback from peers, meet more people in your industry, and even browse for jobs or events so you can make some money off your art. They’re also currently running a an art contest for users to upload art to their Facebook Wall, get your fans to like it, and the artwork with the most votes wins a grand prize of $1,000. Not a bad way for you to get noticed, and make a little extra cash.
At the root of SMO, though, is creating your presence on any social media channel to be as engaging as possible. This can be done with things like creating a Fan Page, having custom tabs designed to match your personal brand that will reel through some of your latest artwork — You used to be able to also add these to you personal profile page, but Facebook nixed that option on November 3— designing a custom Twitter background that matches your brand while displays some of your artwork, and, again, making sure your written content is up-to-date and enticing.
Here are some basic questions to ask yourself to make sure your website (and hopefully that includes having your blog hosted on your domain) and your social media channels are social media optimized:
- In my online gallery, did I integrate the Facebook Like and Share button on all my artwork and images?
- Am I leaving enough room in Twitter posts so people can retweet me without editing a post?
- Am I consistently putting up good content and good artwork that I’d want to look at if I were someone else?
- Am I making the most of my Facebook page by having a custom landing page that features some of my latest artwork?
About the Guest Blogger
Erin Everhart is the social media and SEO manager for the web design company 352 Media Group and handles web marketing for artrise, the art social network. Join artrise today for free to start interacting with artists, showcasing your work, and expanding your network.
Alyson’s note: I have not used artrise, so please do not consider this an endorsement by me. I just wanted you to be aware of another resource for artists.