SMO in 5 Steps for Personal, Commercial and Employer Brands

During the last two years I have worked with companies and individuals who want to gain a better understanding of social media and what it can do for them.  The simple answer is, if you can’t be found it does nothing for you.  In my presentation, Social Media Strategy in 9 Steps, one point I like to raise is that social media is not the field of dreams, you know, “If you build it they will come.”  It doesn’t matter what brand you are, people don’t want to have to look for you, you need to be easily found.  The best way for this to happen is to appear on the first page of a Google search. A better way is to appear numerous times on that first page of Google.  Using my own personal brand, I would like to demonstrate how I have done this.


Step 1:  Identify a few key words that you want people to use in order to find you.  These words must be the first thing that come to peoples mind when they think about you rather than what you would like to be know for.  Of course, the first for anyone is your name.  If you have a unique name you are lucky, with a name like David Lee I needed more.  Having served in the Army for 24 years I could have chosen Army as my next key word, however, a quick check reveals that David Lee Roth’s name and Army dominate that search.  Since I ran the Army Strong campaign I refined my next set of key words to reflect this.  Next I identified Social Media and Employer Branding to align with the work I have done and want to be found.  To date I am on page 1 of Google if you search my name and these terms or if you search for Army Strong by itself.  Not bad for spending no money on SMO.

Step 2:  Increase the number of locations on the web where your key words are located.  I do this two ways:

  1. I use a standardized biography for every social media profile I create:  Communications & Employment Branding Leader. Ran the Army Strong campaign & share marketing and leadership Thoughts Over Coffee at
  2. When responding to a blog post I try and include these key words and my website if relevant.

Step 3:  Develop a user experience diagram similar to the one I have shown above.  There are two ways to do this.  Since my user experience is rather simple I have diagramed different pathways on one page.  When I was in the Army and there were many more marketing channels we created a different diagram for each potential experience.  In the diagram I have shown my objective is to get people to visit my website.  Certainly there are other paths, for example, I have met people on Twitter and we have begun to communicate via email and they may never visit my website.  However, I want to think through the paths for the majority of people who I may be able to assist.  NOTE:  In an effort to keep things simple I have created an About.Me page that allows me to list all my social media sites on one webpage.  Doing this simplifies the user experience because they have one portal that allows them to connect with me in the way they desire.  In addition, it reduces the amount of searching they must do to find me on their favorite social media site.  Never forget, you need to be where your customers are, not the other way around.

Step 4:  For most organizations that use social media to drive people to their website, what they forget is to help people who have found the website to connect with their social media sites.  The other problem is helping people find all your social media sites as I mentioned in Step 3.  Each site should have a different objective, provide different content and help to keep your customers engaged with your brand.  However, it is possible to repurpose content across many sites.

Step 5:  Update your content on a regular basis.  Thoughts behind this will be shared in a future blog post.

The result?

If you go to Google and type in “David Lee” “Army Strong” you will find that the majority of the first 10 pages link to my website or a social media site that links to my website.  If I can achieve this on my own, there is no reason that with some thought your company can’t achieve similar results.


What do you do so you can be found among all those using social media?

Interesting Stats about Search:

  1. There are 10’s of millions of  websites with billions of pages.
  2. Only the top 10 web pages are listed on a Search Engine Result Page (SERP) i.e. the 10 most relevant in the eyes of Google for the selected keyword.
  3. The first ranking position in the search results receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic
  4. The second position receives 11.94%
  5. Third position on the first page obtains 8.47% 
  6. The fourth placed position on page one receives 6.05% 
  7. The others on the first page are under 5% of click through traffic
  8. The first ten results (page one ) received 89.71% of all click-through traffic
  9. 68% of all searchers don’t go past the first page. 
  10. The next 10 results (normally listed on the second page of results) received 4.37%
  11. Third page receives a total of 2.42 %
  12. 98% don’t go past the 3rd page 
  13. The fifth page receives a total of only 1.07%
  14. All other pages of results received less than 1% of total search traffic clicks

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