Blogproautomotive’s post on the SEO craze made me feel free to post on a topic I’ve been mulling over the past few of days – SMO or Social Media Optimization. SMO includes social networks, blogs, social news sites (Digg), Squidoo et al. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to attract new customers. The internet reduced the transmission costs of information; social media amplifies the transmission rate of opinions.
More importantly for dealers, SMO is not yet dominated by major players with more money, more people and more resources; instead, social media changes the dynamics of conversation from one-to-many (a traditional media model) to a many-to-many to model, meaning there is room for the average dealer.
Here are some examples of dealers making use of social media:
eCarlink has a MySpace account and about forty friends, if nothing else, it provides a way for people to learn more about eCarlink. However, SMO tends to be driven by interactivity and by other people discussing a company, it’s more difficult for a company to push content out to a network.
Discussion of Facebook and Facebook apps have gone from a frantic pace with everyone discussing Facebook to a more realistic assessment of usefulness. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of Facebook apps but only few are used by a significant part of the Facebook population. One great aspect of Facebook as a platform is that it’s not necessary to get more than one percent of users to build good traffic. To date, I’ve seen only one Facebook app from an auto company and that company is attempting to promote its classifieds.
Twitter is a new animal, its usefulness in question to auto dealers. Twitter is inherently a social mechanism; however, I know of two retail companies that use twitter. One, Woot, promotes deals, the other, Evenlevel, chronicles the travails of starting a company.
There are more sites to check out, but the best place to find out more is from a recently published article from SEOMoz on SMO. Check it out.