Optimization, Schmoptimization

Photograph of track hurdles
Social Media Optimization is a linguistic hurdle we need not jump. Uploaded by Iowa_Spirit_Walker

As an industry, we’ve created some formidable barriers for ourselves by letting techies name things.

Search Engine Optimization?? Seriously?!?

That doesn’t mean anything to any normal person who hasn’t steeped themselves in the whims of Google algorithms or deconstructed the elements of a hyperlink or obsessed over site architecture, robot text or XML sitemaps. All the phrase “search engine optimization” does for most people is make their eyes glaze over.

And that’s no way to help people understand the importance of making their content findable nor is it a very effective way to sell your services. (I am, by the way, as guilty as anyone in propagating the optimization curse.)

A lot of us have been doing “social media optimization” since the early days of MySpace and Facebook and I guess it should have been incumbent upon us to come up with a phrase that works. But now that social networking has turned into the juggernaut it is and with public relations thought leaders like Brian Solis talking about “social media optimization,’ it looks like the phrase is about to go mainstream.

We should banish that semantic sedative from our collective lexicon before we set before us yet another needless sales hurdle to conquer.

Let’s talk in terms of the benefit rather than the process.

Let’s call it Content Visibility or Content Findability; anything but Social Media Optimization.

Any suggestions?

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.