Social Media Optimization: Can You Digg It?

I’m going to write something and I want you to say the first thing that comes to your head. Here we go:

Social Media Optimization

Was your word “communities”? How about “linkability”? Or maybe it was “Digg”?

It’s that last one that I want to talk about for a minute. Over the past several months, there’s been an increasing amount of content, ideas and suggestions relating to social media optimization (SMO), and to be honest, I can’t think of one article I’ve read on the subject in which Digg wasn’t mentioned.

And for good reason – Digg is one of the most well-known and highly-visited social networking sites on the Web, so it only seems natural that when sites engage in SMO, getting an article listed on the front page of Digg would be one of the items on their To Do List.

Here’s a potential problem, though: What if you are in an industry that Digg users don’t care about?

The majority of trusted Digg users, those who hold the power, are tech savvy individuals interested in recent news, fun facts and the latest and greatest technology.

With the proliferation of SMO and the desire to get listed on Digg, the community is now made up of a much more diverse population than it was originally. But the power to decide who makes it to the front page of the site continues to reside with many of those original users who loathe spam and are great detectors of it.

There are a multitude of articles out there which give advice on getting listed on Digg, ranging from the importance of joining and participating in the community, to building up a list of trusted friends, to article creativity.

Article creativity – it’s a must to get listed atop Digg, which of course is where your site will reap the most benefit. It can certainly be argued that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, with enough creativity and the right execution strategies, an article relating to any industry can reach the coveted front page of this popular social site.

There is little argument, however, that certain industries have a leg up on others. For instance, an electronic manufacturer who has just released an article describing its new gaming console has an advantage over the consulting company who recently released its new strategies for customer service training. Now I don’t want to say that it’s impossible for the consultant to reach the first page of Digg, but I am saying that, simply given their industry, they have an initial disadvantage and will face bigger hurdles to do so.

My advice: Don’t consume all of your time and resources to reaching the top of Digg. Instead, concentrate on consumers in your industry. Come up with concepts that will create interest, and then focus on exposing those ideas in areas which will drive targeted traffic to your site. The level of traffic may not be as high as if you’d reached the front of Digg, but the ultimate intent of those targeted visitors will prove to be much more valuable to your business.