January 28, 2011 / by Tyler Roehmholdt

For part five of our Social Resolutions for 2011 series we’ll be talking about how you can resolve to start optimizing your organization using social data, specifically around your digital channels.

Social data not only surfaces what people are talking about, but also clues you in to what they’re seeking out. Even more importantly, it helps you determine what people are searching for on the Web.  When optimizing, consider how social data can influence not only your community strategy, but also your search and advertising strategies and content. Effective optimization can be likened to playing the lottery – the more lines you play, the better your chances of winning. Success can often increase conversion rates as well.


As I’ve mentioned, social data is what influences, guides, and determines your direction around optimization. Tracking and analysis give you directional cues and are essential to capturing and understanding the data. Once you’ve determined your direction, onsite opportunities exist in content and search optimization, both of which can be influenced by the information collected. Search optimization can also be part of your offsite strategy, along with optimization of your online advertising.  While this may seem like a lot of work, optimization pays off with real business value in the form of increased conversions.

Going deeper, here are some tips on how you can more effectively address each of these ‘levels:’

Social Data:

  • Think beyond the traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter
  • Use ‘old’ social data such as forums, guestbook’s, and BBS boards
  • Use ‘new’ social data like check-ins, likes, and upvotes

Tracking & Analysis:

  • Use Social Intelligence platforms and tools
  • Combine these with traditional tools (e.g. Google Analytics)
  • Focus on actionable metrics and forget raw numbers dumps

Content Optimization:

  • Update your Web copy to coincide with how people are talking about you
  • Base your information architecture around folksonomies
  • Add social “hooks” to empower visitors to share

Search Optimization:

  • “Marry” your search optimization to your content optimization
  • Search engines now factor in social data, so feature it where it counts
  • Participation = search engine results = higher rankings

Ad Optimization:

  • Social data should influence ad spend: do people actually care?
  • Popular discussions can guide your PPC campaigns
  • Embrace landing pages that utilize social data to populate content


  • After the sale/download/etc, let your visitors share their conversions
  • Use funnel analysis and A/B testing to optimize the user experience
  • Celebrate your Social Intelligence! And then rinse and repeat

Optimizing in each of these areas can benefit your business in many ways. Come back Monday for the last post in our Social Resolutions for 2011 series to figure out the most effective ways you can resolve to be ‘social’ in the New Year.

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