Why optimization is like social media

January 12th, 2010

Topics: Innovation

Twitter social media cigarettes

Quick, short term wins are possible with optimization, however the real value comes as it builds and evolves with your audience.   Because of this, I liken optimization to social media.

Here are 3 quick reasons why optimization and social media are similar:

1. Users tell you what’s wrong and you can respond
Your users are the most valuable resource you have. Not only do they give you their personal information, hard earned cash and/or attention, they give you feedback on how you can serve them better.

In social media this comes in a push/pull fashion, allowing you to alert users about your own actions, as well as respond directly to their immediate concerns. The same happens with optimization, except that it occurs naturally as users interact with your website. Their actions reveal flaws in your offers, messaging and design and you can use that information to build a better experience and new tests.

2. Time sensitive
You wouldn’t blog or tweet the same thing everyday, so why would you keep your website static?  Optimization allows your website to be  responsive to your users current needs.  Anything from a change in opinion to seasonality effects to new marketing campaigns can cause a need to adjust your website.

While some items don’t need to be changed for long periods, you should constantly question whether what you are using is also what’s best.

3. It is a competitive advantage
Social media has caught on, however few companies are using it to its full potential. Optimization is in a similar boat but it’s even earlier it its life. How many social media experts can you name versus optimization experts?

Starting an optimization program now means you’ll be that much further ahead once testing becomes mainstream.

In summary, optimization is rapidly becoming a basic part of the online marketing landscape.  With this new technology comes more opportunities to win new customers and retain current ones.  However, making the most out of it will be what separate the winners from the losers.  Optimization is a long term commitment, just like social media, so keep tweeting but don’t forget to keep testing too.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carrotcreative/ / CC BY 2.0

2 Responses to “Why optimization is like social media”

  1. Frans Keylard

    Two more reasons Optimization is like Social media:

    1) Marketers are under-investing in both (in terms of technology and skilled practitioners).
    2) Both require world class enterprise-level tools: Analytics9 to measure social media impact and Optimize to optimize your pages so you can reap the maximum benefit from your efforts.

  2. cory huff

    It’s really too bad that so few companies are willing to test, measure, refine. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but after a while, you’ll be so much further ahead of your competitors.

    I would love to see some data that showed how many companies that depend on the Web for their business are actually NOT implementing a measured approach to their online marketing. I bet it’s bigger than you think. Embarrassingly bigger.


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