Social bookmarking and other social networking methods have become valuable tools for people to use and a way to promote online content. The following is a look at what it is and how to take advantage of social networks to generate web traffic.
First is a look at social bookmarking.
What is social bookmarking?
Almost everyone has bookmarked sites within their web browsers. While this works fine in many situations, it has its disadvantages. The main problem with this type of bookmarking is that it is tied to one computer even though most people use many machines. Social bookmarking services offer a way to store these bookmarks online, giving users the ability to login, access and manage their bookmarks from anywhere.
Furthermore, with the bookmarks online, the user can choose to share them and offer comments about content. By using this information, people can network and find sites of interest to them. Naturally, this leads the use of using social bookmarking as a tool for marketing and SEO.
Bookmarking and SEO
Those using social bookmarking to promote websites need to first keep in mind that it is not a way to suddenly build many high-quality links. In fact, most links from social bookmarking sites are of relatively low quality since the search engines have caught on to people abusing social bookmarking for marketing. While the direct bookmarking will help generate traffic, the main benefit from social bookmarking comes when creating what is called a “social buzz.”
Starting a social buzz
When content gets enough votes and bookmarks, the attention thus generated can start to snowball and bring in even more visitors. When these people start to vote it up further still, a social buzz is created.
Note this can also be done both with other forms of promotion. For example, news stories which have been shared on news services, including Digg, Mixx or Reddit, can be voted up and shared. This effect sometimes gives content a lot of exposure with minimal effort bringing linking and other long-term benefits.
Creating the right conditions
While there are a great number of bookmarking services, it is best to concentrate on a few of the best. Carefully fill out the profile and add a photo. Before using the network, first look around and get a feel of how everything works and the kind of content that people like. Participate in the community by commenting, voting, friending, etc.
To create a social buzz, one needs good content. It needs to inform, amuse, surprise or have something else that makes it stand out above other internet content. This can be anything from a good article or graph to an ebook. Do careful research and be creative. Then, try to start buzzes with the best content.
When posting the content, carefully choose the category while writing an attention grabbing headline and a good description. Share and promote the link on other social sites in addition as well as the network it was posted on.
Remember that most content probably will not get so many votes. However, with the right timing (votes coming in rapid succession are worth more than those coming in over time) and promotion, the content can get a lot of attention and rise to the top where it may get a follow link. When it generates enough buzz, search engines look upon it as proof that the site and content is good and useful. This kind of social proof is growing in importance in search engine algorithms and its power to increase rankings is significant.
Making bookmarking easier
Free social bookmarking toolbars can be installed on one’s sites to make it easier for those visiting the sites to bookmark and share. With WordPress, these can be with free plugins to include Sociable.
How to automatic social bookmarking and buzz
As bookmarking and creating social buzz can be time consuming, there is software to automate part of all of the process. This is not the same as doing it more organically, but it can be effective or at least provide a boost. People can simply create accounts under different names and vote up their own content in hopes of getting a buzz started. However, there are time factors and the problem of the votes coming from the same IP address to consider.
Software to include Bookmarking Demon can help automate the submission process with tools that make voting up one’s own content easier. However, for social bookmarking, content voting, Facebook likes, tweets and other forms of social proof, there is no better tool than Synnd. It is a paid subscription service that allows those trying to create a social buzz to use the accounts of many users to give their content much greater visibility.
Keep in mind that it needs to be natural. Just as people do not usually bookmark several pages of the same website; it is not a good idea to bookmark more than one page of a website on a single account. Use each social bookmarking account created (if doing things manually) as it was intended to be used.
Always remember that the real value in social bookmarking and other forms of social proof is to get a social buzz started. For this to happen, those with content to promote need to create the right conditions. It takes some work, but it is a great way to get visitors to a site, increase inbound links and reap the benefits of greater online prosperity.
Some top social bookmarking services to consider
As bookmarking services will have different focuses, examine various services and join the ones that are the most suitable for the sites being promoted. Some popular services include the following:
A continuously updated list of popular social bookmarking sites can be found here.
Using Facebook and Twitter for social marketing
For useful information on ways to use Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter to generate social proof, social network marketing offers a lot of advice.