Social bookmarking is a term we are hearing more and more of nowadays. But what exactly is it? In a nutshell, social bookmarking is sharing your website’s content on popular social bookmarking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, or Digg. By posting your company’s content on one of these social platforms, you are increasing your site’s popularity and visibility, and also expanding your global reach. There are many advantages of social bookmarking for companies both big and small. However, with any method of promoting your company’s website and attempting to increase your online presence, there are some critical “Do’s” and “Don’ts” you should be aware of. To learn more about how to social bookmark, continue to read the following:
1) DO Post Your Company’s Content to Popular Social Bookmarking Websites, but DON’T Overdo It – By submitting new content regularly to a popular social bookmarking site, like Facebook or Twitter, you are engaging in one of the easiest and most cost-effective means of online marketing. All of these sites allow you to post content for free, which gives your company’s website great publicity and a larger global reach. Since social bookmarking can be used as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool, posting your company’s site content to a popular social bookmarking website will increase your chances of being indexed by search engines. Keep in mind that the top social bookmarking sites already have a high page authority that is considered valuable by search engines. Therefore, by posting your company’s content to a website that already has such high priority on the web, you are automatically creating quality backlinks to your company’s content. However, you want to be cautious when submitting content so that you’re not overdoing it. You don’t want to submit too much content in a short span of time, since doing so makes you look “spammy” and raises red flags to the moderators of these sites. If you’re constantly submitting articles and posts to the same social bookmarking site, your account may even be banned, meaning you will no longer be able to utilize the website to bookmark your content.
2) DO Keep Your Social Bookmarking Sites to a Minimum, and DON’T Overwhelm Users with Too Much Choice – Having a list of popular social bookmarking site icons at the top of your company’s website content (i.e. the company blog) is great for allowing visitors to easily share and re-post your content. With the click of a button, users can simply and effectively “tweet” or “like” your content, which in turn expands your website’s reach to all of their followers! However, if you give people too many choices by having more than ten virtual “buttons” to click in order to share your content, they will most likely become overwhelmed and may end up leaving your site altogether. Instead of giving users too much to choose from, limit their choices for them by only having a select few buttons on your website’s content page. This, in turn, will increase your chances of visitors sharing and re-posting your content.
3) DO Participate on Social Bookmarking Sites Regularly, but DON’T Get Lazy and Leave Huge Time Lapses of Activity on Your Accounts – You can quite easily create accounts on multiple social bookmarking websites. But as stated previously, try to minimize the amount of these sites you post to, as it may become difficult to keep up with each one. If you want to succeed in the realm of social bookmarking, you have to participate in the online community regularly. You can do this by sharing, re-posting, and commenting on others’ articles. Frequent participation on your part will lead to more shares and re-posts of your own content. It is all too easy to slip into a state of “maintenance” with your social bookmarking accounts though, so ensure that you are not spreading yourself too thin by signing up for more accounts than you can manage. Getting lazy and leaving large time lapses of activity on any one of your social bookmarking accounts shows that you aren’t a willing participant in the online community and makes it less likely that others will share your content.
4) DO Submit Relevant Content to Social Bookmarking Sites, but DON’T Submit Irrelevant Content – Relevancy is the key to success in both SEO and social bookmarking. You want to post content on these sites in categories that they are relevant to. Doing so makes your content easier to find by users, and results in better indexing by search engines. Don’t post irrelevant content to a social bookmarking site. Posting just for the sake of posting is not advisable, and will only rank you further down by search engines and users alike. For example, if you want to post a blog about “on-page optimization” to a popular social bookmarking site, make sure you are posting it under a relevant category, such as “Search Engine Optimization”.
5) DO Act Like a Human, and DON’T Act Like a Robot – One of the keys to success for SEO and social bookmarking is behaving like a human and not like a robot. This means that your website’s content should always be written for humans first and search engines second. Giving your site’s content a human “face” and “voice” is much more appealing than content that is generated automatically. People like to feel as though there is a real person behind the posted content, so engage with other users on social bookmarking sites by sharing and commenting on their posts. If you are just posting your own stuff and not paying any attention to others, you will appear self-serving and robotic.
6) DO Add Valuable Information to Social Bookmarking Sites, and DON’T Add Pages or Content That is Not Appealing or Useful to Others – If you post interesting content to social bookmarking sites, people will naturally want to read it. Furthermore, if you constantly post information that is valuable to others, you will gain a group of followers and frequent visitors to your company’s website, which is the ultimate goal anyway! Posting information that is neither appealing nor useful to others will only drag you down in the social bookmarking community. So don’t post your company’s contact page to a social bookmarking site. There is no value in doing so to other readers, and it makes you appear as though you only have selfish intentions. Providing users with content that is interesting, useful, and valuable will naturally increase the amount of traffic to your company’s website.
7) DO Give Your Content an Appealing Title, and DON’T Include a URL in Your Title – Having an eye-catching, interesting title for any content you post to a social bookmarking site will make users more inclined to read and share your stuff. Putting your website’s URL in the title of your posted content is a rookie mistake, as it makes you look “spammy”. If a user sees content with a URL in the title versus content with an interesting and attractive title, he/she is more likely to read the latter. Your goal should be to entice users to view your posted content, not discourage them from doing so. Remember, the more users viewing your posted content means the more likely they are to share and re-post it. So give them a reason to do so, and create catchy titles for your content.
8 ) DO Persist and Give it Time, and DON’T Give Up or Expect Immediate Results – As with most things in life, success takes persistence and patience. The same goes for social bookmarking. It takes a great deal of time to manually post your company’s content to a variety of social bookmarking sites. You also have to keep up with each of these sites, by regularly participating in the online community. It can take weeks or even months to become recognized or popular in the social bookmarking realm. Don’t give up if you are not noticing results right away. Like most things, you have to invest a lot of time before you will begin to notice results. But it’s worth it, so don’t give up. If you persist and keep at it, you will eventually notice that the number of views, shares, and re-posts of your content increases, and your website’s traffic will simultaneously increase as well.
When done correctly, social bookmarking can greatly benefit your business by driving relevant traffic to your company’s website. It may take some time, but the results will soon become apparent, so it is worthwhile to actively participate and share your content on several popular social bookmarking sites. By investing some quality time and avoiding the aforementioned shortcuts and common errors, your company can quite easily boost its traffic and enhance its online presence with very minimal financial investment.