“What Should I Do?” – Social bookmarking

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on May 24, 2010 in: Social Media Mindmeister

I’ve been writing a semi-regular “What Should I Do?” series on social media marketing based on this excellent MindMeister mindmap.

In this post, I will talk about social bookmarking.

Social Bookmarking

I love social bookmarking for a couple of reasons. I like it because it makes my bookmarks computer-independent so I can access them from anywhere. I also like social bookmarking because they turn my bookmarks into positioning tools – when people see what I’m bookmarking, they read it and understand who I am and what I think about. And I like social bookmarking because of the social aspect – I like to see what other people are linking to because I always uncover good gems.

The Social Media Framework mindmap (MindMeister mindmap) lists a few different branches within the social bookmarking category. This category doesn’t look at clean and well organized as some of the other categories in the map but all the good stuff is there.

There are bookmark sites (like Delicious and StumbleUpon), article submission sites (like Reddit, Mixx, and Digg), and tools you can use to empower your social bookmarking (like OnlyWire). So, where to start?

BOOKMARKS: I recommend that you pick one social bookmark site as your main site. That’s not to say that you can’t use and thrive on more than one but there is only so much benefit that you can get out of these sites and if you expend a lot of energy in these places making sure they are all synched up, I think you’ll lose benefits elsewhere. Just try to find something that works for you. I like StumbleUpon. I know someone else who is a big Delicious user. Find a bookmark site and go with it. Make it useful to you as your primary bookmarking site.

ARTICLE SUBMISSION SITES: These sites have mixed value to the business owner. I know that’s probably shocking for me to say because other people swear by them, but here’s why I say that: It’s not really in good taste (and, in some cases, it’s forbidden) to post your own content on these article submission sites. So you can post other people’s stuff (and that’s okay) but the point is to get your own content listed there. The other problem with these sites is that some of them can be somewhat restrictive in terms of who reads the content. Make sure that your niche reads the content before posting there! If you want a best practice, here’s my advice: Write great content that could be listed on these sites and use one of the tools below to help get your content posted there.

TOOLS: Retweet and AddThis are good tools to add to your site. These make it easy for people to share your content with their networks or on their bookmarking sites. Another tool I really like but have only started to explore is OnlyWire. For just a couple of bucks a month, you can auto-distribute your content to various bookmarking sites at the click of a button. The idea is great but the jury is still out on whether or not it is really as valuable as it claims to be.

Your bookmarks have a few roles to play:  First, being useful to you but also positioning you. But I think the payback is limited (compared to other kinds of marketing efforts). My advice is to pick one and make it useful to you and focus your social marketing energy on something else. Although you can market your business with social bookmarks, I’ve never heard of someone getting a lot of business out of it.

Save time and effort. Make your bookmarks useful to you in one channel and move on to something else.

Happy Monday and have a great week!

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