Your coworker emails your team a link to an inspiring blog. Your boss sends a link to a page with best practices. You watch a video that offers step-by-step instructions for a task you can never remember how to do.
What is Social Bookmarking?
You want to keep this information, but how? You could save them in your email by flagging them or creating a folder to store them in. You could bookmark them or save them as favorites in your web browser … or you could save, tag, and share them on a social bookmarking site.
Social bookmarking websites allow you to find articles based on your interests, share articles you find interesting, connect with others who share your interests, and get recommendations for interesting articles from other users.
Using Social Bookmarking for B2B
This may seem like something people do, not businesses, but B2B marketers will find that using social bookmarking sites to organize and share useful information – including their own content – offers significant benefits, including:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Improving search engine optimization
- Offering opportunities to connect with businesses in similar industries
- Keeping you up to date on news and trends (industry or otherwise)
- Providing new sources for research
- Finding new business opportunities
Posting your content on social bookmarking sites exposes it to thousands of users, many of whom will fit your buyer personas and click through to your website. Have an appropriate landing page and a call-to-action offer, and social bookmarking becomes another form of quality lead generation.
Social bookmarking sites also track which link users used to access your site, which offers intel on the demographics of your site visitors, indicating if you’re reaching your target market – and if a new market might be open to your business.
Who Needs Google, Anyway? (Still You)
Plus, you don’t need to be a Google whiz to excel at social bookmarking. It’s different from search engines in that other people – not a crawler with an algorithm – are ranking and tagging your content. It doesn’t mean you can stop thinking about search engines, of course, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can post sub-par content, but it does offer a little relief from the pain of trying to read Google’s mind.
There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites, but below are a few of the most popular:
Social bookmarking is vaguely different from social media, but in either case, the ‘social’ part is critical – you can’t just share your content. You must spend time cultivating relationships and sharing content your readers/followers/prospective clients are interested in to get the most out of social bookmarking.
Here are some social bookmarking tips:
Write good content
First, headlines. Great articles go unnoticed if their headline isn’t catchy. It’s the first thing users see, so make sure it packs a punch.
Next, descriptions. Good headlines catch their attention, good descriptions keep it. Keep them meaningful but short, provocative but not clickbait, descriptive but no longer than 150 characters.
Finally, the content itself. Don’t write crappy articles. If your content passed through the headline and description gauntlet, don’t make readers regret clicking your article with poorly written content.
Make it easy to bookmark
Social bookmarking is most effective when other people bookmark your site, so make it easy by putting a bookmarking button at the top or bottom (or both!) of the article.
Submit at the right time
Most social bookmarking sites give you 24 hours to get to the front page and stay there, so don’t post when your audience is sleeping.
Submit to the right category
If a social bookmarking site doesn’t have a category for you, it’s not the best site to use – general, miscellaneous, etc. categories fill up quickly and your content gets lost. Look for sites where you can submit to an appropriate category, such as technology, health, or whatever your business does.
Don’t be a lone wolf
Going it alone is suicide on sites like StumbleUpon and Digg because stories that make it to the front page don’t just have great content – they’re also backed up by your network of friends. Votes from friends and supporters help your content be seen, so cooperate with other social bookmarkers.
Check your facts
It doesn’t look good when your readers can prove you have misinformation. In addition to the trolls in the comments, your content might also get negative votes if your facts are wrong.
Chek you speling 😉
Some sites don’t allow you to edit your posts, so misspellings are forever. (As are grammar and punctuation errors, so EDIT!)
Offer related articles
Users might click your content, look quickly, and be gone. Keep them on your site by offering links to related information or other content they might find useful.
Don’t be lazy
It takes a long time to build a good social bookmarking reputation, and you may feel like it’s taking up too much of your time – but avoid the temptation to automate the posting process. Users can smell automation from a mile away, and you can lose credibility.
Good content triggers discussions, and you should always respond to comments people make on your content. Also, comment on content you like, as it’s an excellent way to make social bookmarking friends.Need ideas or help with social bookmarking, SEO, social media, or marketing in general? Call us or email us!