- What is Social Bookmarking?
- The Growth of Social Bookmarking
- Marketing Value of Social Bookmarking
- Good Use Case Examples of Social Bookmarking
- Recommended Best Practices: What to do & What NOT to do
For marketers, social bookmarking is more than just a way for users to store, classify, share and search their sites - if used correctly it's a way to drive traffic and fuel a viral campaign. The growth of social bookmarking isn't slowing down either. According to Hitwise from August 2006-February 2007 Digg was up 9% and del.icio.us was up 130%.
HP and IBM are ahead of the curve and have already adopted Social Bookmarking in their marketing programs. HP has even created their own widget to encourage users to bookmark their sites and they were also one of the early adopters of Social Media Releases (read an earlier post on this topic). IBM is also using Social Bookmarking links as a way to encourage users to 'tag' them.
Here are some best practices I recommend to get started:
What to do:
- Encourage social bookmarking by adding links to make it easy for users – consider asking email subscribers to bookmark your site as a call to action
- Consider developing a custom widget that matches the corporate website look and feel to leverage multiple bookmarking sites (like HP did)
- Consider what pages of your site make sense to use social bookmarking on (ie. news, events, tools, resources). Typically, anything that is updated regularly or acts as a resource
- Make sure your approach is consistent and sustainable - try to avoid dramatic fluctuations in ranking algorithms
What NOT to do:
- Don't submit content just to get traffic without taking into account whether the content would interest the community – if you waste their time, they’ll stop giving it to you
- Don’t make multiple accounts to artificially promote your content – this is an act of desperation. If you have good stuff, they will keep coming back
- Don’t use software programs to automate the process by spamming as many social sites as you can – nobody likes a spammer
- Don’t pay someone else to do these things either – there are people out there who are obnoxious for a living. Let’s not encourage them
Resources for this post:
Social Bookmarking & Marketing
Hitwise Intelligence Analyst Weblogs
HP Web Usability, Experience and SEO Blog
HP Social Media Release
IBM Social Bookmarking Examples