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Social Bookmarking Technology: Guerrilla Social Media for Small Business

social bookmarking, pinterest, reddit, digg, delicious, stumble uponMobile apps and social media are the two terms dominating the landscape of digital marketing these days .  Social media advertising as measured by dollars spent is growing by leaps and bounds while other forms of marketing are seeing less and less greenbacks.  We all know Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the big men on the social media campus, but what are the up and coming tools that, in a very splintered way, will be a big part of 2012?

Introducing social bookmarking.  At its heart, social bookmarking serves up very granular user rated and reviewed content that pushes it to the top of given bookmarking sites.  This is different than Google ranks, defined by tracking behavior, but more directly tied to user selection.  That means social bookmarking sites can be gamed, but you can bet those that abuse the ranking system will be in an ongoing battle with the developers to keep it honest.

If you’ve never heard of social bookmarking, you soon will, so here are 5 of the top bookmarking sites that are pulling down ridiculous traffic numbers for you to consider getting your content listed and liked:

Stumbling Upon Great Content

This social bookmarking site and former eBay property just jumped over 1 billion–with a B–monthly stumbles, or shared content instances.  It is basically a discovery search engine that finds web content for review by its users, who rate stories, photos, and videos that are aggregated using collaborative filtering, combining human preferences with computer intelligence to serve up the content smorgasbord.   Members have content organized in dozens of categories ranging from home-based businesses to cars to fitness and rate stuff thumbs up or down if they desire to better tailor what content they come across in future stumble expeditions.  Getting your blog posts or Vlogs found on Stumble Upon seems to be a function of your on-site SEO efforts on the pages as well as getting lots of thumbs up.

Absolutely Delicious

A social bookmarking site set up around discovering, storing and arranging other social bookmarks and creating your own, Delicious has been around and is one of the fathers of social bookmarking.  Businesses can use Delicious to set up bookmarks that organize information pertinent to the company strategy, initiatives, and more, acting like a public intranet of information sharing as built by employees, although Delicious will allow for private tagging of certain indexes or stacks.  For instance, a company marketing development team working on a suite of video marketing promotions can set up a delicious stack with bookmarks of all the best video marketing resources, technologies, videographers and even video talent.

Don’t Just Read It, Reddit

Reddit is a social news site based upon popularity of user-submitted items where other users vote items up or down to determine any news item’s place in the hierarchy.  The default main page isn’t organized very well, but members subscribe to invidual Reddits, or subject niches, that cover everything from politics to what I learned today.  Between the summers of 2010 and 2011, Reddit’s traffic jumped exponentially with estimated numbers going from 2 million UVs (unique visitors) to 15 million UVs, with most experts estimating 2012 traffic over 30 million.  This has helped move Reddit from a hangout for propeller-heads and geeks to mainstream.  Getting your news items bookmarked on Reddit (especially if you get to page 1 of your niche), can provide some serious SEO juice for your business.

Can You Digg It?

Digg has a similar look and feel to Reddit, with voted news items organized according to popularity, and in fact Digg’s appearance on the scene in 2004 eventually spawned copycats like Reddit, which has now passed it in monthly traffic.  Voting is a function of digging or burying content, its own rating system for stories.  Digg boasts around 25 million monthly UVs, so it still is one of the big boys of social bookmarking.  Like many of these sites, Digg was one of the first to use Facebook Connect to link its users to their Facebook accounts and avoid setting up a duplicate account in Digg.  Just like Reddit, creating blog posts that are topical and timely to get found and dug.

Pinterest’s Rapid Image Sharing Community

Pinterest is an online pinboard for photo sharing and has a heavily weighted female audience, originally sharing things like recipes and fashion tips (idea photo stuff).  It has a Facebook type feel to it, with pictures, comment streams and likes, all thrown together and seemingly weighted by the number of repins you get (think retweet).  In December of 2011, it’s weekly visitors exceeded 11 million, thanks in large part to a phone app released in the summer of 2011 and good publicity in magazines like Time magazine, voting it one of the Top 50 websites of 2011.  As you might predict, Pinterest will expand beyond its initial female audience and ultimately be viable for business, but remember, since its audience is stimulated visually, have a great or controversial picture to attract attention.

The internet is moving increasingly toward user-controlled and user-recommended content libraries, and that essentially is what social bookmarking sites are aimed at.  People will go to a movie with their family and drop $50 on tickets and popcorn on the advice of a perfect stranger in the grocery line.  Online, consumers are craving that 3rd party endorsement of content in the form of entertainment, helpful tips, and stuff to purchase, and they are listening and acting upon it.  Getting your small business content on popular social bookmarking sites with positive recommendations is a social media technology strategy that you should be engaging in for 2012.

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One Comment

  1. Sarah - Editor@theoffice-uk May 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Social media is certainly not a passing fad, as many small business owners will now admit, but what may be surprising is the ROI from social business efforts.

Reply to Sarah - Editor@theoffice-uk