Does your business use social bookmarking

Every so often things come together which make me adjust how we are doing things:

  • I am in the process of writing a new E-Learning course about social bookmarking which forms part of our delivery of the Diploma in Social Media for Business City & Guilds qualification.
  • I have also be thinking about how we can be better at sharing interesting information with the people who are doing our courses – providing better customer support.
  • Yesterday I went to a networking  event at which E3D-Online were speaking – and they mentioned how they use Reddit as a method of promotion.

What is Social Bookmarking?

The idea of social bookmarking is that you use it as a way of storing links to sites that you find useful or your audience would find useful.  It is a public way of storing links so people you don’t know may also find your link.  Within the bookmarking site, you can include your own sites, but you should also include other links.  The same principle applies for social bookmarking as other forms of social media – ‘if you bookmark me, I’m more likely to bookmark you’.  It is important to include buttons on your website to help people to bookmark links.  I’ve just included the AddtoAny sharing buttons on my site to make it easy for people to share my posts.

There are hundreds of social bookmarking tools available – and the one that will be right for you will depend on why you are using the tool and where your audience is likely to be. This is a quick run down on the most common tools:

Delicious – this is probably one of the easiest to use.  Delicious stores links with tags. Tags are a way of identifying what the link is about.  For example,  I could submit this post to Delicious with the tags socialbookmarking, socialmedia, delicious, stumpleupon, etc.  I (and others) would be then able to search for links about socialbookmarking and this post would appear in the list.  Since you can choose to sort  by bookmarks that you have saved, Delicious is a good way of keeping track of interesting information you find. Particularly because it automatically saves links you have shared on Twitter.  Delicious will also show you other links based on their popularity (how many people have bookmarked the link)

Digg – Links are submitted to Digg and volunteers and people who use Digg vote on the link (Digg it).  The more votes a link receives, the more likely it is to appear on the first page of Digg.  If a link appears on the first page, it could be seen and clicked by thousands of people.  People who are active on Digg are more likely to get their own submissions seen.  It is not a good idea to frequently submit your own links; get other people to submit them on your behalf.

StumbleUpon – The difference with StumbleUpon is that it allows you to find interesting or unusual website pages based on your interests.  You vote on the pages and StumbleUpon shows you further website pages based on your votes.  Pages that receive the most votes are likely to be seen by more people within StumbleUpon. It is free to use, but there is also an advertising option which will put your website in front of more people.  I’ve had an short experiment with advertising and it definitely drove traffic to my website.  If I was to use advertising again, I would create an engaging landing page to encourage people to stay longer.  However, it currently only allows location targeting within the United States.

Scoopit – Scoopit is the tool that I currently use the most to store interesting links.  You can create topics and store links relevant to that topic.  For example, I have created a ‘copyright free images’ topic where I store any websites that are useful for finding copyright free images for blog posts etc.  Scoopit suggests content that could be added to a topic based on keywords and popular links.  The main issue with Scoopit is that you can now only create 1 topic for free.

Reddit – this is a social bookmarking site that adds additional forum functionality including an ‘ask me anything’ forum and a question forum.  Tags are used to group discussions or links together.  Discussions and links are voted up or down the list.  This tool could be a good one to promote your brand if you get involved and answer questions (without selling) as well as posting links.

Pinterest – An image based social bookmarking tool, mainly directed at lifestyle.  Images need to be high quality and aspirational to get people’s attention.  Can also be used to share images to blogs or other content.  Also has an advertising feature.  Works well when people repin images that you have pinned to your boards.

So how is this adjusting the way Concise Training are doing things?  Well, we are putting a process in place to ensure that when we find interesting content to share on social media we also share it on a social bookmarking tool so that it is available to others and is available for longer than just the short time on social media (to us and others).  The trick will be to make sure that we tag the information appropriately so that it is easy to find links again and that we automate the process as much as possible.  We will let you know how we get on.

If you have found this article interesting, do use the buttons on the right to share on social media but also on social bookmarking sites 🙂