Social Bookmarking – The Ultimate Viral Marketing

Social Bookmarking could be one of the best things that ever happened to websites and blogs.

Basically Social Bookmarketing sites allow users to create a set of content bookmarks. These bookmarks are organized by tags, which are (usually) arbitrary words or phrases the user can assign to content. This gives the user a way to classify, rank and organize content using tags. The most popular Social Bookmarking Site is del.ici.ous, which has millions of users.

Social Bookmarking sites have an intrinsic advantage over search engines and other bots — people choose what to bookmark rather than relying on a program to categorize and qualify content. There is an implied quality in something that someone has taken the time to select.

Social Bookmarkers read other people’s bookmarks and add them to their own if they like them. There are also RSS feeds so people can see what others are tagging, which I think is really cool, and a textbook example of viral marketing.

About 4% of my referrers this month are del.icio.us related, including .8% off the home page, meaning that people click on my link when they see it pop up in their RSS feed. I get a goodly amount of traffic from technorati as well, but I would call that site a business bookmarking site, so I’m not going to mention it here.

I only provide a facility on AffiliateBlog for del.icio.us tagging. There is a terrific WordPress plugin called Sociable that allows direct tagging for tons of Social Bookmarking sites. If you don’t have it as part of your blog you should get it and install it today. This blog is being redesigned and should be done in a few weeks. The new design will incorporate Sociable.

So …what can YOU do to get the social bookmarking virus ramped up? I see two basic considerations:

1. Write good content. Darren Rouse had an interesting observation about del.icio.us items that make it to the top of the site. You can take a look, but basically he observes that lists, how-tos, technical articles and humor get to the top faster.

2. Give people the tools to bookmark easily. If you have a blog, use Sociable. It’s terrific. If you have a site, there are plenty of interesting tools that will help you make it easy for your visitors to bookmark your content. AddtoBookmarks.com is a good one.

There are Social Bookmarking sites popping up all over the place. Here are the Top 10. Where did I find them? In someone’s bookmark list on Listable, of course.

Del.icio.us Listible Digg StumbleUpon BlinkList Spurl Magnolia Furl BlogMarks Reddit

Related articles from around the web:

Similar topics: Viral Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Marketing, Myspace, Del.icio.us

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