To get a good grasp of what social bookmarking is about, all you need to do is look at the name. Much like regular bookmarking, you are saving a link that you find interesting or helpful, in case you might need it later on. The key difference is in the “social” part of this phenomenon. You’re not saving that link all for yourself, you’re trying to share it with the world.
There are a couple of big websites that participate in social bookmarking. The most popular among them are Reddit, Digg, and Stumbleupon. You might be familiar with these social media giants, but you might not know exactly how they work.
These websites don’t operate the same way most other websites do. Instead of focusing on the page you’re on, you will find the most interesting content in the links that are shared on the website. You can think of them as some form of aggregate websites, but there’s much more to them than meets the eye.
The biggest attraction of these websites is their community. You’re not sharing these links for nothing. Communities form around specific discussion threads or “rooms” in which users have detailed discussions about the content that has been shared. The links that are posted are only points from which the conversation starts. They aren’t considered the main point of these threads. Finding like-minded individuals and engaging with the community would be some of the more interesting aspects of social bookmarking websites
Social bookmarking websites haven’t yet seen their full potential in terms of business interactions. They are a relatively untapped source of publicity and exposure. The reason very few businesses have set their sights on websites like Reddit is because it’s dynamic and uncharted territory. If a business wants to invest its marketing resources into something, they have to know the intimate details of how it works.
Social bookmarking websites are no strangers to link sharing. The vibrant communities contained within will scour the internet for interesting content that matches the theme of their threads. Ultimately, this could lead to sharing the main pages of websites and their blogs. The bookmarking websites were not designed with a lot of SEO in mind, but they offer a wide variety of benefits for anyone that takes advantage of them.
As much as you can enjoy the SEO benefits of social bookmarking websites, their power in creating brand awareness has leagues more potential. Users will gladly share something that has proven to be useful or quirky on the website.
Since threads are managed by users themselves, it’s not uncommon to see brands form their own rooms that are dedicated to a brand itself. The users in these rooms then spread the good word of the brand through their threads. It’s not uncommon to see a brand propelled to new heights after being featured on the main pages of social bookmarking websites.
The users that run these highly specific rooms are called moderators. Since the website doesn’t impose much of its authority on its users, the users actually take it upon themselves to do the job. They enforce the rules of the website in order to remove offensive and illegal content. The rooms themselves can feature their own rules for posting content. Sometimes these rules exist to limit the kind of content that is featured. Sometimes you will find that content has to fit a specific niche in order to be allowed on the threads.
There are no rules whatsoever that stop someone from becoming a user on these websites. Most of them guarantee complete anonymity while allowing the user to post in just about any kind of room. You can post any kind of content you please, but that doesn’t mean it will get featured on the front page of the website. It might not even be the top post on the room it’s posted in.
The websites usually have a voting system, where every user can give a positive or negative vote to every post. Content that features something that is interesting or useful will be bumped up by the sheer number of votes it receives and it can get featured on the front page with relative ease.
Before you post any kind of links to the website, it might be wise to understand the culture that surrounds social bookmarking websites. Posts that are considered spam are very much frowned upon. In fact, they are one of the few kinds of posts that are outright removed instead of being voted down into obscurity.
If your post comes across as an attempt to advertise your business, it’s going to receive quite a bit of backlash. Even a hint of advertising intent is enough to bring out the cynicism of users in every corner of the website.
If you wish to share your own blog or links to your website, it has to be in the context of being informative or entertaining. Try making it attractive towards a specific kind of room or thread.
Users will stumble upon your product and blog every once in a while and decide to share it as a useful link. In these situations, it would be wise to observe how the threads evolve from afar or post with the intent of informing the users. Try to avoid enthusiastically supporting anything due to the paranoid nature of the users.
Links that are featured on these bookmarking websites are going to get a larger influx of traffic, but that’s not the only benefit. They’re also going to improve in page rank. However, there are usually some prerequisites for this. Websites like Digg have a no-follow tag to posts that haven’t yet reached a threshold of popularity.
It can be very beneficial to get your link on the front page. If people enjoy the content that is posted, they might share it in other rooms. Those rooms could share it in multiple threads. This could lead to doubling and even tripling the number of backlinks you receive. Consider that the hype tends to die down after a while.
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