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How Social Bookmarks and News Services Can Benefit Your Marketing Campaign

Social bookmarks and news services offer multiple benefits to social media marketers. To start with, they’re free — always a positive factor for online guerrilla marketers. In addition, you may benefit in many other ways by using these services:

  • Improved search engine ranking: By using your primary search terms in tags and other elements of your submissions, you may improve your overall web presence in general search engines. The appearance of your content on these services supplements your own site in general search results.

  • Inbound links: Inbound links from social bookmarking and news services may dramatically improve your position in search engine results and your Google PageRank as well as deliver visitors directly to your site.

  • Increased brand visibility and traffic: The more people who see your website or content listed on one of these services, the more people will remember your name and visit your site. Like many other social marketing techniques, bookmarks and news services help fill the conversion funnel.

  • Increased readership and membership: If you’re a writer, pundit, professional speaker, or consultant, these services can be extraordinarily valuable. After you establish a reputation on a service, you may find that you have loyal followers as well as many new readers, subscribers, clients, and speaking gigs.

  • Increased earnings: You can consider people who visit your URL from social bookmarking and news services as prequalified prospects, pushing them farther down the funnel toward “likely buyer” status. Be sure that your site validates the ratings it has earned, though.

  • Triggering the influentials: Many online “influentials” watch social bookmarking and news services to spot trends and decide whether to mention a site or an article in their own blogs or tweets. Of course, submissions by these influential people carry additional value in the eyes of their followers.

Listing your website, blog, or content initially is easy. You, or others, can post your site on as many services as you want. Being listed high in the rankings is a more difficult task, though.

Check the Terms of Use on these services; in some cases, you cannot submit your own site or content. Many news services have more constraints on the voting process than on submissions.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Research appropriate social bookmarking and news services.

    For an overview, try Quantcast or Alexa to review the user base, demographics, and traffic statistics for each prospective service. A handy chart on the Trends tab shows traffic trends on the top 50 social media services, or you can select only bookmarking or social news subsets. Generally, you’re looking for services that

    • Receive a lot of traffic

    • Specialize in your market niche

    • Attract your target market

  2. Visit each site to confirm that it fits your needs and attracts your audience.

    To understand more about the kinds of people who use a particular service, look at other top sites bookmarked in your category or at the content rated most favorably. Are the businesses and articles complementary to yours? To your competitors? Are the users of each service likely to try the products or services you offer?

    You can sometimes tell whether an audience might be receptive to your offerings by looking at who’s paying for ads on particular pages.

  3. Sort by the names who submitted postings to see which individuals or companies are responsible for most of the public listings.

    Don’t be surprised if the results follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of posts will come from 20 percent of users. The top ten submitters are likely to be the influentials on that service.

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