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April 22, 2008

A Marketer’s Guide to Social Bookmarking & Tagging

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This time Danny is moderating with speakers Guillaume Bouchard (NVI), Michael Gray (Atlas Web Services) and Neil Patel (Advantage Consulting Services). I wonder if Danny’s throat is getting dry. All this moderating looks exhausting. Almost as exhausting as liveblogging it. I just bit into my “chocolate chip cookie” to find out it was oatmeal raisin. Fail!

Guillaume Bouchard is up first. Guillaume is up there talking in French. Um, help?

He shares a little blackhat Digg trick:

On Google

Site:digg.com/users/ “@hotmail.com”
Site:digg.com/users/ “@gmail.com”

Get email addresses for other Digg users so you can harass them. Sweet. [Please don’t try this at home. Use your powers for good, guys. Oy vey. –Susan]

Social bookmarking allows Internet users to store, organize, search, and most importantly, share bookmarks. Popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious, StumbleUpon and Furl.

Every bookmarking site also uses tagging. Tagging is a collaborative practice and method of using tags to annotate and categorize content. Popular Web sites include Flickr, YouTube and Technorati.

Benefits of social bookmarking:

  • Helps your site get indexed faster
  • Achieve a high amount of natural incoming links
  • Creates a presence in online social communities for your targeted verticals
  • Builds traffic from alternative sources
  • Influences traditional media

How to Tag Effectively:

  • Check how other people are tagging the kind of sites you want to remember.
  • When in doubt, pick the tag that is suggested or the most relevant in the tag clouds.
  • Stay away from separating your tags with commas.
  • Coordinate your efforts and establish a set of standards for how to tag resources you want to share with others.

Manual Tagging: Been on the Web for the past ten years. Create your own set of tags to represent your content. Works best with images and videos, encouraging high participation rates by allowing users to personalize and create their own tags. Featured on Delicious, YouTube, etc.

Automatic Tagging: Extracts tags from the content. Can incorporate all other users’ tags in the automatic process. Does not benefit from the creativity of a human mind. A good example of added value: Facebook tags all of its features.

Problems with tagging: Abuse and Content Degradation

Content visibility is often created through the intentional misuse of tags and/or poor descriptions. As social bookmarking and tagging becomes more mainstream, the added incentive for manipulation will result in decreasingly reliable content, unless their algorithms get a lot smarter.

Social Media and Community Sites to Target

Technorati: Search engine for blogs that operates using a tag-based system. The most popular blogs are ranked by how many links/pingbacks are pointing to them. Set up a blog for your client, write several blog posts with high profile tags, and claim it through Technorati. Headlines and Rising post system allows you to make the home page of Technorati. Use the biggest social sites to drive traffic and increase pingbacks to your blog.

Flickr: Upload photos that are relevant to the industry you are trying to target. Select tags from the popular tags listings. If you want your photos to also appear in Technorati, tag them and set them to public. Encourage users to link to and comment on your photos using the same tags that you initially selected. Use the photostream on your blog and other public profiles. Add links to your profile and to relevant photos in comments. Participate and comment on popular Flickr pictures within your industry and share your findings with proper anchor text.

YouTube: Content submitted is more important than tags used. Original, yet amateur, mashup videos have proven successful. Use Digg and other social Web sites to obtain the highest amount of views and ratings possible in a short period of time. Participate by posting a video response to an already popular video. Share your submitted videos with friends. Use your own blog or your friend’s blog to promote your video fast.

Facebook: Use it to create attractive and interesting corporate profiles. Develop a widget to distribute an application unique to your industry. Invite relevant friends with influence to join. Watch out for existing groups talking about your corporation that are not moderated by someone within your company. Moderation can be time consuming for larger groups, especially open ones. Plan your resources.

Michael Gray is up. He’s going to talk about Delicious. It’s one of the older bookmarking sites.

Delicious is a community-oriented social bookmarking tool. It allows you to store your bookmarks “in the cloud” on the Internet. It aggregates your bookmarks with other people and allows you to share them with your friends or the community as a whole.

They’re taking advantage of something called “group wisdom”. It allows people to understand and interact with their community. It allows you to use your bookmarks without being tied to a physical computer.

How to Add a Bookmark

Download the toolbar. Once you have it and submit something, it grabs the URL from the page you own and pre-populates the title for you. You can add keywords, notes and tags. They’ll recommend tags based on the content. It will also show you popular network tags.

Keywords and Clickability in Titles: Choose titles that have clickability and keywords.

Bad Title – Cool Ice Brawls.
Good Title– 25 most Outrageous Hockey Fights.

People will use the title as the anchor text when they link to you.

Tag Clouds and Popularity: The smaller the word, the less people are using them. The bigger the word, the more people are using them. Red words are the one you’re using. Learn what tags your community uses.

Find and make friends.

He shows the home page and all the different sections. We see the how popular pages appear on the home page. Shows the tags they used, how many people bookmarked it, how many have bookmarked it recently, what the popular tags are, etc.

You can monitor particular people or tags. A lot of the prominent bloggers take everything they put in their Delicious account that day and link to it. Steve Rubel does that. It’s a good link building tool.

You can also use it as a research tool. You see how people are tagging gardening, what kinds of gardening stories have gone popular, see title patterns, etc.

Getting the Most Out of Delicious

  • Set up an account and become familiar with it.
  • Research your topic and get ideas for content.
  • Identify key people, mavens, and early adopters in your sector and try to connect with them.
  • Launch your content, help sculpt the title and suggested tags.
  • Help your content spread and grow without being pushy or overbearing.

Spam is not Delicious

  • Become a member who contributes before you start submitting.
  • Don’t create sock puppets.
  • Don’t mass vote from a single IP.
  • Don’t gang vote or use voting blocks.
  • Your account won’t get banned but they will make your bookmark votes worthless.

Michael says that yesterday him and Danny went to Disneyland and Michael ended up with the High Score on Buzz LightYear even though Danny beat him 2 out of 3 times. Hee.

Neil Patel is up next to talk about StumbleUpon.

Who uses StumbleUpon? There’s a lot more males than the average site. There are actually more 45-54 year-olds than any other demographic.

Why should you care: Over 12,000 visitors in one day. Traffic keeps coming. It doesn’t die down. It’s also really good for branding.

How to leverage it:

  1. Install the toolbar. It gives you the Stumble button and you can hit the thumbs up to say you like it or the thumbs down to say you didn’t like it. You can also send stuff to your friends.
  2. Add Friends: You can only have 200 mutual friends. Use them wisely.
  3. Submitting a Story: A lot of thinks “can fly” on StumbleUpon. Everything is run from the toolbar. There’s no one home page. When submitting you want to create a good title, but it’s not as important as it is on some other sites. You also want to add a review. Once you put your review, you set the topic and add your tags.
  4. Leveraging Your Friends: You can send stuff to your friends. If you send him something, he can’t use the SU toolbar again until he views what you sent him. You have to rotate your friends.
  5. Friends Vote: You have to keep dropping and adding friends to keep up the effectiveness of their votes. So keep someone for a few months and then drop them and pick up a new friend. Nice, Neil.

Question and Answer

Within these social sites, a lot of them frown upon adult information, are there any sites out there that don’t have an issue with at all?

Neil starts talking about YouPorn and rattles off stats with enough certainty that it makes me worried.

Guillaume mentions RedTube (I think?) and SpankWire.

Danny is googling [adult digg] and says he found some stuff.

Neil recommends going to TechCrunch and searching for [adult].

Tips on how to make your social profiles more visible in the search results?

Michael: Link to it.

Should you use the same username across different social networks

Guilamme: As long as you mix client work with nonclient work, it’s a good thing. Michael will tell you if you want to play around and use it to stalk people and cause trouble.

Neil: A lot of it is branding. If you’re using your account ethically, then you want to use the same name and the same user icon across the sites.

Michael: You always want to register your brand name on social sites. Even if you’re not using them, just so no one else can.

Does StumbleUpon produce links or just traffic?

Neil: It produces both, but more traffic than links. If you want links, the content has to be more-resource and not time sensitive.

Michael: Traffic does really well on StumbleUpon.

How do you keep up with all the RSS feeds, social bookmark sites, etc?

Michael breaks things up into Things I Want To Read, Things That Are Important, Things I Want To Scan.

Guillaume: They split it up between people. Every week they have a lunch and learn where they share what they read. Everyone brings together their best blog posts they found and what they learned. Share the workload.

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One response to “A Marketer’s Guide to Social Bookmarking & Tagging”

  1. social bookmarking service writes:

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