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Social bookmarking for your small business blog

“If you write it, they will come.” Well at least that’s what all those small businesses that start a blog in the hope of driving hoards of potential customers to their site anticipate will happen.

While writing a regular blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and help potential customers get the information they need about your company, the next hurdle is actually getting people to read it.

That’s where social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon come in. Used properly, they have the power to bring eyeballs to your well-written prose.

One important distinction to make is that unlike social networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn — where the content is secondary — people participate within social bookmarking sites for the purpose of finding specific web content. So researching each site and knowing what types of content do the best for that audience will help increase your success.

Here then are just a few best practices for using social bookmarking to promote your small businesses blog:

Bookmark your best, but not every post

More than likely, your current blogging platform makes it easy to share your blog posts with social bookmarking sites to which you already belong. By loading the login information for each social bookmarking site onto your blogging software, you can quickly and easily share your selected posts. For example, after writing a particularly powerful blog post that you feel fits with the content needs of a site, you can tag it to your business Facebook page, to Digg, to StumbleUpon and to any other social bookmarking sites you choose.

Have social bookmarking icons available at the end of each post

To really maximize the effectiveness of social bookmarking, place icons such as ShareThis at the end of every blog post on your website. This makes it easy for visitors who belong to sites to share the posts they find useful as well. Here are a few of the most popular sites and where their share button codes can be found:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Delicious
ShareThis 

Pay attention to both the big players and the up and coming. Robert Farrington says that creating backlinks to your blog via social bookmarking is a key strategy for increasing traffic to your site. Farrington makes the point, however, that while the big players (Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit) tend to dominate, newer sites such as Y Combinator are worth a try. Best known as the venture capital muscle behind many of today’s social media players, this site’s readers are looking for hot new content that is targeted toward the Internet and finance. Similar to Reddit, users submit posts, which are then voted up or down.

Research your keywords. As with most things Internet marketing, keywords are critical. Lea Richards, owner of  mail-order barbeque company Pigofthemonth, says that before submitting to social media sites, she takes some time to optimize the tags for whom she is targeting. “I do a quick Google search for my post and see what else is out there to get a better idea of what keywords I should be hitting on,” says Richards.

Add images whenever possible. Posts that have video, photos or infographics are always more likely to go viral in today’s visually oriented world.

How have you been using social bookmarking to drive traffic to your blog? We would love to hear your comments.

Karen Leland is a freelance journalist, best-selling author and president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she helps businesses negotiate the wired world of today’s media landscape — social and otherwise.

 

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17 comments

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13 October 2011 #

I agree with you. Social Bookmarking is essential. This post is a well-written piece. I’ll look forward to more of this.

Natascha Tello
19 October 2011 #

Great information, I hadn’t been aware of how effective social bookmarking can be.

Mark Cooper
19 October 2011 #

You are absolutely right on having a “share this” icon available at the end of your blog. People tend to want to share things quite rapidly, so why not give them that opportunity (and you the exposure?).

Wendy Simpson-Fox
20 October 2011 #

Thanks heaps for the terrific info Karen.

Sasha
21 October 2011 #

It does sound like a lot of work, requiring a lot of time. Hopefully it does pay off.

Micheal Forte
21 October 2011 #

Thanks for all of the information. I learned a lot and will be trying out some of your suggestions.

Kurt
21 October 2011 #

Since I have added pictures and video I have deffinitely noticed an increase in interest.

Eric Grimes
21 October 2011 #

All great tips. Thanks for sharing.I do think that Facebook is still the way to go.

Karen Leland
26 October 2011 #

All,

Thanks for your comments. Social bookmarking is one of the best (and most underutilized tools) for getting word out about a blog.

Derek Snoghton
31 October 2011 #

I get adequate visits, nothing huge, but I blog just to vent and occasionally I get a good thread going.

Paul N
31 October 2011 #

thanks for the idea. Now I just gotta figure out how to do it.

David Brownell
4 November 2011 #

I use a lot of social tags. I am new at this and I do have much to learn still.

Jackie Ellis
4 November 2011 #

I try to make friends. If I can get some votes from my friend I feel I am more likely to get votes from others. Sometimes I get enough to go to thte top!

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17 November 2011 #

I am trying to promote my website by social bookmarking the content on my site? Which social bookmarking site should I spend my time on? And does anyone have any tips on the best practices or strategies for this type of search engine optimization?

New social bookmarking sites has been great way to get back links to our site and if It has been featured on the home page of bookmarking site then it will drive more traffic to your blog.

Monika
19 December 2011 #

Really the great information about social bookmarking. You have done a great job.

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11 January 2012 #

Very interesting artticle It is true that ebay uses technology to get lead in the online market business . If other sites make good use of this , then they all would be in the top.

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