Social bookmarking is a hit or miss strategy for many, but utilizing it in a very specific manner using specific tools has been very effective for me.
It is a key component of my marketing strategy whenever I build a new niche website, or whenever I want to promote or build back links to new articles on my blog, websites or articles that I submit to directories and web 2.0 properties for article marketing purposes.
Social bookmarking is the bookmarking, recording or saving of a particular URL (a website or a single web page of that website) to a social bookmarking platform such as Digg and Stumbleupon. The reason why the strategy is effective is because social bookmarking platforms are some of the most credible and high ranking websites, not to mention the possibility of your content going insanely viral.
The reason why social bookmarking doesn’t turn out that beneficial for many marketers is because many use it haphazardly, without a specific approach that has a clear objective. Clarity and focus are critical in everything you do. Like most similar approaches, this initiative is like shooting in the dark.
Having a specific strategy with a clear objective in mind is how you gain the maximum benefit from this marketing approach. With that said, there are many ways to use social bookmarking to meet various objectives.
Personally, I use social bookmarking with two specific objectives in mind, to gain quality back links to my websites, and to get my web pages indexed on search engines before I begin spinning the articles and submitting them to article directories. Subsequently, I use it to boost the rank or build back links to articles submitted to directories.
Although high quality content can spread like wildfire if noticed by a high profile social bookmarker, and many use social bookmarking to do just that, I don’t proactively seek to gain this result from my social bookmarking efforts because the outcome is way beyond my control and involves a high degree of luck. What I do intend to gain however is a solidified page rank to stabilize by ranking on search engines through back link building.
Just like article marketing initiatives can help provide a boost to your website and the various web pages within, social bookmarking acts in the same way and can also help take your link building effort a step further. Not only can you bookmark your web pages, but also the articles you submit for article marketing purposes on various article directories.
Imagine three layers that start from the core, which is your website or blog. The outer layer is the article marketing initiatives which brings back links to the inner core. Another layer outside the article marketing layer is the social bookmarking initiative, which brings back links to your articles, which in turn passes on to the inner core which is your main website.
As you can see in the diagram, I also use social bookmarking sparingly to link directly to content that is on my web properties. Use this approach sparingly and slowly.
So which social bookmarking sites should you utilize to drive back links to your articles? Digg and StumbleUpon are solid social bookmarking websites to start with, but these are just two of several effective sites. There are social bookmarking tools you can use that come with a pre-populated list of popular and effective social bookmarking sites you can target.
In my experience, social bookmarking is a numbers game in that the more sites you target the more effective your efforts become. The utilization of an automated tool helps you do this relatively easily.
There are three tools that I came across when I first started looking into using social bookmarking, Social Bookmarking Demon, Social Marker and OnlyWire. I personally don’t like Social Bookmarking Demon because 1) it is clunky 2) it is expensive for no good reason in my opinion and 3) it doesn’t give me any more benefit from using it relative to the other two.
I used Social Marker for some time and find it better than the Demon because it is FREE. The downside is that their customer no support is non\-existent. Moreover, depending on which day you try it, the tool may or may not work for you. This frustrated me more than anything else and for that reason I don’t recommend it.
OnlyWire is what I use today because it is easy to use and it I like their back end support best of all three programs. For a non techie like myself, robust customer service is very important and I am willing to pay extra for it. However, OnlyWire has a free plan that you can use to market one website for up to 300 submissions per month. That is plenty for most people and you may never have to spend on a social bookmarking tool.
Since I have over 20 niche websites, I use the Corporate plan at $99/month because it allows me to market an unlimited number of websites with unlimited submissions. They also have an intermediate plan that starts at $10 per month which allows you to market one website for an unlimited amount of monthly submissions. For me, the fee well worth it relative to the benefits I gain from utilizing this powerful Internet marketing tool. However, you can totally take advantage of their free offer.
Note that utilizing social bookmarking mass submission tools doesn’t mean you don’t have to sign up with each social bookmarking site. You still do, but you only have to do it one time. You can’t skip this step no matter what social bookmarking tool you use.
Once your login credentials are stored in the software you are using, the rest of the process becomes relatively streamlined. You can mass bookmark specific web pages across multiple social bookmarking platforms with one click of the button. For example, in my Onlywire dashboard, I have most social bookmarking sites clicked, or enabled for submission (see below).
You can definitely benefit from social bookmarking without spending money on social bookmarking software, but utilizing one will make the process much easier, much less time consuming and more effective in my opinion.
What strategy(ies) has worked best for you? What kinds of results have you experienced? What tool do you use and what’s your opinion of it? If you are not leveraging social bookmarking in your marketing initiatives, why?
Full Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with OnlyWire and get paid a commission each time someone I refer to it makes a purchase. I currently use OnlyWire for mass Social Bookmarking.