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Social Media A to Z
As promised, this section is going to introduce you to social bookmarking which is going to be one of the ways that you truly start increasing traffic to your website.
You’ll find a ton of introductory information as well as some intermediate discussion throughout this text. As I mentioned in the introduction, make sure that you read this section so that you can gain the most benefit from this book.
Social bookmarking is based on the concept of sharing information on the web, and has evolved rapidly with the growth of the internet communities and interactive sites. As more people turn to websites to learn, research, and even read the latest news, the ability to track and monitor this behavior is becoming even easier.
Collective intelligence is leading the wave of sharing information based on specific keywords and subjects, and can help marketers and business owners in many ways. Today’s social networking sites are incorporating many social bookmarking elements into the platform. This allows users to learn even more about each other, and is engaging people online by building communities, opening up new networking channels, and giving marketers and business owners a chance to track behavior.
The Wikipedia definition for social bookmarking states: "an activity performed over a computer network that allows users to save and categorize a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. Users may also take bookmarks saved by others and add them to their own collection, as well as to subscribe to the lists of others. - a personal knowledge management tool."
Each social bookmarking site is designed differently, but ultimately allows users to create a profile, update their preferences, and share this information with friends and family. Since they are creating this growing network of information, a pattern of tastes and preferences is established—and made publicly available.
This profile is the key element of interest to marketers; it’s created with basic registration and in most cases, an e-mail address and login name allow complete access to the social bookmaking platform. The visitor can begin publishing their activity to share with fellow social bookmarkers, and this creates a network of categories.
Discovering and sharing information with keywords in specific topic is what allows social bookmarking networks to grow; as more information is provided, the categories of interest also develop to provide key information.
Digg.com is a perfect example of social bookmarking that is growing rapidly. Users can rate and comment on articles, video content, and podcasts on thousands of topics; the more popular items are posted on the Digg.com front page, while others are rated and logged for the community to review.
While Digg.com is primarily a news site, it is just one example of a valuable social bookmarking network that has developed into a proliferating online community. Any articles or information that is posted on Digg.com has the potential of being viewed by millions of visitors. Getting to the Digg.com front page ensures thousands of page views, all at a very low initial cost. Of course, the information that reaches this level must be valuable to Digg.com readers; since the votes are all user-generated, it allows anyone submitting information to learn about their audience from the ground up.
People Love Building Their Own Bookmarking Pages
The fundamental reason why consumers build social bookmarking profiles is to create an identity to share. After doing so, they are able to interact on social networking sites on a regular basis, and marketers can use this behavior to their advantage by:
- Monitoring their favorite brands
- Reading about new products
- Learning about competitor products
- Identifying with other users
- Seeing what friends and family find interesting
- Finding out what the latest trends are
- Identifying new products to purchase
In order to create a profile on many of today’s leading social bookmarking sites, a user simply creates a screen name, login information, and possibly uploads a picture. Depending on the theme of the site, the user will then go ahead and ‘upload’ the relevant information such as links or products to their profile pages. After that, they can become a part of a community.
Community members and leaders rise to the top ‘ranks’ of the site based on a variety of factors including:
- Level of activity
- User feedback
- Number of products reviewed or discussions created
- Popularity within the community
- Number of fans
In many ways, social bookmarking is considered to be a form of collective intelligence. Collective intelligence based on a few trends in the marketplace, news, or other information can provide very important data to a third party observer. Filtering data has become even more important today as it provides insights and information on direct experiences with many of the goods and services available in the marketplace.
Planning Social Media Into Your Site
Social media offers the latest roundup of online technologies that is based on the concept of community. Sharing opinions, posting comments, participating in discussion boards, and simply exchanging media files are all facets of social media on the web today, and social bookmarking and networking are just a couple of these online activities.