It’s 10 a.m. and you’re well into your workday. You switch over to your Internet browser to look something up and realize you have 10 tabs open. You can’t close this one because you have to finish that task. Oh, you can’t close that one either—you were in the middle of doing that one, too. So you leave all 10 open as reminders, and open an 11th. Wait—was that so and so on the beach on Facebook? You stop and take a quick look. OK, now what did you come over here for again?
Sound familiar? Then social bookmarking may be the answer. It helps you to organize your online experience, be more efficient with your time and stay focused.
But that’s not the half of it. Traffic generated by social bookmarking Web sites improves rankings and drives higher-quality traffic to your organization’s Web pages and blog.
The future of the Web will have a heavy emphasis on creating a more focused and organized experience. Social bookmarking is not new, but some of the tools are evolving to provide us what we need to truly streamline that experience.
Social tagging allows you to bookmark a Web page and file it under the tag of your choice for future reference. Because it is Web-based, you can access these bookmarks from any computer. You can share them or keep them private.
A few of the most popular bookmarking sites at the moment are StumbleUpon and Delicious, though I’m partial to Trunk.ly, and some of my colleagues use Evernote or Instapaper. Each of these tools has their own upside:
• StumbleUpon helps people easily discover new sites based on their preferences, and shares these pages via social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
• Delicious is excellent for keeping your tagged pages organized, managed and shared within the Delicious network.
• Trunk.ly automatically keeps tracks of any links shared on certain social networks. With new features added regularly, I’m watching them closely to take social bookmarking to the next level.
• Evernote allows people to save clips, notes, voice memos and bits of the Web.
• Instapaper lets users save pages that they want to read later.
USE TAGS TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO CONTENT
Encourage tagging (and voting up) of your content on these sites to grow traffic to your content and improve ranking of your site. Here’s how:
• Sign up/create an account. Set up the account on the above sites in the name of your organization or agency to share knowledge with clientele.
• Install the bookmarklet. This is a widget in your browser bar that easily allows you to tag sites without leaving the page you are visiting.
• Tag your favorite sites. As in all social media, it’s not all about you. It’s OK to submit your own pages and sites, but you’ll want to submit others’ pages as well (more so than your own). We use the 80/20 rule; 80% about someone else and 20% about us.
• Grow your community. Use the tools on the bookmarking sites to help you find people you already know, or that you might want to know.
• Add the share widgets to your Web pages/blogs. Make it easy for visitors to your various Web pages and blog posts to share your page on the social bookmarking sites.
• Track the content. Each of the bookmarking sites shows you click throughs to your bookmarks. Additionally, watch your Google analytics in the referring sites section.
Think about it: Thanks to all this social tagging, bookmarking sites have now become reliable search engines. The difference is that people can search for relevant information based on tags that have been filtered by humans, rather than by algorithms normally set by the engines.
In theory these sites provide higher quality search results. It provides a social way of finding information and a fantastic human filter. Like anything social, it’s not perfect. There is room for error because there is no control if users are tagging with irrelevant tags or even incorrect spelling.
Like many efforts, it takes time to grow your presence and see the traffic start to build. But if used and tracked regularly, you’re bound to see an upswing in eyeballs viewing your content. PRN
[Editor’s Note: Learn the PR ins and outs of the hottest social site around at the PR News’ Facebook Conference, set for May 24 in New York City. To register go to www.prnewsonline.com/conferences/facebookconference2011.html.]
This article was written by Lisa Gerber, chief content officer for the PR/marketing firm Spin Sucks. Follow her on Twitter @lisagerber.