Today’s guest post is written by Carlo Pandian.
If you belong, like me, to a generation that considers it normal to actually have met most of your friends in the flesh you may be a little wary of all things techie; especially techie things which involve the word “social.”
That doesn’t mean all things social should be overlooked for any business and, as we all know, if you’ve no web presence these days, you don’t exist.
But being social doesn’t necessarily mean you have to participate, and engage in, Twitter and Facebook.
There are tools, such as social bookmarking, that allow you to collect information as you browse the web, without having to be the creator of it.
Out of the Internet Stone Age
Bookmarking is an online version of the “favorites” tab on your browser. Back in the Stone Age of the Internet, you could add things to your favorites on one computer, but the moment you left the house (or the room) you couldn’t access a single thing.
If you want to share it with anyone you’d have to drag them all the way along the corridor and into the room. I can’t actually remember how we all managed in those days? Can you?
Enter the remarkable world of web-based bookmarking. You sign up for an account, add your favorites, and presto!, you can access your bookmarks at the top of Mt. Everest – assuming you can get a signal up there.
Create a Following
The social bit comes in as you can make “friends” with people on the site. Start to follow people and share interesting content. Eventually, you will begin to gather your own following.
For businesses, this is gold dust. Find people who are following sites like yours and you have a ready-made, often very willing, target audience who will share your content, and send you quality web traffic.
Bookmarking sites are not only a great place to find your desired audience, but also equally good to get those people spreading the word – about you. For PR purposes you’ll need to spend some time checking links between users and identifying those with larger followings. These offer the chance to hook up with already trusted individuals in your clients niche, and then to pitch to them.
Where Are All the Robots?
Like Twitter and Facebook, social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit have one significant advantage over search engines: Robots aren’t very good at assessing relevance or content. They think they are, but they’re not.
There is some risk here for PR professionals. Social networking sites of all kinds use humans – instead of algorithms – to filter content. This is the good old, fashioned word-of-mouth stuff that PR is built on, just without the mouths.
Pitch poorly and you’ll be ignored. Try to sell and you’ll be ignored. Talk, chat, post relevant content on your own profile and make friends with leading bookmarkers. Spend time on this one and the results can be incredible.
Commit to the Relationships
When it comes to choosing your bookmarking sites, it’s worth being careful about it. The best site for you depends on the industry you are trying to reach. Do some due diligence and choose the one that is most relevant for your goals. As in anything you do, there is no gain without pain; using social bookmarking sites requires a certain amount of commitment. Invest the time to interact with other users and provide quality and relevant information; just like you do on your blog and your social networks.
The beauty of using social bookmarking is the opportunities it offers to find exactly the audience you are looking for; by targeting those with larger followings you can also leave some of the work to your new found friends.
Do you use social bookmarking sites? Have you seen big results?
Carlo Pandian. is a freelance writer based in U.K. and blogs for Media Recruitment on careers, marketing, and public relations. Social bookmarking sites are an effective tool for PR and marketing purposes. Creating links with individuals who are already interested in your products can gain valuable exposure and spread the word in no time.
This post originally ran on Jag Press Publicity. While we require exclusivity for a full month of new content, this one slipped through the cracks.