Bookmarking sites and how to use them

by  Tim Grahl

In a recent post I outlined the 6 different types of social media. In this post we will go more in depth on social bookmarking sites.

Social bookmarking sites are services that allow you to save, organize and manage links to various websites and resources around the internet.  Most allow you to “tag” your links to make them easy to search and share. Delicious and StumbleUpon are the two most popular.

There are two approaches to using bookmarking sites to build your tribe.  One is a waste of time and one establishes you as an expert and great source of relevant information.

In a recent book on social networking strategy, it suggested spending a lot of time interacting on bookmarking sites with other users and sharing links with them in order to build a following.  This is a huge waste of time.  People use bookmarking sites for two things:

  1. Saving links
  2. Finding links

People are not hanging out on these sites to find new friends and interact. They are there to find something interesting enough to click and go to a new website.

However, Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich uses his Delicious account in a much more effective way. As he is reading and doing research online, he takes the extra bit of time to save articles, tags them and writes a short description of the article.  Since most of what he saves is directly related to the content of his blog, it becomes a great resource for his fans to follow and gain valuable information.  By Ramit becoming a source of great content, even though it is not his own, he is further established as an expert and source of relevant information.

StumbleUpon offers a personalized way to find new stuff on the internet.  It takes your interests, your friends interests and the interest of “similar” users and recommends websites you may be interested in.   For the purpose of building your tribe, any direct involvement in StumbleUpon is a waste of time.

There are two ways to use bookmarking sites to grow your tribe:

  1. Make it easy to share your content on these sites. You can add links to your blog posts and other content that allow people to bookmark your site on Delicious and share it on StumbleUpon.  Both sites can be a great source of traffic so you may want to make it easy for your fans to share your content there.
  2. Build a resource for your fans.  By regularly saving and organizing relevant links on Delicious, you will create a fantastic resource for your fans while also establishing yourself as an expert and source of information.

Joseph HinsonJoseph Hinson is the president and owner of Out:think Group, a firm that helps authors build their platforms, connect with readers and sell more books.

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