By Tinu AbayomiPaul (c) 2009
Someone sent me the question "Why Social Bookmarking? "
And I thought to myself: "Um. Why not?"
Since I'm not really sure what they meant by that, I'm going to assume that this person mean "Why should I use social bookmarking in my business?" - with a full understanding of all the risks associated with "assuming".
I figure that if you're reading this, you have that question, or a similar one.
There are three reasons:
1 - More links
2 - More traffic
3 - More credibility
More links are always a good thing.
Think of links as the road traffic that moves through the web. If there are no roads to where your business "lives" online, namely your website, it's far less likely that the visitors you want will end up getting to you.
That's true whether you're talking about search engines or links from other sites. Search engines use a mysterious cross between the number and quality of links to your site in their determination of whether you should be number one or number 701 for your desired keyword.
In addition, the "nicer" the road, the more traffíc will flow through it - think of an authority site linking to your site as a highway that leads directly to your site, and one from a reciprocal link or link exchange scheme as a back street in a sketchy neighborhood full of potholes.
Improved traffic, also good.
From social bookmarking, this traffic is often targeted. Through tagging, the description someone writes, or the title they assigned to your link, the person who discovers the submitted link on a social bookmarking site knows exactly where they're going, and why they're interested in getting there.
It's like seeing the cover of a magazine on a rack. That's what pulls them in, they see a headline - and to get to the story they are compelled to take another action.
The more credibility thing is a bit harder to explain, so we'll go with another analogy.
Let's say I made a movie and I thought it was fantastic. If I hadn't met you before, and I tell you, "hey, I made a kick-ass movie, come see it!" - you may come see it, you may not.
It depends more on how much time you have and if you're interested in that kind of movie, or even how nice of a person you are, than my opinion.
Because I'm the one who made it, so you can't know whether to trust my opinion, at least in relation to how much YOU might like it. Of course I think it's great, but I have no way of knowing whether you will.
Now, if you knew me and my taste, and how alike our tastes are, you may be a bit more inclined. So if I'm, say, Michael Bay, and you liked my last movie, and my new movie is on the same type of thing, you might go see it based on the trailer alone. You know you're taking a gamble but it's a safe bet.
Now watch this.
Your best buddy, the one who likes all the same things you like, the one you hang out with and trust the most, calls you on the phone and says:
"I've just seen the best movie I've ever seen in my entire life. I have to see it again. When are you free, I'll come pick you up."
The only thing that could make that deal sweeter is if your friend has also said "My treat." At least as far as recommendations go, the person who knows what you like the most is likely to be the person whose advice you'll follow.
If you know that friend, and that person has similar tastes, or at least knows what you like, you're more likely to see the movie.
My sister and I have similar tastes in movies, but I'm a little more patient with beginnings and endings and like more indie-fare. Yet, no matter how many times I have suggested we watch a movie together that she ends up not liking as much, if I rave about a movie, she'll at least give it a chance.
Now, let's take that back to social bookmarking. Imagine you can find hundreds of people, all over the world, with tastes similar to yours, sharing information you wouldn't find yourself.
Or maybe you can just connect faster and more frequently for suggestions from people you already know. Wouldn't you be more likely to follow their suggestions than some stranger?
That's the power of social bookmarking. It's put a technology behind word of mouth sharing of web sites that anyone can use.
And they do.
Now all you have to do is learn how to be the person or company everybody is spreading the word about. Which is another conversation altogether.
About The Author
How do you promote your local business using online tools? I'm answering this and related questions every day - if you've got one come by and ask away! I know. That rhymed. You can come give me a hard time about it at AskTinu.com - yo habla sarcasm.