Social Bookmarking: What It Is And Why It Matters

Social Bookmarking: What It Is And Why It Matters

By: Shelly Kramer
May 16, 2011

Hansel and Gretel using breadcrumbs to find their way home
Social Bookmarking is definitely the “social” way to save your favorite sites/blog posts. However, equally as important, social bookmarking is an element of online content distribution – or content marketing – that’s an integral part of the process of driving brand awareness as well as traffic (and leads) back to your blog or website.

Social bookmarking may sound fancy, but it’s really quite simple. Know how you find something you like in a magazine and rip out the page for future reference? Social bookmarking is about the same thing – only online. And better.

Social Bookmarking – Why It’s Better Than Ripping Out Magazine Pages

  1. Instead of bookmarking sites of interest to your web browser, when you use use social bookmarking sites, your links (or gems of information that you like and want to save or share with others) are saved on web-based sites that can be accessed from anywhere.
  2. Your bookmarked content can be found by others who are looking for similar type content (based on tags and/or categories).
  3. Social bookmarking can help you find other websites and blog posts that interest you and/or your clients (again, based on tags and/or categories).
  4. Social bookmarking can help others find your content more easily – and deposit them right on your front step (a/k/a your blog or website).
  5. Ergo, Grasshopper, social bookmarking can lead to interest, which can lead to traffic, which can lead to leads, which can lead to sales. Oh my!

In summary, social bookmarking is really all about just three things: Saving, Discovering, Sharing.

While I’m not sure which social bookmarking site was the first on the scene (as certainly there will be varying opinions on what is considered a social bookmarking site) it’s actually been around for some time – even if you’ve never heard of it. Social bookmarking sites include sites like Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Tweetmeme, Mixx and many others.

When we explain social bookmarking to someone, we tell them to think of it as a big, giant online filing cabinet – but one that’s organized by way of tags that identify what the content is about. And, one of the things that makes that online filing cabinet uber cool is that it’s public (if you want it to be) and accessible by anyone.

This video, while dated a bit, explains Social Bookmarking in Plain English. It was produced in 2006, which seems like light years ago (and in Internet years, that is light years!), the concept is still right on and briefly explains all the points articulated above.

Social Bookmarking Is Breadcrumbs On the Web

We write (and talk) a lot about online marketing – or content marketing – and how important it is to leave breadcrumbs of content all over the Web, all of which ultimately enhances your credibility, your brand image, the value you provide – and hopefully, it drives traffic back to your website.

Social bookmarking is yet another tactic you can use to leave those delicious breadcrumbs on the Internet. And, for the record, I agree wholeheartedly with the inimitable Geoff Livingston that the best kind of content marketing is for businesses to learn how to become better storytellers – and deliver facts, value and insights for your customers and prospects. That kind of content adds value to your relationship with those folks instead of just pushing whatever it is you’ve got to sell on them.

When your content (blog posts, press releases, articles, etc.) are submitted to social bookmarking sites, they have the potential to be found by others interested in those topics and not only increase your own brand awareness and credibility as an expert on that topic, but they can also drive traffic back to your website. Think of it as an element on online networking – or even new business prospecting. And also think of it as adding value to people who are interested in the topics you’re writing about.

If you enjoy finding smaller, lesser known websites and bloggers (or are doing research for yourself or on behalf of your clients), performing keyword and tag searches will often deliver up sites you might otherwise not have found. We use a variety of social bookmarking sites on a daily basis as a place to gather competitive information, research topics we’re writing about for our clients, as well as to share our own content and our clients’ content as far and widely as we possibly can. That’s part of our job when it comes to content marketing deliverables for our clients.

Want to know more about social bookmarking? Stay tuned (and if you’ve not yet subscribed to the V3 blog, now’s your chance) — because we’ve got another post coming this week that will give you a “how to” look at getting started using social bookmarking.

Let us know in the comments here if you have any specific questions we can answer and/or cover in that post – but otherwise, we’ll see you in a few days!

P.S. Feel free to stalk me on StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious or Twitter. You know you wanna.

Image Credit: Michael Gaigg

  • Here’s what I love about social bookmarking: I find incredible content from those I trust. No matter what site (or combination thereof) you choose to use, you can drop in, click through and find things your network likes. What’s better than that? It’s like Twitter without all the chatter 🙂 Thanks, Ms. Kramer.

  • Rebbetzin Tap

    Thank you for this article.  It was well-written and very helpful.

  •  I definitely don’t do enough social bookmarking, but I’m going to get on it. Thanks for posting.

  • Pingback: Social Bookmarking: How To Do It Correctly | V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency()

  • I already stalk you although I’ve been slacking lately. I never thought of Twitter as a social bookmarking site.
    Like Jason, I don’t do enough of it.

  • Hey, Shelly; great article. Straight. Simple. Clear. Thanks so much! Next stop: to watch the video you linked here!

  • Joel

    Hi Shelly Very nice and informative post about social bookmarking sites.I personally believe that these social bookmarking sites help to build back links and drive traffic to your blog/website.Keep up the good work.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Joel!