Your customers share their favorite content with bookmarking and tagging sites like, StumbleUpon, Flickr, YouTube, and Technorati. By understanding “tagging” you can greatly increase your target audience. The tags you choose indicate additional categories where your information can be seen and are the equivalent of the keywords used in search. This SMX session provided a spirited overview of tagging and the mechanics of popular social bookmarking sites.

Guillaume Bouchard, CEO, NVI first shared the concept of reusing content to amplify content with Reddit, Delicious, and and referenced an anecdote of cross pollinating social bookmark sites with Digg which resulted in millions of visitors over the course of a few days.

Although clever strategies such as Vandalay Design’s Domino Effect could send content viral, to effectively practice social bookmarking it is best to develop hundreds of friends in different communities. Social bookmarking allows Internet users to store, organize, search, and most importantly share bookmarks with friends and community. Every bookmarking site utilizes tagging which is a “collaborative practice and method of using tags (keywords) to annotate and categorize content”. Popular tagging websites include Flickr, YouTube, and Technorati.

The Benefits of Tagging:

  • Attracts large quantities of natural incoming links
  • Creates a presence in online social communities
  • Increases brand awareness
  • Builds traffic from alternate sources
  • Influences traditional media

Do Your Research Well

Check how other people are tagging the kinds of sites you are promoting. When in doubt pick the tag that is most relevant and/or that is the most popular in the tag clouds. Stay away from separating your tags with commas. When you ask friends to bookmark your content, don’t be shy about asking for particular tags to fit with your research and vision.

The Most Popular Bookmarking and Tagging Sites

Technorati is a search engine for blogs that operates using a tag based system. Popular blogs are ranked according to the amount of pings Tecnorati receives when others’ link to your content. If your site receives a high amount of pings in a short period of time, the post will show up in the popular section for blog searches, videos movies, or news.

Flickr is a site where users upload photos that are relevant to their industry or personal life. It’s easy to find out what popular tags are and it’s great to use them. If you want your photos to also appear in Technorati, tag them up and designate them as “public”. Flickr has a feature called “Photostream” which can be embedded on the sidebar of your blog or site. It’s a great practice to participate in the community, make friends, and drive visitors who might link to your stuff.

On YouTube the flavor of the content submitted is more important than the tags you choose. Original amateur mashup videos have proven successful. Again it can be very effective to cross-promote your YouTube videos in other big social media sites. Participate by posting a video response to an already popular video. Finally, share your YouTube video with friends by embedding it on your own blog.

Facebook can be used to create attractive and interesting corporate and personal profiles. Guillaume counsels us to be honest. Brainstorm possible widgets and create a facebook application unique to your industry to drive fantastic amounts of traffic. Invite relevant friends with influence to join a group you moderate. Beware: watch out for existing groups talking about your company that are not moderated by someone involved with your firm. Facebook groups present danger to your brand.

Michael Gray, President, Atlas Web Service took the audience on an excellent guided tour of which is a major bookmarking tool to share and research pages. He compared tags to traditional bookmarking in IE or FireFox with much more flexibility and community features. A cool feature of is the ability to subscribe to tags. The blog provides an awesome three-minute, easy-to-understand How to Explain video that also explains how to tag your favorites there.

Subscribing to popular tags can be a very effective tactic for finding content which is likely to go hot on other social bookmarking sites. The “Popular” page is where you want to end up – and in some cases – can drive as much traffic as Digg. The demographic is much more diverse and less tech-related. Michael recommends using the + key as a tag delimiter, as the most common multi-word tagging method since Delicious does not allow use of commas. Tips and Tricks
Find the types of posts and tags that others are bookmarking for your subject matter. Identify users who are active early movers and leaders in your content area. Try and tailor your content to fit into popular tags. Add bookmarking widgets and buttons to your pages. Jumpstart the bookmarking with optimal titles, careful timing, and advised tagging. If your taste is in advanced or aggressive tactics, become aware of’s update timing. The Popular page is refreshed approximately every 4 hours. Time your bookmarking efforts to take advantage of the cycle. Use your friends to help influence the suggested tags. BTW, don’t bother creating multiple “sock puppet” accounts. They will get discounted and violate the TOS.

Neil Patel, CTO, Advantage Consulting Services
StumbleUpon users are fanatically devoted. While the traffic is not as astronomical as Digg, it’s easily possible to drive upwards of 12,000 visitors in 1 day and the traffic keeps coming, which is great for branding. StumbleUpon is valuable to reach the girth of the desirable 40-50 year old demographic.

The StumbleUpon toolbar is totally necessary to leverage the power of the site. The Stumble button shows random pages stumbled by your friends and the thumbs up/down is for voting. If you thumbs-up a story which has not been bookmarked yet it pops up the “You’ve Discovered a New Site!” window for tagging up the content and writing a “review.” You can add reviews and tags to sites that are already in the StumbleUpon database by clicking on the cloud icon on the toolbar. As always, it is important to pick tags that people are interested in. Leverage your friends by using the “send to friend” function. Neil recommends “spamming the hell out of your friends” since they can’t Stumble until they view your pages.

Fun With Bookmarks and Tags
Tagging and bookmarking sites are important players in the social media spectrum. The same keyword research tools and skills used for search engine optimization and AdWords and other pay-per-click advertising can be effectively applied to social media tagging and bookmarking. This session made clear that learning the idiosyncrasies of each site, researching popular tags, and leveraging friendships are keys to personal and marketing success.

  • Steven Snell

    Thanks for the link! You’re right, developing a lot of friends and building a network is the best strategy (at least with the major sites). Using small niche sites is really just a way of getting some traffic while you’re still building a network.

  • Marty Weintraub

    You’re welcome Steven. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Jason Falls

    Marty saves the day! Got called out during this session but didn’t miss a thing. Thanks.

    Plus I find it insane that I’m commenting on your blog when you’re sitting 20 feet in front of me. Heh.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Glad to help out Jason!

  • Ange Recchia

    Marty, gee you were busy. What a great article. It certainly helps to know what to do with all those sites. Thanks so much.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Ange, it was very busy and stimulating. I hope we can see you at one of these events sometime in the future.