Generate word of mouth with powerful social marketing tools.
As an Internet marketing professional, I try to keep on top of new marketing avenues and opportunities for leveraging word-of-mouth. In recent years, the method by which individuals get their information has evolved and so have the tools for sharing information from one individual to another. Social bookmarking is now a popular method of communicating among younger audiences and is proving to be an effective marketing tool for increased exposure of products, services, and brands.
Imagine telling your friend about a recent story you just heard. That story could be newsworthy, provide information about a given topic of interest, or perhaps an online video you watched that had you rolling around in laughter. Once you communicated that to your friend, he went ahead and sent an email out to 4 of his friends who then forwarded that email to dozens more – and so the story goes.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. With the help of the Internet, this type of marketing has grown in importance and has been accelerated with the advent of social bookmarks.
Popular bookmarking sites allow users to identify, with just the click of a mouse, online content that they deem worthy of sharing. As more and more individuals identify the same content, it receives a higher priority on social bookmarking sites and continues to grow in importance. Social bookmarking sites are like a multi-level marketer’s dream!
The most popular social bookmarking site is Digg.com which has an Alexa ranking of 98 and boasts more than 8 million monthly visitors. Other popular sites like Technorati (1.4M monthly visitors), and Del.icio.us (1.3M montly visitors) illustrate just how big social bookmarking has become. Taken collectively, these sites are continuing to garner more supporters and changing the way consumers share information they deem valuable.
From a marketing perspective, this creates an opportunity for improving the effectiveness of our marketing practices. Word of mouth has always been an effective means of marketing but has been difficult to initiate and manage. Today, with the help of social bookmarks there is now an easier way to encourage and promote the sharing of your information.
Recently, I added a footer on my blog to encourage users to “share” information they deem valuable. This has created an opportunity for users to interact with content and start the viral marketing effect all online marketers seek. When considering the merits of social bookmarking, there are a few guidelines to consider.
1. Your content needs to provide value or be unique. Social bookmarking doesn’t happen on its own. You need to provide content that’s worth sharing. Whether that content is helpful to someone seeking guidance, unique, funny, or just plain novel, it needs to provide value in order to be shared.
2. Make bookmarking easy. Have you placed the appropriate social bookmark icons on your webpage in a place that’s closely aligned with the content you wish to share? Are the bookmarks easy to identify? Make sure your customers and prospects don’t need to work all that hard in order to share your information.
3. Encourage communication. Don’t just paste some social bookmarking icons on your website, ask for support. Common phrases like, “Share this” or “Bookmark us” are a great way to get the wheels of social media moving.
If you’re not leveraging social bookmarking tools then you’re word-of-mouth campaigns aren’t being optimized. Reach more people, more quickly, by leveraging your website’s visitors, prospect, and customers. Ask them to share your information and create valuable content that encourages viral marketing. Utilizing social bookmarking as a preferred marketing medium can help improve awareness of your products and develop a preference for your brand..
*Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert, search engine optimization specialist, and the President of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit MarketingScoop.com for further details and more marketing articles.