How to effectively use social media sites from a Webmaster perspective

First a little disclaimer, I am not an expert in social bookmarking. I've used a couple, maybe a dozen of services, and slowly gathered experience. Now when I leveled to level 2 so to say, I feel I can write something on the matter.

What made me write this post is a recent "discovery". Not all social media sites are the same and not all "like" the same content. While this seems like a pretty obvious finding, it did not look like that to me at the beginning. When I submitted an article to stumbleupon or digg, I did not consider that target audience of those sites is very different and suboptimal for the type of content I was submitting. I was clearly not using the power of social media effectively. But that was about to change.

Recently I had to make a few tweaks and fixes on the site and as a result of that experience I wrote an article called Webmaster Essentials Checklist. It is basically a tutorial on how to check and optimize websites using free online tools. Since I thought it could be useful to other bloggers and webmasters, I posted about it on a social site about web design and development. Woala! Immediately hundreds and hundreds of visitors came, something I never experienced before. What happened next was a surge of users from top social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and deli.icio.us, even greater then the original. This happened because users of the original niche social bookmarking site are also the members of bigger networks and they gave thumbs up for the article there too.

Visits on VP Online!

Impact of social media site exposure for number of visitors

 

So what I learned? Problem when you are just starting with sharing content is that usually you just want to go immediately to top social bookmarking sites and post there. But since you are still a newbie, you do not have the authority or respect in the community and your content tends to be neglected (unless you have a bombastic title usually involving primeval needs). Much better thing to do is to submit your content to smaller but "niche" social bookmarking sites, in other words sites that are strictly based around your topic. This will provide your article with much better exposure from the beginning and also to an audience generally interested in what you have to say. Now that's much better and more people get the benefit of your article and experience.

I then decided to go one step further and create a good resource on the subject. So I first gathered all social bookmarking sites that I could find. The resulting list contained nearly 200 sites. Then I sorted them by alexa rank so I can get a measure of their popularity and relevancy. I then inspected each of the first 80 or so and added category descriptions.

As a result the list of best social bookmarking sites was created. To use it effectively, you can sort it by category (click on the Category header) and find the niche your topic is about. Then go to the site, take time to fill up your profile (very important!) and submit your article. Easy as that.

I plan to maintain list weekly, and hope to include movers and shakers and some other features. If you want to submit sites or suggest changes to the list you can use the comment feature on the page.


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6 Comments

  1. Sep 23rd, 2010 12:14 PM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and findings along your way. It certainly helps other newbies, like me, to get a grasp on these social marketing and page ranking concepts.

  2. Sep 26th, 2009 2:08 PM

    Thanks for doing the heavy-lifting work for the rest of us ;)
    Although a bit old now it is still a very good resource.

    • Sep 28th, 2009 10:16 PM

      Thanks best way to learn something is do it yourself.

  3. Ricardo
    Sep 25th, 2009 4:03 PM

    HI Vladimir

    Thanks for resources, the post Top Social Media Sites is very useful. Personaly i use this sirvice in every sites i own .

    What do you think about http://www.socialmarker.com/ and the WP plugin.

    Wen the users submit a post of one or more of this social sites the socialmarker capture you meta´s (keywords, title tag and description, ).

    Is very useful for the user and the webmaster, but Isn´t this duplicate content? Just because your meta should be unique for better SEO.

    Thanks for gracies themes and your plugin for the community.

    Best regards
    Ricardo

    • Sep 28th, 2009 10:18 PM

      I am usually against automated submissions - haven't tried socialmarker though.

  4. Nov 19th, 2007 5:38 AM

    Thank you for the excellent resource on social media.