Social Media…It’s all about tagging anything isn’t it?

Social media platforms, have received immense attention over the last year and considering the current climate of online search it is such an area not to be overlooked regardless of your business size.

Social bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public website and “tagging” them with keywords, a beautiful example being that of Yahoo’s and on the other hand serve as community-based popularity sites where users can upload and tag stories, articles or websites which are then voted for, or ‘dugg’ by the community. One however, must question whether the lure of link baiting is diluting the authority of these platforms as they are subject to the target of spam attacks, characterised by poor quality and ill thought out content and websites submissions that might or might not be ‘dugg’ by associates of the author.

In the land rush reminiscent of the 90’s domain buy up we are seeing both businesses and individuals submitting just about anything with the hope of getting on Digg’s homepage and redirecting traffic to their websites, yet considering the potential power of such platforms there is a wonder why more focus is not put into it. Ultimately social media is driven by people, and whilst a particular article or feature you hope will infiltrate such platforms might appear pertinent and stimulating to you and your business, consideration must be cast toward the user.
A quick glance over the homepages of such community based portals unearths a broad range of content ranging from technology, politics, humour or news related stories for a brief synopsis, yet the beauty of the homepages of such portals is that they house only the most popular entries, whilst those that have yet to be tagged or ‘dugg’ are located on sub pages.
From a user perspective this model allows for a more efficient experience where they can access authoritative content, whilst from a marketing perspective this presents an opportunity, not to specifically target and infiltrate such communities and networks, but to widen the net of content distribution and allow the user to choose.

The question remains as to whether and indeed how user led search will evolve. Will the days of a governed search from Google’s algorithm be replaced by status from user tags and bookmarks?

The future is, unfortunately, unforeseen, however as previously discussed it would be foolhardy to bypass this medium if only for another outlet, yet it must be noted that such forms of social media are not always suitable for every business.

The embrace of social media must be considered in light of what you want to get out of it, and must not be, as history would tell us, reactive, but instead proactive.

Whilst – with the hope that people will tag you – your company blog is adorned with 20 or so social bookmarking buttons (like numerous others out there), does the phrase “flogging a dead horse” ring true?

In conclusion, focus upon your core strengths, your business, and allocate some time to embrace these mediums properly. Whether it be drafting a press release, article submission or writing a quality company blog bear in mind that social media is driven by the user, and if no benefit is offered to them then why would they tag, bookmark or share your website?

Rohit Bhargava recently blogged about the evolution of SMO or Social media optimization, providing a list of rules to consider when embracing social media including an awareness of how to target your audience, increasing your linkability and developing an SMO strategy, which are well worth a look…

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