SEO

SMX Panel Recap: A Marketer’s Guide to Social Bookmarking & Tagging

The second panel of this afternoon is A Marketer’s Guide to Social Bookmarking & Tagging. The panel members were Guillaume Bouchard the CEO of NVI, Michael Gray the President Atlas Web Service and Neil Patel from Advantage Consulting Services.

Guillaume started us off with an introduction to tagging. Tagging is the social media equivalent to keywords for those that have been in the search marketing industry for quite some time. He continued by indicating major players in the social arena including Delicious, StumbleUpon, flickr, YouTube and Technorati and highlighting the traffic and marketing benefits of using these social services.

How to Tag Effectively

Guillaume recommends reviewing what others have done in the past and using some common themes in your own tagging efforts. When in doubt, he adds the necessity to check tag clouds of the most popular tags available. The final tip that Guillaume offered us here was the recommendation of not using commas in between your tag submissions.

Next, Guillaume tackled the differences between manual and automatic tagging. Manual tagging consists of the older SEO efforts of hyperlinks,anchor text, keywords, META tags, etc. These manual tagging efforts work best with images, encouraging high participation rates by allowing users to personalize the information they are tagging.

Automatic tagging is a tag or link created by an algorithmic system that extracts tags from a given media’s content. This is seen commonly in Facebook profiles, but can also lead to some strange tags when the human element is really needed.

The abuse and content degradation in tagging systems was another point that Guillaume chose to highlight in this afternoon’s presentation. A solid graphical example included showing the United States as it would look with inappropriate tags — such as the names of other countries. The example showed though that inaccurate tagging can truly ruin the overall user experience.

At this point in the presentation, Guillaume began highlighting a number of social media sites that actively use tagging including Technorati. He considers the big names in the game to be Delicious, Digg and Reddit. The next site he chose to highlight was Flickr, where you can easily upload photos relative to your industry using the most popular tags available. To increase the marketing opportunities — Guillaume recommends the active encouragement of users on these systems to comment, review and link to your content.

An interesting point that Guillaume made when discussing YouTube was the recommendation of posting video responses. He sees this as a great way to leverage immediate views (and, subsequent ratings) from active viewers. Guillaume wrapped up his panel participation this afternoon by discussing the growing importance and opportunities that Facebook present. An example? Develop an application!

Michael Gray on Delicious

After his SES San Jose link bait presentation, much of those in attendance were really looking forward to Michael’s panel participation today. He began his presentation with an overview of the Delicious system and how it excels as a social bookmarking tool. Of course, in using this system – there is a necessity to of course tag your comment accordingly. He had some great slides (which will hopefully be publicly available soon) that dissected a normal page on Delicious. The common tags cloud to the top right is certainly important to keep an eye on. Additionally, Michael recommends reviewing who was first to tag your content. This is a great way to locate the most active people in your segment or industry area.

Along those same lines, Michael discussed the importance of tracking tags. Tracking, or subscribing to tags is a great way to be notified of new content as it becomes available. This is also a great way to snatch up new content out there that you can resubmit on other social bookmarking or aggregation sites to help build your profile. As we’ve learned many times today — the way your profile and reputation is perceived by users and social systems is a primary factor in how well your efforts will be received.

A strong element that Michael hit upon today that bears a lot of repeating is that the crowd of users on Delicious is unlike those in other social media circles. Unlike the crowd at Digg (who is predominantly male, young, tech savvy, etc.) Delicious users run the gamut.

Research was hammered home again in, this time in Michael’s presentation, so I won’t bother to go too deep on that now — it should be obvious by now that you need to research everything. I would like however to put some focus on Michael’s recommendations on tagging of content. Since tagging is so new, there aren’t many conventions in place. One though that has proven successful for Michael’s efforts include the use of a + sign in between connected tag words. Following this, Michael covered the Delicious tag cloud and how that can be used to research the more popular tags for further integration on your submissions.

Advanced and aggressive tactics were discussed next, and Michael has found that the Delicious homepage is updated approximately every four hours. When you have submitted stories, ask your friends to tag your stories with particular (read: popular) tags.

Neil Patel’s Coverage on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon has really emerged as a powerful network of social media power — and with more than three million users, it’s a crowd you need to be in front of. With more than 12,000 visitors in one day for the most successful pages, it’s a great way to grab instant and longterm traffic.

The StumbleUpon toolbar was next, and it’s certainly important if you are looking to be a powerful user here on SU. Neil then walked the users through a tutorial of how to use the basic functionality of the toolbar in order to submit optimized links to SU.

The coolest feature to me on the StubleUpon toolbar was the ability to send messages to your friends on StumbleUpon. As Neil indicated, if you can build up your list of friends and create a strong account — this feature is a wonderful way to assure positive reviews.

The panel wrapped up with a Q&A session where the audience really got involved…

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