Archive for March, 2009

Puzzle Piece #5: Social Bookmarking

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Telling you to add the “share this” bookmarking feature had a purpose – to get you some face time on social bookmarking sites. Once an article/press release/etc. is created, adding it to bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us and Digg could potentially get your information out to thousands of viewers (if not more!).

These sites are great because your material is shown to people who are interested in the things your company is interested in. Traffic can be directed back to your site, relationships can be forged and your information can be shared with an educated, captivated community. It’s free advertising, placed in front of people who actually want to see your stuff. So basically, it’s a no brainer.
The following are just a few of the top social bookmarking and sharing sites. Noted are their strengths, weaknesses and potential business drivers.

Del.icio.us: 317,747 people per month (as of 2/28/09)
• Save all your bookmarks online, share them with others, and see what others are bookmarking
• You can access the sites from anywhere using your login info, and there is an
ability to set some as private (i.e. work- or client-related sites).
• This site would be great for organizing websites.

How to bookmark on Del.icio.us:
• Once logged in, simply click on “save a new bookmark” and enter the URL of the site you want saved.
• Click next, and enter notes and tags (to help you remember what the site is all about).
• You can select whether or not you want this site to be kept as a private bookmark.

StumbleUpon: 1,145,760 people per month (as of 2/28/09)
• Users choose their interests (cooking, business, advertising, etc.) from a list,
install the StumbleUpon toolbar and then a click of the “stumble” button takes
them to a site they might like.
• Users also click a button to say whether they like the site or not, and
StumbleUpon keeps track of the sites you like.
• Others can access your favorite sites by viewing your profile.
• This is more of a promotional vehicle. Add images and short articles and expand your network so others see the sites you have in your arsenal.

How to add favorites to StumbleUpon:
• Once you create an account, go through the topics and click on those that interest you.
• Opt to have the StumbleUpon toolbar installed, so from whereever you are on the web, you can simply click “Stumble” and you will be shown a site you might like.
• For each site shown, click either “I like it” or the thumbs down icon, and StumbleUpon will keep track of your preferences.
• If you discover a site you want added to StumbleUpon, click the “I like it” icon and fill in the site’s information.
• All the sites you liked will be saved on your profile.

Digg: about 23,900,000 people per month (as of 2/28/09)
• All news articles, videos, images, etc. are submitted by the community.
• Once something is submitted, other people see it and digg what they like best.
If your submission receives enough diggs, it is promoted to the home page of its category — or the front page for millions of viewers to see.
• Users can customize their home page and see only stories they would be interested in.
• Use this for promotion by adding some new media to the mix. Submissions will be posted under “upcoming stories,” where viewers look and either “digg” them or don’t.
• People see what you digg, so be active on the site and others will want to see your favorites. Add all forms of media to this site.

How to add favorites to Digg:
• Once you are logged into Digg, simply select “submit new” at the top of the site.
• Enter the URL and select which type of media it is.
• On the next screen, enter the title, a description of the site, choose a thumbnail and the topic you want it associated with (such as Business and Finance or Educational and submit the story.
• Digg will keep track of your favorites and share them with others.

Reddit: 1,347,084people per month (as of 2/28/09)
• The site aims to have what’s new and popular on the web. Users customize what they’re interested in. Votes train a filter, so the site only shows users things they might like.
• You determine what shows on your front page by saying if things are “hot” or “cold.”
• Use this as another promotional vehicle by uploading new sites — submission
titles are key to gaining recognition.
• Best for posting short articles and blogs.

How to add favorites to Reddit:
• Once you have signed in, click on “submit a link.”
• Simply enter the URL, title and category, and the post is submitted.
• Your faves will be saved, filed and shared.

Puzzle Piece #4: Site Management

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Now that everything is up and running, you will need to take some steps to ensure your sites work for you. Once those profiles have been created, use ping.fm to manage your info through broadcast and inbound. It will send updates to your statuses, blogs and microblogs. (Note: When signing up for social networking sites that allow you to connect or link with others – don’t! Ping.fm will do this for you, and choosing to connect will only double post – a big “no no” in the social media world.)


•Format Google to show your most important information – on your homepage.
•Simply install iGoogle on your desktop and select the Google Gadgets you want on your homepage.
•You can download gadgets that allow you to see Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook updates. You can also keep ping.fm open, which allows for quick updates.


•RSS feeds: They’re a way for you to get a quick list of the latest story headlines online from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place.
•Use these to your advantage. People who like what you say can subscribe to your messages and get your updated material on your blog, for example, instead of subscribing to an e-mail blast that constitutes interruption marketing. Anywhere there is an RSS icon, readers can simply click on it and receive your updates.

•Internet Explorer has RSS capabilities built in. Users can subscribe by clicking on the icon and receiving updates via their RSS Reader of choice.


•A program such as FeedBurner (the best we have found so far) can grab the code from your blog, for example, and post it in the areas you deem useful, which broadens your reach.
•Note: Watch out for duplicates with FeedBurner; if you have it automatically post updates to some sites and you also use a connector site such as ping.fm, overlapping can occur.

Puzzle Piece #3: Reaching an Audience

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Once you have completed the setup, it is time to put these sites to work. Below you will find the recommended sites, their uses and the recommended steps you can take to get things rollin’.

MySpace: do not disregard this site – you may not see it as your target audience, but with over 68 million people visiting a month, can you afford to ignore it?

  • This site has heavy traffic in terms of music and visual arts — interactivity is a huge part of its success. If you have videos or graphic design work, this is the perfect place to display it.
  • Make sure your profile contains a link to your company site.
  • Find friends by searching by name, e-mail address or display name.
  • Expand your network by searching profiles for people with similar interests, and perusing groups applicable to your business.
  • Maintain a personality on the site by updating your material often (at least twice a week), joining groups and conversing with people who take an interest in your posts.

Facebook: this site is perfect for grabbing the attention of educated professionals.

  • To reach out, you can import your contacts from Outlook, import your AIM buddy list or Windows Live contacts, or search via a specific school or company. The site will also recommend new connections based on your own network and information.
  • Make sure your profile contains a link to your company site.
  • Post new material at least twice a week, and join and participate in groups. Use the events, photos and notes features whenever possible to keep your page current.
  • Create a business page in addition to your personal page by simply clicking on “Advertising” at the bottom of any Facebook page, then “pages,” and “create a page.”
  • We recommend creating a company page with an interesting, catchy angle. Have your creative topic be the name of the page, and your company’s name the secondary title.

LinkedIn: This is the go-to site for when you want to reach a skilled audience, as it allows networking among professionals.

  • Find connections by importing your e-mail/address book connections. Also, once you enter your company information, the site will recommend new contacts.
  • Make sure your profile contains a link to your company site.
  • Maintain a presence by joining relative groups and participating in the questions and answers section. Pose thoughtful questions, and only answer when you truly have something helpful to provide. Browse this section regularly.
  • Other apps allow you to upload and share presentations, collect data for polls and more.

You Tube: use this site for viral marketing.

  • Post videos your company has created to an audience of millions.
  • Be sure to link back to your website or embed it in your site or blog – this directs viewers back to your company.

Flickr: Share visual content in a way that engages viewers.

  • Upload pictures and videos to share with your audience.
  • You can organize and tag them, which makes them easier for others to find.
  • Join groups and create new contacts as you become more involved in the site.

Twitter: This is a hugely popular service that is not going away any time soon. It is the best vehicle for frequency outreach and reaching the masses. It truly is the billboard advertising of today – minus the cost.

Finding a market

  • Twitter has search capabilities, so use them – find people you know, people you think sound interesting and people you think want to hear what you’re all about. Research shows about 15 percent of the people you follow will then follow you.
  • Tweet using the budurl service so you can track readership numbers.

Fixing the numbers

  • Once you have a base of followers/ followees, use Twellow.com to find industry-specific people to follow.
  • Employ the Twubble service (http://www.crazybob.org/twubble/) to expand your circle. It searches your friends’ friends and suggests new twitterers for you to follow. Remember, it’s quality, not quantity.
  • Twitter Karma gives you a full list of who you follow and who follows you, so you can see how they compare. You can filter the results in different ways and it shows you how your numbers are stacking up so you can do some purging if need be.

Blogger: there are many blogging sites out there (WordPress, Blogdrive, LiveJournal), but Blogger is our personal fave.

  • Use your blog to create personal brands, which can then in turn add value and credibility to the corporate brand.
  • Make the content useful and entertaining. Do not simply blog about company achievements – make the copy personable, and give readers a reason to return.
  • Make your blog title catchy and your headlines creative.
  • Keep is short and sweet.
  • Include links and keywords.

Add the “Add This” function to your blog. This will allow others to share your posts.

1. First, log into addthis.com and click on “Get Your Button.”
2. Select the options you want. For our purposes, we selected the following options: What kind of button? Sharing/bookmarking. Where? On a blog. Performing platform? Blogger
3. Open a new tab for blogger. Log in and click on “View blog.”
4. Select “customize,” then “edit HTML.”
5. Click on “expand widget templates.”
6. Go back to the AddThis tab and copy the code you were given for your blog.
7. Return to the tab that contains your blog. Insert that code directly after <div class='post-footer'> tag within your blog’s HTML.
8. Save your settings. Now the AddThis button will appear after every blog post you write.


Add the Simplaris Blogcast application to your Facebook account.
Search for and add the application within Facebook.

  1. Search for and add the application within Facebook
  2. Within the settings, add your blogspot address.
  3. Recommended settings: times automatic, one paragraph, send to my blog, show pictures

Note: If you use Blogger, you cannot have ping.fm update your blog on Facebook. Instead, download the Simplaris Blogcast app in Facebook using the above suggestions and your friends will be alerted when you create a new post.