Larry BraunerTo what extent do you benefit from social bookmarking sites in your social media projects?

Paul Chaney, author of The Digital Handshake, reveals in his recent article, Social bookmarking’s place in the marketing spectrum, that surprisingly few social media marketers understand and use social bookmarking sites.

Social media practitioners seem to be unaware that social bookmarking sites can send traffic and help them make important connections, and they also seem to be unclear about how social bookmarking sites really work.

I myself only dabbled in social bookmarking until recently. I submitted my own articles exclusively to a variety of social bookmarking sites and gained very little benefit from my efforts.

Using Social Bookmarking Sites Effectively

In December, I joined Business Week’s Business Exchange and adopted a very social and spam-free strategy. In 12 Tips for Using Business Week’s Social Bookmarking Site, I detailed the approach that I had developed for using Business Exchange. This approach has since served as a prototype my use of other social bookmarking sites as well.

Thanks to my change of strategy, I now receive nearly 1,000 visits per month to  my blog from social bookmarking sites, and the number of visits keeps growing. I’ve also met some wonderful people.

The following are 10 tips for using social bookmarking sites effectively:

  1. Focus on a small number of social bookmarking sites. Don’t take on more sites than you can easily manage.
  2. Look for social bookmarking sites that are appropriate for your particular niche.
  3. Bookmark only high-quality relevant content that’s genuinely worth sharing with other site members.
  4. Don’t bookmark only your own content, since doing so is spammy.
  5. Always be on the lookout for additional content to share.
  6. Bookmark frequently enough that fellow members can get to know you.
  7. Look for opportunities to engage and help other members both on and off the social bookmarking site.
  8. Abide by the policies and norms specific to each of social bookmarking sites you join. Take the time to learn how to use each site by reading articles and watching what others are doing. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  9. Help grow each of your favorite social bookmarking sites by inviting your friends and colleagues to become members.
  10. Be patient. Make adjustments as necessary. Rome wasn’t build in a day. (You probably didn’t realize that the Romans even used social bookmarking sites.)

My Favorite Social Bookmarking Sites

I invite you to join the social bookmarking sites where I’m currently active:

  • Business Exchange - As the name implies, this social bookmarking site is business oriented. It attracts high caliber business users and members of the info elite. I believe that site improvements are on the drawing board or underway.
  • StumbleUpon - This site is suitable for all niches. To use it, you need to download and install the StumbleUpon toolbar.
  • Amplify - This site is also for everybody and is a good syndication site too. Download and install the Amplify bookmarklet for easy bookmarking.

I also invite you to subscribe to my blog and to share your thoughts about social bookmarking sites in the comment area below. :-)

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23 Responses to “10 Tips for Using Social Bookmarking Sites Effectively”

  1. Neal Schaffer on April 7th, 2010 9:36 pm


    Thanks for sharing your first-experiences with us! I wrote you after I wrote that blog post on “StumbleUpon: It’s Not Just about the SEO!,” and over the last 30 days I noticed that StumbleUpon is now my 3rd greatest source for traffic after the mighty Google and my RSS Email.

    I agree that in order to achieve SEO benefits from social bookmarking sites, you just don’t have enough time to share on all of them. Right now I am utilizing StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg in the exact same way, but I am only seeing significant traffic from StumbleUpon. I will definitely give Business Exchange another try as well as check out Amplify.

    Looking forward to comparing notes again in the future!


  2. Ankit M on April 8th, 2010 1:33 am

    Hi Larry,

    I always find your articles very useful and informative just like this one. I also have an article related to tracking tools for social media marketing. Maybe this will also help your blog visitors.

    Please let me know if I can publish your article on my blog, it will be very useful to the visitors.

    Ankit M

  3. Cheryl H on April 8th, 2010 9:27 am

    Reading this blog is like having my own social media university at my finger tips! I’ve printed the 10 steps and have them handily posted next to my monitor. Thanks again Larry for being my “teacher” in the online social universe!

  4. Linky on April 8th, 2010 5:42 pm

    Thanks Larry for the useful post on social bookmarking. I’ve only started using it seriously in 2010, and I agree that it takes time to see results from the many backlinks created.

    I will definitely apply the best practices and sites you recommend as well.

    See also my post on how to make social bookmarking work for you and to automate it.

    Your Virtualpm

  5. Larry Brauner on April 9th, 2010 6:03 pm

    @Neal I’m mainly using social bookmarking sites for social media marketing and not search engine optimization.

    @Ankit Please do, but be sure to include ALL links.

    @Cheryl Thanks so much, especially for visiting me while your coffee was still hot.

    @Linky I used to use automation. Now I use aggregation plus a lot of personal touch.

  6. Margaret (Nanny Goats) on April 9th, 2010 8:20 pm

    You’re right! I didn’t realize that the Romans used social bookmarking sites. :)

    Great post! I use StumbleUpon, but I’d not heard of the other two before. Thanks for the info.

  7. jj-momscashblog on April 9th, 2010 10:49 pm

    Hi Larry thanks so much for this very informative post. You really have given us a lot of great info on social marketing. I never really thought that Stumbleupon or some of the other social sites that you have mentioned could bring in that much traffic. I’ve just recently been reading about Amplify and now I’m going to do something about all of this. Instead of just reading about it one has to just do it and implement/sign up with maybe one of these for starters. Thanks for such great tips. jj

  8. Beth Smith on April 12th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I’m very slowly starting to understand social marketing. It’s still pretty murky to me, but your posts are very helpful. Thanks! I’ll keep reading.

  9. Natasha Stone on April 20th, 2010 6:59 am

    Hi Larry, thanks for the tips.

    I’ve linked to you as a place to head for more info in my blog about the best social bookmarking sites - hope that’s okay :-)


  10. Larry Brauner on April 20th, 2010 9:53 am

    Thank you Margaret, jj, Beth and Natasha. :-D

  11. radhika on April 21st, 2010 1:32 am

    Thank you for your tips about using social bookmarking effectively.

    A site called Social Maximizer is providing bookmarking on a large number of bookmarking sites.

    Would it effect my search engine optimization strategies in negative way?

  12. Larry Brauner on April 22nd, 2010 10:01 am

    Could help or could get you banned or slapped by Google and other search engines.

  13. Kingsley Tagbo on May 7th, 2010 3:25 am

    Hi Larry, thank you very much for such a resourceful post.

    Even though, social bookmarking is commonly used by website owners, it is not clear that the strategy really grows internet traffic … that is until reading your blog.

    Your tips can help many marketers understand the process totally and then follow the correct way to use social bookmarking for their business.

    How much time should a business owner devote to their social bookmarking efforts on a daily or weekly basis?

  14. Larry Brauner on May 7th, 2010 6:50 pm

    Thank you Kingsley.

    I have no rule of thumb, but some time should be allocated to posting on bookmarking sites that are working for you, and other time to experimenting with new social bookmarking sites.

  15. The Worst Social Media Marketing Advice on July 16th, 2010 3:27 pm

    […] who were attending the event, Tom insisted that planning must come first, and that joining social sites was somewhere around step […]

  16. jennylive on September 13th, 2010 8:11 am

    I have been posting on a few Pligg sites. Some of them which I visit for bookmarking are:


    There are other Pligg sites too, but I have listed the popular ones.

    Take care,

  17. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 5:23 pm

    I might be interested in starting my own Pligg site. I’ll check it out.

  18. Add your Link on October 1st, 2010 9:14 am

    Great read! I personally thing #8 is important because you have to love what your doing, or you won’t be doing it for long. And things like this take time.

  19. Online Deals on October 6th, 2010 5:16 am

    Yes it can increase your traffic provided you use catchy keywords and quality posts. Thank you for your tips about using social bookmarking effectively.

  20. Eye Bridge on January 22nd, 2011 7:40 am

    Thank you very much for sharing knowledgeable post. Keep posting.

  21. PeteBluesky on March 29th, 2011 3:37 am

    “6. Bookmark frequently enough that fellow members can get to know you.”

    I think this is the most important. People often look for the results only when it comes to social media/bookmarking. The clue is in the word “social”. It is about building a rapport and respect within the community or communities you are trying to reach/interact with.

    By building a relationship with these people your message and marketing efforts will resonate better and you will see better results in the long run. It’s all about investing time!
    Thanks for the great post!


  22. Mark Fires on April 15th, 2011 11:42 am

    Thank you Larry for this very helpful post.

    I totally agree with every tip you listed, most especially with bookmarking niche relevant content and high quality content. Social bookmarking has helped my business a lot.

    Your post will definitely make other online business owners and marketers realize just how important social bookmarking is.

    Keep it up!

  23. Jules of Total Bounty on April 4th, 2012 2:50 am

    Great tips. I started sharing content of different kinds and not only the ones for my site and saw dramatic results to the flow of visitors in my site. I really think that to be “social” one must not only share the things that you do but “connect” to fellow players in the industry. Cooperation is key.

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