Enable Social Tagging

In our previous post, Social Media is the Megaphone, we took a look at enabling your community to speak. In this post, we examine using social tagging sites such as Digg and delicious to enable your community to find you.

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Enable Social Tagging

A good way to enable your community involves social tagging.

There are lots of social tagging sites, but three of the most popular are Digg[1], del.icio.us[2] and Reddit.[3] Social taggers who find an interesting Webpage can easily tag it — mark it as interesting for other site members to see. Only a minority of people actually tag pages, while a much larger number cruise the tagging aggregator sites looking for interesting topics and pages. This gives the taggers an enormous influence for their size.

Encouraging your community to tag your information and media can dramatically improve your visibility, even if your site does not perform well in Google searches. Seth Godin did a search on “diabetes” on Delicious. The search led him to a site filled with white papers on diabetes.

While this site would likely not show up on the first page of Google results, because eight people had tagged that page, Godin was able to easily find it through social bookmarking. Therefore, instead of spending vast amounts of time and resources on SEO techniques to influence Google search results, if an organization can manage to get even a handful of their advocates and supporters to tag their pages, their visibility on the net would increase dramatically.

Godin puts it like this:

The Acumen Fund [a non-profit global venture fund working to solve the problems of global poverty] has hundreds of pages on its site — yet most of them are essentially invisible. If the organization made it easy for donors and supporters to start tagging pages, the most important messages would rise to the top. The same thing is true for art museums, religious groups and the ACLU. In every case, there are pages, buried and doomed to decay into obscurity. But if a few surfers tagged the pages appropriately, though, other surfers would find it. And the word would spread. The big secret of del.icio.us is that the percentage of users who do the tagging is tiny. Most of the traffic to the site is looking for the tagging done by a tiny minority. This is the essence of online leverage.

Think about how you can leverage your supporters by encouraging social tagging. It’s a great way to drastically improve the impact of a small group of supporters.

Next up: Don’t Sweat the Social Hierarchy

[1] Digg: bit.ly/9T3tk4

[2] Delicious: bit.ly/ceCC9I

[3] Reddit: bit.ly/ceCC9I

Enable Social Tagging is the 35th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

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