Let’s begin with a simple definition of social bookmarking, then discuss how this can be used as a component of your insurance agency web marketing plans. Social bookmarking allows Internet users (and insurance agencies) to organize, store and manage online resources, akin to marking pages in a book for use at a later date. Unlike the bookmarks of old, and as with all things on the Internet, these bookmarks can be easily shared and distributed. Descriptions can be added to the bookmarks, so users can peruse the content (from the succinct descriptions) without requiring a download. These descriptions can include votes (good or bad), comments or tags (metadata). Think of tags in terms of keywords, short relevant phrases germane to your target audience.
Social bookmark users can save web page links they want to share. These links are typically public and can be viewed chronologically, by category or tags, or using a search engine. I liken social bookmarking to some elements of asynchronous collaboration solutions, which allow users to share topics according to a category, project, etc. Collaboration systems allow users to subscribe to an information feed, very similar to the social bookmarking services which provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks and lists organized by tags. Arguably, social bookmarking is a simplistic type of asynchronous collaboration. The feeds or subscription functionality allow users to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users. Collaborating and managing these tags may be referred to as “folksonomy.”
What is Folksonomy
Folksonomy is a classification system created to manage tags to categorize content derived from a consensus of users. Insurance agencies can think of folksonomy in terms of the metadata and tags used on their insurance agency website and tag clouds which might be used on their insurance agency blog. Simply stated, tagging allows users to collectively classify and find information. For example, blogs often include tags, and their associated tag clouds as a way to help visualize tags in a folksonomy. Folksonomy also helps us in other ways. One of the inherent advantages of social bookmarking is the human factor, allowing users to determine content relevancy as opposed to deferring to search engine bots which automate the same process. By sharing, tagging, voting and describing content, users can better determine if the content is truly applicable to their needs, and computer error or misclassification can be removed from the formula.
Most Popular Sites
Top social bookmarking sites as ranked by eBizMBA include (monthly visitors estimated):
- Twitter: 200,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank 9.
- digg: 25,100,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 139.
- StumbleUpon: 17,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 112.
- reddit: 16,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 135.
- delicious: 5,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 342.
Others include tweetmeme, FARK, Slashdot, friendfeed, clipmarks, newsvine and diigo.
Practical Use for Insurance Agency Web Marketing
Why should your business be concerned with Social Bookmarking? Social bookmarking offers several web marketing opportunities for businesses:
- Organize and distribute your relevant content
- Drive traffic to your insurance agency website
- Improves your Internet presence
- Improves Insurance Agency SEO
- Improves inbound link popularity (Backlinks)
As you consider your most important agency web marketing initiatives, there may be higher priorities on your things to do list, including the creation and maintenance of a Web 2.0 website, blogging, ePublishing, eMarketing, and social media marketing (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter). That said, and when thinking about your social media marketing initiative, it’s fast and easy to add social bookmarking as an extra component for your agency web marketing plans.