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The Social Media Loop- Are You In It?

Social Media, as defined by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media), is primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends upon the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities as people share their stories and experiences.

Today, Search Engines are looking more and more to the bookmarking trends of these Social Media sites to determine the quality of websites. According to the Search Engine Journal (http://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-medias-direct-influence-on-search-engine-ranking/5576/), Social Media can help your sites in multiple ways, for example:

• Indexing Sites Faster: Humans bookmark sites launched by their friends or colleagues before a search engine ‘bot’ can find them.

• Deeper Indexing: Many pages bookmarked are deep into sites and sometimes not as easily linked to by others, found via bad or nonexistent site navigation or linked to from external pages.

• Defining Quality: If someone takes the time to bookmark a site, it usually has some quality to it.

• Measuring Quality: Essentially, if more users bookmark a page, the more quality and relevance that site has. A site with multiple bookmarks, across multiple bookmarking services, by multiple users is much more of an authority than a site with only multiple bookmarks by the same user.

• External Meta Data: Users who bookmark sites tag them with keywords and descriptions that add an honest and unbiased definition, which is created by the public and not the owner of the site.

• Co-Citation: Social bookmarking sites tend to categorize sites and pages based upon the tags used by humans to describe the site; therefore search algorithms can classify these sites with their peers.

So, to stay on top in the rankings and to make sure you’re a part of the "it" crowd, you should start implementing some of the different Social Media strategies. Here are some of my favorites that we use for clients… and better yet, they’re all FREE:

• Tubemogul (http://www.tubemogul.com/) allows you to deploy videos (seeded with keywords) to various video outlets like YouTube, Yahoo, MetaCafe, DailyMotion and many more! You will also be able to see how many times your videos have been watched from each of these sites.

• Digg (http://digg.com/) allows you to share content from the Internet that you find interesting. Once a link and story have been submitted, you can cast your vote for the story, also known as a digg. Although your story may get submitted to Digg, digg votes are what will get your story on the front page.

• Reddit (www.reddit.com), like Digg, is a social news website where you can post links to various websites. You then can vote on the sites (up or down), thus giving them more presence on Reddit.

• del.icio.us (http://delicious.com/) is a social bookmarking web service where users can share sites that they like with others.

• Twitter (http://twitter.com/) is a social networking site where you can send text-based updates to other users (otherwise known as "tweets") to let them know what you are up to.

• Knol (http://knol.google.com/k) is closely compared to Wikipedia and is run by Google. This site is more of an article/blog syndication site where users can post articles/blogs, called knols, versus bookmarking the website page for other visitors to view (like dig, reddit and del.icio.us).

There are many different Social Media sites out there; these are just a couple of my personal favorites. One thing to note, however; don’t overdo it. Not every post should be put through every media outlet out there. Be sure to mix it up a bit with which Social Media site you are using. Whatever method you choose, get out there and start digging, tweeting and bookmarking your way to success

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