|Today, we continue our look into the seedy, dirty, lustful world of social media in an eye-opening and expectation shattering look at what the social networks can and can’t do for you.
In part one of our exposé, we revealed the secrets of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Feedburner, and Digg. In part II we have a look at Delicious and YouTube.
Delicious is a service that allows users to save their bookmarks within their delicious accounts so that they can be accessed anywhere on the web. Bookmarked links can be tagged with keywords and shared publicly, which is known as “social bookmarking”.
The Delicious Misconception:
I will receive a lot more promotion on Delicious if a lot of users bookmark my site – sort of like Digg!
The Delicious Truth:
Except for some instances, a lot of saves on Delicious does not really mean a lot of traffic from Delicious. Delicious is more of a barometer of how popular you already are, as well as a method for users that already have an interest in your site or specific page to come back to you again.
Ok, I said that there are some exceptions to the “not getting a lot of traffic” from Delicious just because you’ve gotten a lot of saves, and I have listed these below. I’ve also injected a few other useful nuggets and tactics that can help you get some use from Delicious.
A. Fresh Bookmarks – This feature from Delicious’s 2009 upgrade places links to what the site considers “hot” on the front page. This is a position that you are unlikely to ever receive, unless a page of yours has gone viral. Fresh bookmarks are computed not only by saves on Delicious, but by tweets on twitter as well. So if you want a shot of getting listed as fresh, check our part one of this article and read the twitter section. The fresh section also has a link for “related tweets”, so if you’ve tweeted about a popular link, or a topic similar to a popular link, then your twitter account might pop up under this section for a little exposure.
B. Popular Bookmarks (now called Hotlist) – This section was the original homepage link list of Delicious. The links here ARE ONLY chosen by volume of recent saves – but the page is not as reactive as the fresh section, so links hang around a bit longer. A link here or in the fresh section will be a good SEO boost and traffic kick for sure, but again, unless you’ve published something truly inspirational and virally accepted, don’t get your hopes up on making it to this section, as it does take a fairly rapid succession of saves, and there aren’t a whole lot of links promoted here.
C. Add a Delicious Link to Your Site – Even though it probably won’t lead to a flood of traffic to your site, getting saved on delicious is still a good thing, as it reminds your visitors that there was something about one of your pages that they wanted to see again. You can find the instructional page for adding a Delicious “Save” button to your pages here:
D. Get Shared While Getting Saved – No, I don’t mean this in an ironic sexual/religious way. Shut up, I know how you think. I’m just trying to provide you with some social media information, and I don’t need your mind wandering off again like it did when I told you about the “friend train” in part one in the myspace section. What was I saying… oh yeah, the sharing thing. Right, anyway, this isn’t something that you can really “do” yourself, but it’s something other people can do for you… seriously, stop with those thoughts already. What I’m trying to say is that when people save your link, Delicious now gives them the option to share said link on twitter and through email. It’s their way of trying to integrate into the social media scene a little more, since they’d sort of slipped away from the hip crowd for a while. But again, other than just implementing a “Save” link from tactic “C.”, there’s not really any other way you can encourage a share during a save.
E. Tweet What’s Fresh – After writing about tactic “A.”, I realized that the second part of “A.” is really a tactic by itself. If you tweet content that closely relates to the Fresh posts, meaning links that are from the same site or tweets that have common keywords as what’s fresh, then your tweets might actually appear in the fresh section under “related tweets”. Just don’t overdo it trying to make this section, because your twitter account will become a crap-fest cesspool of unrelated and irrelevant Bantha dung. It’s probably ok to retweet links about design and such pretty often if your website already relates to design, but what I’m saying is don’t start reposting links to every little thinly related page 20 times a day.
F. Market Analysis – Sometimes there are tactics that provide a benefit beyond simple links, traffic, publicity, and SEO. Delicious gives such an opportunity with the tags that users provide with their links, and by the number of users that save particular links. The tags they create can tell you “what words do users think best describe my page”, or your competitors pages. You can learn a lot about behavior and just what people like and save with these observations. I don’t want to go on more about this topic for the sake of length, but if you would like to read more about it, shoemoney wrote an extended post on the subject.
Owner Interaction with Users: 1
(You don’t interact with users at all – there aren’t even comments. However, you can make a lot of observations.)
Requires Existing Site Popularity: 9.5
(Users need to have already visited your site to save it – however with the newer “share” and “fresh” features, this a 9.5 instead of a 10, because it does give a little hope for fresh faces saving and sharing.)
Viral Potential: 3
(The only way this is really going to help you go viral is if by some miracle you make Fresh or Popular. There is also a small chance someone with a lot of twitter followers will share you while saving, but then it’s really twitter that will be causing the viral achievement.)
Ongoing Effort Required by Site Owner: 1
(What’s there to do other than tweeting Fresh links hoping to get a bone from the related tweets?)
I do not believe that anyone capable of finding this post does not know what YouTube is, however, for the sake of consistency I will provide a description here just the same. YouTube is a social media website that allows users to share weird videos that they have made of themselves at home so that they can feel like celebrities.
The YouTube Misconception:
If I make a cute, funny, passionate, or partly nude video, it will go viral and I will become an internet celebrity, my parents will finally love me, and people will stop taunting me about my pronunciation of the word cactus. They will also buy whatever crap I’m selling or flood my website because I made a link to it in my profile.
The YouTube Truth:
Ok, I knocked YouTube a bit, and I might have made you feel a little insecure about videos you’ve made. The truth is that I myself am just not the attention seeking type, and I’ve never hopped around trying to get others to look at me or admire me. That being said, and kidding aside, there really is a huge amount of opportunity on YouTube – maybe more than any other social media/networking platform provides, but making a good video is still no guarantee for success, which itself can be hard to define. Jessie’s got himself a girl and I wanna make her mine.
When it comes down to implementing a strategy on YouTube, most of what is needed to succeed is to simply create a video that viewers will want to share with others, and of course will want to watch in the first place. There should also be a point to your video – meaning something that it ties into your service to a degree. The rest of what is needed consists of 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.
A. Content – What works on YouTube?
A1 – Reviews:
There are a lot of reviews on YouTube, and therefore, it takes a lot to distinguish yourself from the countless others. One example of an individual that has been successful in standing out and becoming viral is RedLetterMedia. RedLetterMedia reviews movies, not always just new movies, but rather sci-fi movies that have gathered a cult following, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar. RedLetterMedia developed a unique style, as he reviews movies off camera in the voice of a confused and homicidal skitzoid. His YouTube page now successfully promotes his website, http://www.redlettermedia.com, which sells various paraphernalia related to his work. If you plan on doing YouTube reviews, you should also find a subject you can be passionate about while provide information in a unique way. This is not an invitation to copy the style of RedLetterMedia.
A2 – Personal Life:
The point here is to connect with your audience, but no one wants to see you brushing your teeth or eating breakfast (unless you’re a hot chick – see A6 below). Therefore, you will need to document yourself doing something interesting, some place interesting and possibly related to your site (at a casino for a gambling site, at the comic store for a fan boy site, etc.)
A3 – Comedy:
Since I have no sense of humor that I am aware of, you’re on your own here. What I can tell you is that if you can make your audience laugh, you’ll have fans for life.
A4 – Cats:
Specifically kittens, or anything as cute as kittens; bunnies maybe, and hamsters might work too, but not mine. Mine just lay there; I think they might be sick, and nobody wants to watch a sick hamster on YouTube. If you watched the movie “Funny people”, then you already know the search volume capable of being produced through cat videos. If you don’t have a cat to film, then there are some good solutions which include the following: buy a cat.
A5 – How to Do Something Unusual:
I was just on the homepage of YouTube researching some videos to back up my arguments here, and the one that first caught my attention was called “Transform your Hoodie into a Computer Sleeve”. As you can see, it isn’t THAT amazing, but it teaches something a little off-beat and potentially helpful to some people I guess. It also features an attractive female performing the task (see A6 below). It’s just cute and clever enough to be worth sharing with someone else, like I’ve done here on the blog.
A6 – Girls:
I’m not only talking about the jiggly-jiggly stripperish type of female videos, which are also popular, but it’s a simple fact of nature that people prefer to look at other attractive people, and attractive girls beat out attractive men. There have been numerous studies to support this. Even babies prefer to look at attractive people. What this means is that placing an attractive female in any of the above video genres, or any type of video at all, could increase the popularity of it. Don’t believe me? I took a screen shot of the “Gurus” category, which provides “knowledge from experts”, and about half of the most popular “knowledgeable experts” are very attractive girls. So, whether you need to resort to putting a bunch of pretty girls in t-shirts and interviewing them, having them read your reviews, or filming them performing your tutorials, you can’t ignore the fact that the ladies give videos a leg up in this very visual medium. It should also be noted that 2 of the top 25 gurus were cats (see A4 above).
A7 – Extreme Knowledge and Subject Authority:
Admittedly, this is not a topic in which just anyone can excel. This is probably mostly reserved for bloggers with a certain level of success, or high profile individuals such as Matt Cutts. However, if you can somehow manage to be accepted as knowledgeable enough to become an authority on something, then you won’t even need to use other hooks such as humor, women, cats, etc. I would consider becoming an accepted authority on a topic as the highest level of success, and it will help your own services to become trusted, as well as most anything else you may decide to promote.
A8. Mix and Match:
How about a video featuring a beautiful model that teaches users how to make a cat carrier out of old computer monitors and used swimsuits, after which the model uses the cat carrier to bring her kitty on a trip to Vegas? If you happen to actually film this video, please post me a link.
B. Keywords – Pretty obvious, but worth a mention. If you don’t choose the right keywords, then your video won’t come up in searches, nor in the related videos section that appears when a user is already watching a video. If you really don’t know what you are doing here, then you should research what works by looking at the keywords that were chosen by the authors of other similar videos, as well as anything that you can think of that is timely (like if a holiday is approaching and you can somehow connect it to your video without lying).
C. Targeting – Is your video appropriate for your audience? Yes, everyone likes seeing an attractive female, but if you are giving shopping tips to frugal moms, then they probably don’t want to get that info from a half dressed bimbo – save that actress for reading sports scores to bored dads. You get my point.
D. Integration and Purpose – Does your video relate in any way to your service? In the case of RedLetterMedia, the contributor sells products such as t-shirts with various quotes, phrases, and bits taken from his reviews and shorts. This is actually a little backwards, as it is a product that existed only after the videos were made popular, where many attempt to use a video to popularize existing products. An example of the later would be HouseHoldHacker, whose very popular YouTube channel promotes his ad supported website.
Owner Interaction with Users: 7
(You get to talk directly to your audience on film, and receive comments and even video responses.)
Requires Existing Site Popularity: 1
(While a popular site can help propel videos, you can also become a huge viral hit without even having an existing site.)
Viral Potential: 10
(Nothing beats a YouTube video for viral user sharing. These can become huge overnight.)
Ongoing Effort Required by Site Owner: 3
(Nothing is needed to keep a video in circulation if it becomes popular, but to keep your channel popular, you will need to film new videos.)
Because of the length of these sections (YouTube in particular was a beast), and the declining attention spans around the web, I’ve decided to break the article up into a 3 parter, so check back soon for the third and final part of our social media guide. If you missed it, .