Monday, June 6, 2011

Social bookmarking to spread your organization's message

Instead of posting a news article today, I want to talk about a recent experiment I conducted to understand the impact of social bookmarking tools on message reach. This included tools like Delicious, StumbleUpon and Reddit. While I have seen many foundations make use of the more well-known social tools like Facebook and YouTube and advertise the use of these sites with social media badges, I rarely if ever see foundations advertising their use of social bookmarking sites. At first, I thought that it was because these tools couldn't really deliver the kind of results a foundation needs to justify their use. Then I thought I would conduct an experiment to see just how useful these sites could be when it comes to increasing the reach of a message.

For the purposes of the experiment, I decided to add links to the blog's podcasts to each of three well-known social bookmarking sites. I wanted to see how quickly results would be produced and how large of an uptick I would get from my regular blog views. Posting these on Sunday in the evening would be a good starting point as this blog gets the least amount of views on that day. So, with about 23 views already logged in for the day, I figured the use of these three sites might give me another 30-40 views max.

I was astounded when in less than an hour, the blog received n additional 60 views. Most of the views were from links followed from StumbleUpon, then by Reddit and finally, Delicious. I am eager to see how many extra views these three sites will provide within the next 48 hours.

Based on my experience, I would encourage both grantees and foundations to make use of social bookmarking tools like StumbleUpon. Perhaps by adding a social bookmarking option to current social media options utilized on a website, organizations can greatly improve the reach and awareness of their message.

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