It's not difficult to find a list of social bookmarking sites on the internet, but with hundreds of millions of users every day on these sites, you don't just need any social bookmarking list. You need a social bookmarking sites list that can actually get you the inbound link traffic you're hoping for. Unlike other guides, which are pushing a particular list of social bookmarking sites or want you to purchase a program with a social bookmarking sites list already programmed in, this guide will teach you how to build your own, custom list.
Why Should We Have a List of Social Bookmarking Sites?
Today, it's really not enough to just post on a single social bookmarking site. If you're just talking to one audience, you're missing out on millions of people, any of whom could become a client or the source of a referral or inbound link.
However, not all social bookmarking sites are equally useful for law firms. For example, the current #5 most popular site in this category is on almost every social bookmarking list: Pinterest. Pull up pinterest.com in your web browser, though, and you'll see what it is: a place for people (mostly women) to share interesting photos about fashion, style, food, travel, parenting, and so on. Unless you have a very niche law practice (fashion law?), you shouldn't have Pinterest on your social bookmarking list.
That's why any list of social bookmarking sites you get that isn't specifically tailored for attorneys—and, more specifically, attorneys in your specialty practice area—won't necessarily be very useful to you.
Which Websites Should Be Part of Our Social Bookmarking List?
Any social bookmarking website that you include in your list of social bookmarking sites should have at least some areas that are highly relevant to your practice area. You should also make sure that every site on your social bookmarking list is being used by Americans—there are some sites that are used much more by people in other countries.
In some legal specialties, you'll actually have a lot more relevant websites than in some others. For example, if you're in tech or IP law, Slashdot and other similar techie-oriented websites should be on your list of social bookmarking sites. Someone specializing in divorce law for fathers, on the other hand, may have better luck posting links in the “men's rights” sections of Reddit, which often covers these stories. You may have to do a fairly large amount of research to get your social bookmarking list just right.
You should also make, as part of your list, sub-lists that include subcategories from each website you've chosen. These subcategories should be carefully curated for maximum relevance, so that you don't have to look around for the right place to post your new link every time you want to get more inbound links from your list of social bookmarking sites.
Should We Automate Posts To Our Social Bookmarking Sites List?
The automation question is a big one for people using social bookmarking sites in 2012. Automated link building can, in some cases, be an adequate short term link building solution, but in the long term it can actually make your website less easy to find.
Let's say you start using a list of social bookmarking sites that comes from a computer program you've purchased to automate your links. Usually, this social bookmarking sites list will include a wide variety of websites, from the most popular to some more obscure ones. What you may notice about this type of social bookmarking list is that it's so wide-ranging that most of the websites don't even have a tenuous connection to the area of law you're practicing.
Even if you edit the list of social bookmarking sites so that the program is only automating submissions to your curated social bookmarking list, you can still run into trouble. Automating submissions to your social bookmarking sites list could lead to your submissions being seen as spam when websites realize you've posted the same content everywhere. Even if websites don't notice that you've been using a big list of social bookmarking sites and spamming them, Google will. Google can sandbox, or penalize, your website for automating submissions to a social bookmarking sites list.
How Should We Use Our Social Bookmarking Sites List?
Once you have your social bookmarking list, you should start to learn about the websites on the list before posting anything. Each website is its own community with its own rules—which can be written or unwritten. Since it can sometimes be difficult to recover your reputation on these websites, try using a personal login first before starting to submit links to your website that could potentially reflect on your entire firm.
Every social bookmarking list will have some websites that work better, and some that don't work as well. Feel free to update it so that any website that seems to delete all of your posts is no longer part of your list of social bookmarking sites.
Keeping Your Social Bookmarking Sites List Up to Date
It's important to always make sure that any list of social bookmarking sites that your firm maintains is kept up to date. Periodically, you should check subscriber numbers for every site on your social bookmarking list. If you're seeing subscriber numbers taper off and you notice that the amount of traffic per link is going down, you may want to replace that entry on your social bookmarking sites list with a website that is still in a growth phase.
You should also keep up with some blogs about search engine marketing and social bookmarking. If you're doing this, you'll be among the first to hear about new sites, and can add them to your social bookmarking sites list before most other law firms have even heard the name of the website. Pay special attention to any websites that are explicitly law-related, because these need to be toward the top of your social bookmarking list.