Although many of you Search Engine Land readers are sophisticated when it comes to social media, the majority of the people out there are not. Most people aren’t too familiar with social sites like StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us or even Digg and they don’t know if their content is “worthy” of these websites or not. Here are some insights to help you determine if your content is “worthy” and has a chance of capturing the attention and “votes” of social media users.
Study the StumbleUpon buzz page, the Del.icio.us popular page and the Digg homepage for a few days. You will notice that the most popular content on those sites consists of either breaking news or resource pieces. If you have a product or a service oriented website and you are trying to get your homepage on these sites, your chances are slim.
Users of social sites are looking for the latest information, so timely content usually ends up dominating the homepages of these sites. If you have something that is great but old, chances are that it will not do well. You either are going to have to try and update it so that it is fresh or come up with something else that appeals to social media users.
There is nothing wrong with spending ten minutes writing an article and hoping it will do well throughout the social web, but this is very unlikely. You need to put in a lot of effort in order to write a great piece of content because if you don’t, people will be able to tell. It is all about providing value—and in most cases detailed, researched content usually provides more value.
Although a social site may have categories in which your content fits perfectly in, it does not mean that the content is right for the site. For example Netscape is mainly politically oriented. The site has other categories, including ones devoted to religion and gay & lesbian topics. Sure, you can submit content to these categories, but you should know that the primary user base on Netscape isn’t interested in those topics. So, if you want your content to succeed, you are going to have to find social sites where users not only accept your content, but also enjoy it.
Social media sites attract predominantly male users who are young and not the richest guys out there. If you even want to take it one step further, many are smart (in specific areas), but they don’t have college degrees. If you have content that will perk their interest, then you will do fine. However, if you want to blog on how MIT is a great college, don’t expect to make the homepage.
Overall the easiest way to learn if your content is “worthy” is to participate in these communities. Once you do that you will get the hang of what floats and what sinks. Just be careful when trying to leverage these sites because even if you meet all of the criteria it doesn’t mean your content will succeed throughout the social web.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.