Why is social bookmarking a good barometer?

Social bookmarking is something that I do on a regular basis. Delicious is my personal fave and so I look forward to their 3.0 launch with baited breath. Not only does social bookmarking offer me 24hr, 360 degree access to my favourite things wherever I am, it also allows me access to other users favourite things. At present, if people browsed my tags they would see tags on curtains, rugs and runners, but in general my core interest is displayed in the tags on marketing, advertising and innovation. Check it out if you will “mattbamfordbowes” is my delicious user name.

So it is with interest that I started to ask the questions, can social bookmarking help us to:

1) Identify the strengths of brands online?

2) Identify the key drivers of brands?

3) Identify unique segments and audiences?

The simple answer to all of this is yes. However, it seems the platform is yet to benefit from commercialisation of this unique targeting. Lets go through each question and I will talk about my thoughts…

1) Can we use Delicious to identify the strengths of brands online?
The simple answer is conclusively yes. A simple answer needs a simple proof. So heres one…. type in Nike into Delicious, then type in Adidas. The results would demonstrate that Nike have made more interesting bookmarkable content, ideas and products than Adidas. Nike has been bookmarked 20,074 times overall, with Adidas bookmarked 9,272 times. Next example, Skittles and Snickers…. Skittles have been bookmarked 526 times, Snickers 867. Media agencies should be looking at this and asking how do we get picked up here? what is it that will drive us to be interesting enough that people will keep coming back to view the content or ad or whatever..

2) What are brand key drivers? What are people really interested in about the brand?
Again lets create some continuity and take Nike as the brand. What are people talking about with Nike? What are they bookmarking? The most popular page is the Nike+ page from a brand perspective with 706 people tagging this. However, the actual most tagged page for Nike is on a site called HighSnobiety.com. So as Nike’s media agency I would be approaching this site and using them to help us drive understanding of the sorts of things their users are into…why not create a High Snobiety designed Nike Trainer?

3) This kind of leads from the above point. Can we identify unique segments of people bookmarking our brands? Are there groups of people that we haven’t thought about? Could this create a micro-targeting strategy?
Again Nike…NikeSB.Org has been bookmarked by 98 people. The users talk about the trainers with an enthusing passion. The area is very skateboarding focused. Could we use a micro targeting strategy here to drive added interest? can we create content specifically for these audiences? The answer should clearly be yes and its what I would be doing if I was Nike’s agency.

So all in all, Social Bookmarks can help aid research into audiences and cut-through. Although a campaign will never be built to raise number of tags in Social bookmarking areasm

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