How do you promote your story?
You need to first have trust in an online community before you can expect support for your message, or a viral spreading of a link to your website or info.
Take the press release, for example. Once you send out a press release, it can live on. Post to your blog, insert photos for visual interest, add keywords & tags, and link to other content. Then, you can post to social news sites like mixx, reddit and digg, where you’ll link to your story, insert a title and an inviting description.
Social News Sites
Digg: Need to be an active digg user (10+ minutes a day) in order to build a network that follows you personally. Digg doesn’t have a group function. It’s largely focused on political and current news. Check it out–search for keywords relevant to your organization.
Mixx: Not as many users, but you can establish a group for your organization where users can get your news stories directly.
Reddit: A third option; you can post to one or all three, which will boost your search engine optimization. Reddit doesn’t have groups, so you’ll need to develop a following.
There are also social news sites for different niches, like women. Propeller, Kirtsy, Newsvine and Tip’d are others; the more specific the niche, the more committed the readers are, in general.
The way to get involved in a social news site is to join and search and ‘vote for’ news stories. Stories with the most ‘votes’ appear on the site’s front page. You’ll begin to see frequent contributors or hot topics that you can begin to follow.
For example, I searched digg for the keywords ‘travel cheap’ and it returned three articles tagged with those words. Interestingly, nearly 1000 people had tagged these same articles, and 50-250 people had commented on these articles. Posting articles to these sites becomes like a blog post and opens more avenues for starting conversations.
Make it Easy!
There are shortcuts and add-ins that will link you to social media news sites. You can add in buttons to your browser within seconds, and then you’ll be able to pick where you share your news stories.
You can add these to your browser’s toolbar from any of the applications, and shareaholic is another add-in you can download.
You can also post your diggs to your microblogging tools like Twitter for additional oomph.
Social Media Bookmarking Tools
Delicious, SocialBrowse and StumbleUpon are ways to share your lists of favorites. SocialBrowse is really for a connected community; this would be great for a virtual research project or a staff workgroup. They aren’t news sites, per se. StumbleUpon can really drive traffic to you, so joining is really recommended. These sites really underscore the importance of accurate and plentiful tagging. When users search for a term, they only find your information if you’ve included tags that match their search words.
Thanks to Danielle Brigada of National Wildlife Foundation for today’s presentation. I echo her thought “If you don’t try these tools out, you won’t have an opportunity to learn from your mistakes!”
Lastly, if your head isn’t spinning yet, check out this short article about a blogger’s trip to NY, all enhanced by social networking tools.