If you’re connected to me on Plaxo, Friendfeed or Facebook or you’ve subscribed to this blog’s RSS feed, you probably already know that I’m a huge fan of Delicious. I use this social bookmarking site in place of my Internet favorites to save sites, articles, videos, blogs and other links I like so I can refer back to them at a later date from any computer.
Unlike your browser-based favorites, Delicious is easily searchable if you tag things accurately and won’t crash if your computer does. Plus, there are many other uses for Delicious as well, besides social bookmarking. I’ll share a few I’ve discovered and I think you’ll soon see why this site has become one of my absolute favorite PR 2.0 tools.
If you haven’t checked out Delicious in a while, it’s worth a second look. Founded in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005, the site was ann.oy.ing.ly known as Del.icio.us until its recent upgrade at the end of July 2008. Delicious 2.0 is faster, sleeker and has some new search functions which make it even easier to use. Here are some of the ways I use the site:
Social search. Google and the other search engines, while incredibly useful tools, only search the surface of the Web. If you want to search the “deep Web” and find better stuff faster, social search will help you tap into the power of community. I equate social search with going to the library and asking an incredibly helpful reference librarian for help rather than toughing it out yourself. With social search, you’re not just asking one helpful expert, you may be asking dozens or even hundreds. Try asking your informed and knowledgeable Twitter or LinkedIn network when you need an answer – or search for your keywords on Delicious, where countless other users may have bookmarked and tagged the precise links you’re looking for. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for your favorite tags on Delicious too, so any new links or articles in your subject area will be sent right to you.
Media relations. I credit Todd Defren with the idea of using Delicious to pitch media. At my agency, we’ve had success developing topic-specific research pages on Delicious for various clients, then sharing one simple link with reporters or bloggers. It saves time if you’re often sending the same information and links to multiple contacts. Your pitch can be tailored and customized for each writer, while your core content is delivered in a way that’s easy for you plus ultra user friendly for the recipient. These topic-specific Delicious pages can serve as online media kits, media briefing pages or even rudimentary online press rooms. Best of all, if media like what you’ve shared, they can subscribe to the RSS feed for your page so anytime you add content, they’ll get it. Smart, right?
Sharing results. Long gone are the days of delivering a huge binder of news articles to clients at the end of each month… okay, I’m dreaming, many clients do still want hard copy clips in a printed report with “thud power” as it lands on their desk. However, we’re also using Delicious as a great way to collect and share media placements and links with clients. You can tag the links so they’re easily searchable, plus you can use the notes field to position the article so readers know why it’s important or worthwhile. If you’re not in PR, you can still use Delicious to save and merchandise good reviews, customer testimonials, accolades or other positive mentions of your brand or company on the Web. Put a link to your positive Delicious page in your sig file and you’ve got a nice way to showcase your good work.
Trendspotting. As PR pros, we have to stay out in front of trends and know what issues are hot. The main page of Delicious or delicious.com/popular/ will show you which links are most popular right now. You can also go to delicious.com/recent/ to see what people are saving at that exact moment. You’ll see a number in a small light blue bar if something has only been saved a few times, or a number in a larger dark blue bar if something’s been saved hundreds or thousands of times. Wouldn’t you want to know if crowds of people were saving links related to your company, brand or industry?
Blogger lists. If you’re keeping lists of targeted bloggers for your company or clients, I highly recommend keeping those lists completely separate from traditional media lists. Having a “bloggers” tab on your media list means you’re just one step away from someone making a bad beginners’ blunder and mass-mailing a news release to your key bloggers. We all know better, right? But to avoid that from ever happening, use Delicious to collect all of the blogs you want to get to know for your clients. You can check your Delicious page every day to read the blogs, then click through when you want to comment or reach out to the blogger. Using Delicious this way means you’re basically using it as an RSS reader, only without having to click on those little orange chicklets.
Blog promotion. Are you saving your blog posts or online articles to Delicious, using great titles, accurate tags and interesting descriptions? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to promote your blog and drive traffic to your site.
Direct outreach. I absolutely love Todd Defren’s take on using Delicious for “edgework” – reaching out directly to influencers or consumers using social bookmarking. Notice a lot of people on Delicious saving links in your specific area of expertise? You might try reaching out to those folks and building relationships by sending them links that will be of interest to them. Just be sure you’re truly sharing something of value and not just peddling your company or client’s commercial interests.
If you’re hungry for more deliciousness, here’s a list of additional Delicious tips and tools. Am I forgetting anything? What’s your favorite way to use Delicious?
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