Earlier in the week I published a post titled Skip Digg: Not All Traffic is Created Equal. In that post I mentioned that I’d follow up the post with some arguements FOR using Digg by a top Digg user. Today social media expert Muhammad Saleem tackles that very topic.
You will probably be surprised to read that I agree with a lot of what Josh said in his post earlier in the week. Josh’s points probably resonate with the experience that most of you have had. However, does that mean that Digg ( or other social news sites) is worthless as a marketing platform?
The answer to that depends on what your goals are.
The problem with most people is their approach to social news is shortsighted. Social news sites are a long-term investment not a day trade.
Josh is right, building a following requires time and patience, and why should a social news site be any different? You have to actively participate on the site and network with other users (both of which are incredibly time consuming) before you can truly understand a community and they can appreciate what you have to offer. And even if you do make the investment, there is no guarantee of success on the site, and why should there be?
Social media marketing is not for everyone and won’t work for everyone. Before you take the plunge and invest your time and energy into any site (for marketing purposes), whether it be Digg or one of its competitors, take a moment to understand the site, the demographics of the site’s community, and the community’s preferences (My Little Pony would hardly work on Digg, but on StumbleUpon maybe). Communities are always evolving and what works today may not work tomorrow. Darren is a great example of this.
ProBlogger used to do really well on Digg but for some reason it doesn’t anymore. At the same time, however, Digital Photography School still performs really well. Why? Because Digg users are no longer interested in blogs that blog about blogging or making money from blogging, but have in the past months become infatuated with digital photography.
The web is a crowded place and filled with people fighting hard against information overload (and mostly losing). In this kind of an environment, an environment where people are doing their best to filter out useless information (noise), social news sites function as filters that help separate the wheat from the chaff the definition of both varies community to community).
But even then, every social news site is different. If you don’t like the Digg community, or they don’t like your content, try Reddit, StumbleUpon, Propeller, Mixx, the list goes on. The problem is not with social news or one particular site, the composition of these sites is natural self-selection of likeminded people.
Traditional social news sites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller serve as newspapers. They are designed to have all sorts of content, some. Some of it will be tabloid material (for the stupid people) and some of it will be smart (for the rest of the crowd). These sites (Digg) aren’t necessarily for distraction only, though they certainly do a good job of that.
Ultimately, Josh is absolutely right when he tells the “ProBlogger” audience to not use “Digg”. What I would recommend instead is Sphinn.
However, for the average blogger, especially news, politics, entertainment, science, and offbeat bloggers, Digg and all its sister sites are a great avenues for a lot of exposure, of which some definitely sticks and can lead to great long-term growth. When people target all the wrong communities where their content is not desired, that’s when people get frustrated. It’s just a matter of taking the time to understand the community that best fits your needs and where your content will be best served and spending time on that community.