Does anybody else get an icky feeling from the idea of "$25 to submit your links to 80-100 social bookmarking sites" or is it just me?
I dunno, I'm just getting uncomfortable flashbacks to the old "$29.95 a month to submit your site to thousands of search engines" days.
The argument against going after rankings in all those thousands of search engines was that nobody actually used them. Even if submitting to them did somehow work to get you great rankings in them, odds were great they would never, ever bring you any traffic, much less traffic that would convert. It really didn't matter how inexpensive the "services" were -- even $.05 was too much to pay for the nothing you'd get in return.
Seems to me the same thing would hold true here. If your target customers aren't using these 80-100 social bookmarking sites, then what good does a bookmark there do you, really? Why would you pay this "service" $0.25, much less $25, just to get you a handful of non-traffic-generating links that will quickly scroll to the nether regions of these little-used social bookmarking sites, never to be seen (or bring appreciable SE benefit) again?
For a long time people got all excited over the "Digg effect" and all the thousands of visitors they could get from hitting the front page at Digg -- until the reality started to sink in recently with some marketers that the traffic they get is almost entirely crap. Diggers will flit in for a few seconds and flit back out again without exploring the rest of the site or buying a product or doing much of anything useful at all... but the sheer volume of them can bring the server to its knees and potentially prevent real, paying customers from getting through. Which means in this case social bookmarking "success" can actually end up costing you money. I know at least some people who are starting to question whether hitting the front page on a busy, non-targeted social news site like Digg is worth it.
On the other hand, people also complain when they hit the front page of some lesser-known social bookmarking sites, and see no appreciable increase in visits at all. It often takes at least a bit
of work to get to the front page, and -- understandably, IMO -- they'd like to see some
kind of boost for having put forth the effort.
There are zilliions of social bookmarking sites out there already, and seems like new ones launch every day. Only a few of them will ever reach "critical mass." Most of them are never going to amount to a hill of beans, IMO. Some will become successful within their niche community without ever making it on to the radar of the general public.
Why not try to locate the ones where your customers and potential customers do hang out -- I'm betting there are at most
a small handful -- and focus your efforts there? Perhaps you could set your intern to the task of building up a real profile for you (submitting interesting industry-related links, not just submitting your own stuff, voting up other people's submissions, leaving interesting and thoughtful comments, etc.). I mean, the point of social bookmarking and social networking is in the word "social", n'est ce pas?
The companies I hear about that appear to getting the most value out of their social participation are, well, participating.
Not just broadcasting.
Please forgive me if I come across as over-reacting, or if I misunderstood what this company is offering to do for you.