28 Feb 2012

How Digg Works [The Marketer’s Guide to Digg]

By Kristi Hines at KISSmetrics: 
While Digg, formerly one of the top social voting sites on the Internet, lost a lot of its luster since their major update last year to version four, they still receive at least 2.5 million visitors per month in the US alone and have an Alexa rating of 167, PageRank of 8, and Domain Authority of 100.
Digg is also a little bit more marketing friendly than their main competition Reddit. The following guide will help you learn to use Digg for sharing your awesome content with a larger audience.

How Digg Works


Members of the Digg community can submit and share content to the Digg network under the main categories of Business, Entertainment, Gaming, Lifestyle, Offbeat, Politics, Science, Sports, Technology, and World News. These broad categories allow for almost any area of content to be submitted.
When content is voted upon by other members of the Digg community (also known as getting diggs or being dugg), it gets the chance to be discovered not only by your own followers, but also the community at large by making it to the Holy Grail – the Digg homepage (or when you’re logged in, the Top News section). While the exact formula to what gets on the homepage is a mystery, the general theory is that a submission which receives a high number of votes within a short amount of time will likely make it to the top of the list.

Setting Up Your Digg Profile


Once you create an account on Digg, you can add some information about yourself under your profile settings including:
  • Full Name – If you want people to be able to find your Digg profile amongst search results for your name, you’ll want to put your real name here.
  • About Yourself – Put in some details about who you are and your interests so people sharing the same interests will be more likely to follow you.
  • Links – You can add up to five links to any website you choose on your profile. The exception is links to your Twitter or Facebook – these won’t show up. Google+ will though. Although the links are nofollow (meaning they get little SEO value), they are handy to have up in case someone wants to know more about you.
The other thing you can customize under your profile settings is your Viewing Digg options. You can set your default view to My News (the latest submissions made by people you are following) or Top News (the top submissions made by the entire Digg community), how to open external links (within a new window or the same window), how to order comments, and other details.

Getting Followers


If you want your submissions to get views and diggs, the best place to start is by having a strong Digg following. Getting followers on Digg is a bit more tricky than getting followers on Twitter. My best tips on the matter are as follows.
  • Digg and comment on submissions in your area of interest. The more active you are, the more your profile will be seen by others and followed by people with similar interests.
  • Link to your Digg profile everywhere. This includes your email signature, forum signature, website, blog, and social networks that allow you to have links to your other social profiles such as Google+ and Facebook. Give your Digg profile a tweet every now and again too so you can get new followers off of your Twitter connections.
  • Follow people in hopes that they follow you back. If you want to find new people to follow on Digg, including the top users based on most promotions, rising stars, and top commenters, you will want to visit the Find People page. You can find people based on who you are currently connected with on Twitter, Google, and Facebook too.

Getting Diggs

Now, the part you’re probably the most interested in – how to get diggs for your submissions. From my experience, your best bets are the following:
  • Add the Digg Button to your content. Digg offers a few styles to choose from – you can add the JavaScript code directly onto pages you want dugg or, for self-hosted WordPress and other CMS driven sites, you can add the JavaScript code into your theme’s template.
  • Share your submission on Twitter. If you’re not sure people will get the hint by just directing them to your piece of content with the integrated Digg Button, your next option is to send them directly to the submission itself on Digg. To get a link to your submission, just click on the comments for the it and share the direct URL which usually looks like digg.com/news/category/your_submissions_title. I wouldn’t ask often, but it never hurts to throw out the occasional Digg request to your followers on Twitter.
  • Reach out to people directly via Instant Messenger and email. Some of the most successful pieces of content (besides the ones that naturally get diggs) are the ones marketed by people with a network. Know who your connections are that use Digg and send them a friendly request to give your submission a vote if they like it.

New: The Digg Newsroom

Your Digg Experience

What has your experience with Digg been since the last revamp of the system? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments!

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing, including social networking strategies and blogging tips.

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