In early 2011, StumbleUpon surpassed Facebook in the amount of traffic it sends to websites. Regardless of where the two sites stack up on a day-to-day basis in the race to be the number one source for social traffic, one thing cannot be argued: StumbleUpon should be included in your web marketing plan. It’s a content discovery tool that can introduce your content to new audiences, and drive huge bursts of traffic to your website.
In order to use StumbleUpon to its maximum potential, it helps to know some tricks of the trade. Some of the most important things you need know about launching a successful StumbleUpon marketing campaign are discussed below.
Set Up a Complete Profile
The first and most important thing you should do when you join StumbleUpon is to set up a comprehensive profile. Include a compelling image along with a list of your interests. This information makes it easier for other StumbleUpon members to find you and determine whether or not you’re someone they want to connect with.
Make sure you only use one StumbleUpon account. Creating multiple accounts is against the StumbleUpon Terms of Service.
Install the StumbleUpon toolbar that’s appropriate for your web browser, so you can stumble and share content with a simple click of the mouse at anytime. Finally, be sure to add a StumbleUpon badge or button to your website and blog articles, so people can click the button to instantly stumble it. This type of organic stumbling is essential to driving traffic to your website in the short-term and over time.
Submit Content Strategically
Once you join StumbleUpon, don’t just start submitting all of your content and nothing else. You should always stumble more content from other sources than your own, or you’ll look like a self-promotional spammer. As you connect with other StumbleUpon members (see the next section for details about following members), be sure to submit their content and include useful reviews with your submissions.
Furthermore, it’s important that you focus on submitting only the truly great content that you publish or find online; this will help build your reputation among the StumbleUpon community as a member who shares useful content. In other words, they’ll believe that it’s worth their time to click on your links because they expect you to share only the best content.
When you submit content to StumbleUpon, it will appear along with a lot of other links, so it’s important that you give your submissions a chance to stand out from the clutter. Be sure to write a great title and description for each of your submissions and include relevant keyword tags to make it easier for people to find your content in searches. Include an image whenever possible to draw attention to your submissions.
It’s also helpful to use the StumbleUpon URL shortener tool, su.pr. This will make it much easier to submit content to StumbleUpon as well as to Facebook and Twitter. You can schedule when your submissions will be published and access performance analytics using this tool as well.
Connect with Other StumbleUpon Members
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site that enables people to discover content they might not find otherwise. Therefore, you should be social when you use StumbleUpon. A significant component of your success comes from the community of followers you develop on StumbleUpon.
Take some time to conduct keyword searches and find other people who submit content related to your niche. Review member profiles to learn what interests they list in their bios, and follow people who would be interested in the type of content you share.
It’s also important to share content directly with your followers on StumbleUpon. Always include a personal message when you directly share content with other members, and don’t forget to share the content that your followers publish, too. Reciprocity is very important within the StumbleUpon community.
Pay for Exposure or Create a Channel
If you’d like to give your StumbleUpon traffic a short-term boost and are willing to pay for it, there are several advertising plans available in StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery feature. Basically, you pay to have your links featured to StumbleUpon members. The higher the engagement you want with your target audience, the higher the price you pay.
Another way to use StumbleUpon to drive traffic to your website is by creating a StumbleUpon channel. This feature is still in beta, but it’s potential is great. By developing channels, StumbleUpon hopes to better compete with Facebook Pages, Google+ Brand Pages, LinkedIn Company Pages, YouTube Channels, and so on. You can express your interest in creating a StumbleUpon channel by sending an email to email@example.com.
Are you using StumbleUpon in your web marketing mix? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Susan Gunelius: Susan Gunelius is a 20-year marketing veteran and President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has authored nine books about social media, content marketing, branding, copywriting, and blogging, and she is a marketing columnist for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com. Susan speaks about marketing, branding, and social media at events around the world and is often interviewed about marketing topics by television, online, print, and radio media organizations.