StumbleUpon is a hot social discovery site that continues to rapidly increase in popularity. With the increase in popularity comes an increase in the potential traffic that it can drive to your sites. StumbleUpon has always been great at driving traffic and links, but lately I’ve started to notice that it is one of the leading social sites, often times sending more traffic than even Digg.
Most of the basic social media marketing tactics apply to StumbleUpon. It’s important to be an active user in the community who provides value and discovers great sites. It also helps to have a lot of mutual friends and people that will see your stumbles. However, there are some lesser-known tactics that can also help your stumbles become popular.
Pick the right topic. When you discover a site and submit it to StumbleUpon it asks you to pick a topic that you’d like to submit it under. It’s important that you pick the right topic for submission as this can literally make or break your stumble. If you submit to the wrong topic then people who stumble across that page will be less likely to give the page a thumbs up, as it might not fit the kind of content they’re looking for. By submitting to the right topics you will increase the number of relevant eyeballs that see the page and this increases the likelihood that they will give it a thumbs up. For example, if you’re submitting a site about surfing then submit to the surfing topic and not the general sports topic.
Use relevant tags. Just as picking the right topic for submission is important it’s also important that you assign the proper tags to your stumbles. Not only does this increase relevant stumbles but users can also search either on StumbleUpon’s site or using its StumbleUpon toolbar. It’s more likely they’ll discover your site if you use proper tags that accurately describe the page.
Get a little help from your friends. StumbleUpon offers a feature where you can send your stumbles directly to your friends. They will see a little red number next to the “stumble” button on their toolbar. This lets them know that someone has sent them a stumble and the next time they hit the button they will see that page. You can even send them a little message and they can reply back. This is a feature that you have to be careful not to abuse, and it’s very tempting to do so. Only send recommended pages to friends when you’re reasonably sure they’ll like the page. If you send too many it will annoy your friends and you’ll so no longer be friends. Trust me, I know. I’ve had a few people abuse this feature with me and after awhile I just deleted them as a friend.
Leverage groups and forums. StumbleUpon has groups for just about every topic you can think of and you can join up to 63 groups. Within some of these groups you have the ability to post relevant links for others in the group to see and discover. This feature is not available for all groups and can depend on the settings that the moderator sets for that specific group. The forums within the groups usually allow anyone to post links. Don’t spam them, though, or you can be deleted from the group by the group owner or moderator.
Create your own StumbleUpon blog. Did you know that can post HTML and images on your StumbleUpon blog? You can, and these help make your stumbles stand out to people that are browsing or stumble upon your profile. Not only can this increase your stumbles on certain pages but it can also help increase your friend count as others often friend people based on favorable impression from blogs.
Sometimes the little things can make all the difference for whether or not the pages you submit go popular. By taking a couple extra minutes to make sure you submit pages properly it will give you that extra edge and help you get more traffic and links to your site. Just remember, the content still has to be good and interesting to the StumbleUpon community.
Cameron Olthuis is director of marketing and design for ACS and writes regularly on social media issues through the company’s blog, Pronet Advertising. The Let’s Get Social column appears Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.