Top 5 Tips For Incorporating StumbleUpon Into Your Marketing Plans by guest @girl_who_reads

By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Sep 26

Confused by StumbleUpon? Join the club. I do my best with it, but it still confounds me. 

 Which is why I’m thrilled to introduce you to book blogger and publicist Donna Huber, who offers to take us through the maze. (For more tips, see this StumbleUpon post from one month ago by Natalie Sayin, author of the Turkish Travel Blog.) Thank you, Donna, for visiting and sharing your wisdom. 

 

 

Top 5 Tips For Incorporating StumbleUpon into Your Marketing Plans

 

Are you stumped as to how to incorporate StumbleUpon into your marketing plans? You are not alone; many people are unsure how to tap into one of the top traffic referring social media sites. StumbleUpon’s elusive workings mean that it isn’t easily manipulated, which is great for the consumer. While maddening for the marketer, it is also a good thing. It will result in targeted authentic organic traffic to your site – if you can get it discovered. Try these 5 tips to increase your chances.

 

Tip #1: Understand how people use StumbleUpon

 

StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site. Similar to the bookmark function on your browser’s toolbar, but the sites are made available for all to see. It also has attributes similar to a search engine, though all content in the database is user generated. Guy McDowell, in his article on how StumbleUpon works suggests that people use it as a sort of yellow pages. Just as you would let your fingers to do the walking if you were looking for an attorney, you let your finger do the clicking to discover new websites of a certain interest. A big difference between the Yellow Pages and StumbleUpon is that other users recommend the information you are seeing. Users are able to up and down vote each submitted content: the more upvotes a stumble receives the more likely a user is to see it.

 

The author of StumbleUpon Exposed compares users to channel surfers. From the bounce rate I see, I agree with this assessment. Unlike a search engine, users will only find general recommendations on a certain topic or “interest”. StumbleUpon is used to discover new websites. So while StumbleUpon can provide a huge boost to your organic traffic, most visitors will only stay for a very short period of time on your site. The key to StumbleUpon is to capture the visitor’s interest within a couple of seconds of landing on your site in hopes they will upvote your content within StumbleUpon and subscribe/bookmark your site.

 

Tip #2 Be an expert in your field

 

Everything you do on StumbleUpon should support and enhance your status as an expert in your field. When setting up your profile choose interests that are not your hobbies, but what you know. Choose your connections wisely. You are limited to 250 connections and you want at least a few “big hitters” in your list. Besides stumbling by interest you can also stumble by “following” – you can see what people you follow have discovered and liked.

 

Adding comments to stumbled content will increase your visibility and credibility. If you are the “discoverer”, the content has not been stumbled before; the submission form has an “add comment” box. If the content has been stumbled, then click on the speech bubble icon on the toolbar to add your comment. Comments are especially important when submitting your own content – try posing a question to spur discussion.

 

Tip #3 Only stumble the best content

 

While your content may be good, even better than average, until your credibility is established you should stumble other people’s content. What you stumble also contributes to your reputation as an expert. I recommend in the beginning not stumbling any of your own content. Spend a few weeks establishing yourself in the community – no one likes the new person at the party who only talks about themselves. After you have a foothold in the community you can start stumbling your own content. It is recommended that you keep the ratio of 10:1 (stumble 10 others for every 1 you stumble of your own).

 

In addition to establishing your identity, you will also gather valuable market research. Stumble through the interest(s) that you will be submitting your content to. What is popular? How well does your content match what is being shared in that interest? Users can report stumbles for being in the wrong interest or worse, mark it as spam. Both cases will lower your ranking in the algorithm; the latter could get you banned.

 

Tip #4 Use paid discovery to launch your content on StumbleUpon

 

To legitimately submit your own content and not run the risk of being labeled a spammer, StumbleUpon provides paid discovery. For a reasonable price ($5 for 100 visitors), you can submit a page from your website/blog. You can set your budget as you pay per view (the basic plan is $0.05/visitor). Paid discovery content is featured higher in the algorithm to ensure views. But the really great thing about the program, once you’ve reached your budgeted amount your content is still seen. If during those 100 paid views your content receives a large number of upvotes it will continue to remain high in the algorithm.

 

Like any marketing campaign, create content specifically for this campaign. You will want it to be the absolute best content, demonstrate your expertise, and have a way to “capture” viewers – get them to click on other content during the visit, subscribe to your newsletter or website, etc. Offering something free is usually a big draw.

 

Two words of caution… Page views can quickly accumulate and make sure you are not paying for more page views than you need. The point of paid discovery is to give you a jumpstart and not be life support for the visibility of your content.

 

Tip #5 Join a stumble exchange group

 

As an alternative to paid discovery (or in addition to it), you may want to join a stumble exchange group. If you are a member of Triberr, your tribe can easily become a stumble exchange group using the additional share buttons. Be careful with this method, though. StumbleUpon’s algorithm will penalize content that is always the same small group discovering and upvoting.

 

 

About Donna:

Donna Huber is an extroverted introvert who has found book blogging to be the perfect complement to her personality. She has been shyly raving about books and authors on her blog Girl Who Reads since 2011. In addition to her blog, Donna is a regular contributor to Athens Patch and The Indie Exchange. After establishing the marketing and publicity department of a small press start up, she branched out on her own to offer affordable publicity assistance to authors. Donna is currently working on a Book Blogger’s Handbook based on her popular ‘Tips on Thursday’ posts. Find her also on Twitter or Facebook

 **On a personal note, my book The Mancode: Exposed will be free this weekend, Fri, 9/28 through Sunday, 9/30! If you’d like to download (no Kindle required — they have free apps!), click on my Amazon link here. You can also head over to R.S. Guthrie’s site to enter our drawing for a free Kindle Fire HD. R.S., Frederick Lee Brooke, and I all have free books this weekend and a number of others at affordable prices.**

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published by Shadow Teams NYC and represented by Lisa Hagan Books. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

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(70) comments

Cendrine Marrouat September 26, 2012

Hello Donna and Rachel,

Thank you for this article! StumbleUpon is really the only social media site whose “secret” code I have not been able to crack up. So, I am really thankful for this article.

All the tips make a lot of sense and I’ll be sure to implement them the next time I SU an article (most certainly yours. 😉 )

Reply
    Rachel Thompson September 27, 2012

    Thanks for reading and sharing, Cendrine. I agree, it’s not the most user-friendly site and I’ve been hacking away at if for awhile. I’m so thankful Donna could enlighten us!

    Appreciate your help and comments so much!

    Reply
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@HelenMoore September 27, 2012

Great Stumbleupon tips here http://t.co/kzFssbdG

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@Girl_Who_Reads September 27, 2012

I’m over at @badredheadmedia sharing StumbleUpon tips. Thanks @RachelintheOC for hosting me http://t.co/jTLTx3zR

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Donna September 27, 2012

Thanks, Rachel, for hosting me. StumbleUpon is the black box of social media! And now they are offering a Beta version of a new StumbleUpon – they want to keep us marketers on our toes 🙂

Reply
    Rachel Thompson September 27, 2012

    I’m so thrilled to have you here, Donna. I’d love to provide more info for a future article if you’re game: about stumbling our own posts as well as the paid options. let me know! x

    Reply
      Donna September 27, 2012

      I’m always game. Give me a bit to play with this beta version (already liking the new layout) and I’ll stop by with more info.

      Reply
        Rachel Thompson September 27, 2012

        sweet! thx Donna 😉

        Reply

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Sonia G Medeiros September 27, 2012

Great article! I love StumbleUpon but I hadn’t thought much about using it for marketing. I do a feature every other week with stumbles I’ve found interesting, funny or weird.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson September 27, 2012

    Thanks for commenting, Sonia. That’s a great idea! send me links and I’ll happily RT for you.

    Appreciate it so much. x

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