StumbleUpon is a social media site that encourages users to browse the web by seeing pages that have been voted on by fellow stumblers. When one user clicks “I like this” to give your site a thumbs-up on their toolbar or your StumbleUpon badge, you will start getting new visitors referred by their common interests. This targeted, engaged audience is a great one to get to know. By making your page a little more StumbleUpon-friendly, you could get a lot more attention to your best photos, posts, and infographics, introducing a new stream of traffic to your site in general.
Some content is spread more easily within the StumbleUpon community than others. Infographics, photos, and interesting articles are popular. Don’t expect a sales page to go viral. Find creative ways to make your subject interesting to a wider audience. Tutorials, in-depth guides, and other informative articles or videos are great for some users, and wacky news articles or stories are enjoyed by others. Often, though not always, content that has gone viral on Facebook or Digg will also be successful on StumbleUpon.
Make sure your page and your website is appealing and easy to understand for the first-time visitor. Though this is always a best-practice, stumblers are poised and ready to click Stumble again and be directed to yet another interesting page. Yours needs to stand out and be noticed.
If you are targeting StumbleUpon, include a Stumble badge above or below your posts to encourage users to submit the page to StumbleUpon. Though many stumblers use browser toolbars, an icon helps a user to stumble a page without navigating away or using their toolbar. You could even write a post educating your audience about StumbleUpon, encouraging your existing fans to bolster your ratings as they join a site they might not have known about.
To engage with users who have similar interests to you, start using StumbleUpon yourself. As a user, you can follow and interact with other users who are interested in subjects related to your site or niche. You can even suggest specific sites to individuals.
However, be cautious in your use of any social media site. Get to know the culture of the site by interacting with other users respectfully. Don’t be too pushy – just engage with the community and bring up your own content when it is appropriate or relevant.
With mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad along with toolbars for a number of different browsers, StumbleUpon will present your site to people using a number of platforms. Make sure your site can be viewed by many different kinds of devices to benefit from the audiences surfing StumbleUpon on their phones or tablets.
StumbleUpon also offers an advertising method for site owners to display their page directly to people using StumbleUpon. Instead of displaying a text or banner ad, paid discovery adds your page to the stream that users are clicking through, looking for sites, posts, and images they enjoy. Targeted visitors will go straight to your page, ready to enjoy whatever they are looking at. Find out more on the StumbleUpon Paid Discovery page.
If you Tweet about your page, chances are you use a URL shortening service. Use the su.pr URL shortener to both display your page and add a StumbleUpon frame, encouraging users to click the thumbs-up. Use one social media site to bolster the adoption of another.
It is much easier to keep something growing once it has started to go viral. Keep track of which of your articles are going viral on StumbleUpon or other sites. Encourage further engagement by promoting the same content on other social media networks, and by further publicizing the success of your page, encouraging even more people to find out about it and share it on their favorite social media network.
You can even point out the most-Stumbled sites using a StumbleUpon widget on your own site. Showing which pages are popular will encourage more people to visit the best pages on your site. Stumblers will be especially interested to check and see if they agree with the votes of others.
Do you use StumbleUpon? Which of your posts have gotten the most attention from Stumblers? Do you have any other advice to add?