If you haven’t heard of StumbleUpon it’s no big surprise; the site isn’t anywhere near as popular as Facebook and Twitter. This is a real shame as it’s a far more personalised and enjoyable experience than its more successful social media peers. StumbleUpon provides a simplistic, and addictive, service with one goal; to allow you to enjoy the very best of the internet. With this social media tool there’s no spam or endless searching online; entertaining, informative, and relevant websites are all directed towards you based on personal preference. As a business tool you can connect into this and target your niche audience with great success.
StumbleUpon is growing rapidly with more than 20 million users. Each one receives more than 1.2 billion recommendations monthly and, according to StumbleUpon, users spend an average of seven hours per month stumbling. Here’s a brief guide on why, and how, you can use this time to great effect.
The service allows you to curate content at will. After you’ve registered, and chosen some interests, you must click the “Stumble” button in the toolbar. StumbleUpon randomly sends you to one of a vast amount of archived websites selected based on your specific interests. Once you’ve reached your page you can rate it with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”; this activity allows you to filter out what you do and don’t like for future Stumbles. Then you click “Stumble” and you’re on your way again.
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- The social elements to the site are based around your adding of sites to your account. It’s somewhat like a WordPress post; you can add tags and a brief description to draw in the relevant audience. As with many sites these days there is an anti-spam regulation and, as your first wish might be promoting your website, this is a service which demands creativity and diversity. Consequently the pages you submit must fit their parameters; they have to be clear, concise, and informative. If you are skilled at creating entertaining content then this shouldnt be a problem.
- Take the time to fill out your profile completely as this will help you to meet fellow Stumblers. List as many of your interests as possible as, by giving more information, you will receive better results from the StumbleUpon system. You should also follow other people who share your interests. StumbleUpon is a social networking platform, so you want to build up a strong online community. In addition to clicking on “Follow” at the person’s page, also click the “accept shares” box. By having many people who you share content with, you will be able to increase awareness of your submissions.
- Share content posted by others in your network along with things you find whilst browsing the internet, even if it’s a page from a site as simplistic as Wikipedia. If you keep a varied mixture of content going other Stumblers won’t mind when you post personal content. Interact frequently with others including commenting on their content – this is the best way to get them interested in what you have to offer.
- Check out the “Channels” page for channels you find interesting. You will be able to find people on these channels to expand your personal network.
- Don’t “like” your personal posts. This just makes you look silly.
- You can use filters to fine tune your recommendations list. Look for “Ways to Stumble” on your toolbar, then select the “Modes” option. This provides you with tools for filtering content. Through this you will spend less time reviewing unfocused recommendations. For example, if you are just interested in videos, you can filter out other media like news and images. StumbleUpon also allows you to apply filters to followers and interests.
- Use the tagging system to encourage people to share your content. Write reviews of posts to attract maximum interest. People will be much more interested in reviewed posts as opposed to content you have simply liked. Try to write thoughtful reviews that will stimulate discussion. In this way, people will come to expect to see your opinion on different posts. StumbleUpon’s algorithm also favours posts with reviews and tags.
- If you become really at home with the service you can download the official toolbar. This has many perks, such as being able to “PhotoBlog” images you come across on the internet. Simply right clicking an image and choosing the PhotoBlog option creates an entertaining twist which is very popular amongst Stumblers. Have a go and find out!
- Utilising all of these aspects to StumbleUpon works surprisingly effectively; people will view your page, like it, and within the system it will rise in popularity. There have been many success stories as you can directly target your niche audience. An additional few hundred blog views never hurt anyone!
- Finally, enjoy the service! It’s an exciting and thoroughly entertaining social media tool with a growing community your business can be at the centre of.